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Thread: Worthless Degrees and High Student Loans

  1. #1
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    Worthless Degrees and High Student Loans

    I was contacted on Facebook about the problem with for profit colleges and student loans. Many college and trade schools lie about career potential and leave students with a worthless piece of paper and a ton of debt.

    Since having a skill or preferably skills that people will pay for is a requisite if someone doesn't hit the lottery or have a trust fund let's start there. I went to community college and then a state school and felt like it was a pretty good deal. Not only because of the cost savings, but because I screwed up the first time around. Keeping debt to a bare minimum and picking a program that will allow service of that debt upon graduation IMO is the only sensible choice.

    However, I am not a guidance counselor, so here are a few links the first being a Facebook group on the subject. Linked is some reading on the college and non-college route, hopefully providing some tips to avoid the numerous scams and pitfalls.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/816000048493604/

    http://www.thesimpledollar.com/why-y...ad-of-college/

    https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/article...ational-school

    25 tips for choosing a college - CBS News

    https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/article...oosing-college

    The Highest Paying In-Demand Jobs In America - Forbes

    The Best-Paying Jobs For Workers With High School Degrees - Forbes
    "It's virtually impossible to violate rules ... but it's impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time." Bernie Madoff
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    Re: Worthless Degrees and High Student Loans

    This speaks for itself, and is one of the more disgusting examples that come to mind...


    After years of investigations and pushes for reform, a loophole that lets for-profit colleges cash in on veterans and their education benefits remains in place.

    Nearly four years ago, the Senate committee on health, education, labor, and pensions made what they considered a concerning discovery: the amount of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense education benefits going to 20 for-profit colleges had skyrocketed by 683% over a four-year span: from $66.6 million in 2006 to $521.2 million in 2010.

    Between 2009 and 2010 alone, revenue from military education benefits at those for-profit schools increased 211%.

    The for-profit colleges were raking in large sums of money despite the so-called 90-10 rule, which prohibits for-profit universities from getting more than 90% of their revenue from the government. But the rule, which was enacted in 1992 to prevent schools from being overly reliant on federal money, doesn’t cover GI Bill benefits, making post-9/11 veterans, whose education benefits cover $19,000 in tuition for four years, likely targets for universities looking to capitalize on the loophole. For-profit schools’ recruitment of veterans is a problem not just because these schools often report poor graduation rates, but also because for-profit universities are more expensive for the taxpayers funding the GI Bill—$10,900 per year at a for-profit versus $4,900 at a public school.

    A follow-up study issued by the HELP committee found that veterans’ enrollment in for-profit colleges had sharply increased—from 23% of veteran students in 2009 to 31% in 2013—giving such institutions access to $1.7 billion in post-9/11 GI Bill benefits in the 2012-2013 academic year, an increase from $640 million in 2009-2010. For-profit schools hold eight of the top 10 spots for post-9/11 GI Bill benefit recipients even though up to 66% of students enrolled in those for-profit schools withdrew without a degree or diploma. (There is no federal data on how veterans fare, specifically.) Seven of those eight top for-profit benefit recipients were under investigation for deceptive and misleading recruiting or other violations of state and federal law when the report was released in June.

    For-profit schools have long been a target of the Obama administration’s regulations, mostly for their contribution to the nation’s mounting student debt. (Eighty-eight percent of students at for-profit colleges held student loans in 2012, compared to 66% of public college students and 75% of students who attended private colleges, according to The Institute for College Access and Success.) Last month, the Education Department announced “gainful employment” rules, which base a program’s access to federal loans on whether the estimated annual loan payment of a typical graduate doesn’t exceed 20% of the student’s discretionary income or 8% of total earnings. The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, a trade group representing for-profit schools, promptly sued to strike down the rule, calling it “unlawful, arbitrary, and irrational.”

    The gainful employment proposal—if implemented—could eliminate some for-profit programs, but it doesn’t directly address the problem of for-profit colleges targeting veterans and gaining access to their education benefits.

    In fact, action aimed at addressing this problem has come in fits and starts, with very few—if any—tangible results.

    In April 2012, President Obama issued an executive order to establish so-called Principles of Excellence for educational institutions that serve veterans and their families. The 2014 HELP committee reports that the executive order aimed to obtain federal data to determine if veterans using post-9/11 benefits to attend college are completing degrees and diplomas. Some for-profit schools, like the University of Phoenix, Strayer, Kaplan, and Bridgepoint, have put in place policies directed at improving graduation rates and graduate employment prospects, but none of the other schools receiving the largest amounts of post-9/11 benefits has followed suit.

    In January 2012, Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, proposed a bill that would alter the way federal funds are allocated to for-profit colleges, shifting the 90-10 rule to an 85-15 ratio. It would also ensure that GI Bill benefits would count toward for-profit schools’ government aid cap. The bill was reintroduced in November 2013 and remains in committee. The Department of Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2015 included language that would count GI Bill benefits as federal funds where the 90-10 rule is concerned. That Act passed the Senate Appropriations Committee in July but nothing more has come from it.

    Noah Black, vice president of communications for APSCU, the for-profit college trade group, told Fortune that the 90-10 rule, even as it stands now, increases the risk of low-income students being denied access to postsecondary education. Black also said that the rule may cause some colleges to discriminate against high-risk students. “The 90-10 rule is not a measure of institutional quality, it is a financial calculation that is a measure of the socioeconomic position of the student population served by an institution,” Black said in a statement.

    Meanwhile, Matt Randle, chief operating officer for Student Veterans of America, a coalition of student veteran groups on colleges campuses, told Fortune the “the student veteran population is a canary in the coal mine. It’s not just student veterans who are facing issues because of attending for-profit schools.” The problems that stem from for-profit colleges are most identifiable when “those who serve for our freedoms and beliefs are taken advantage of,” he says.

    “Unfortunately, you look at the situation and it’s hard to justify why [change] hasn’t happened,” he says. “There have been members of Congress who have been focused on it, but not the groundswell necessary to [bring] change.”

    For-profit colleges still reap millions from GI Bill - Fortune
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  3. #3
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    Re: Worthless Degrees and High Student Loans

    From a scam perspective, the taxpayer is getting screwed and the student is paying too much for a degree. I barely made it out of high school and didn't fare so well my first year at college, so I quit and worked for a few years. When I was ready I went back. There is a certain personal responsibility issue here so I don't want to levy the blame on the school, as I found out you do have to crack the books no matter where you go.


    University of Phoenix Fact Sheet

    Is this the education we want?

    Many Apollo Group students leave the University of Phoenix without diplomas.

    60.5% of students that enrolled with the Apollo Group in 2008-09 withdrew by mid-2010, with 66.4% of Associate degree students withdrawing within two years. In comparison, the average withdrawal rate among for-profit colleges is 54%.[i]
    For students who entered a Bachelor’s degree program in 2006 only 13% graduated by 2012 and nearly 83% had dropped out.[ii]

    More than 1 in 4 students at the University of Phoenix default on their loans.

    26% of Apollo Group’s students will default on their loans within three years of entering repayment.[iii]
    The online program appears to be particularly harmful to students. According to Apollo Group, 75% of their undergraduate students that default on their loans attended the online program.[iv]
    Apollo Group expects the lifetime default rates for Associate degree students entering repayment in 2006 to be 77.7%.[v]

    Is the Apollo Group harming low-income students?

    Apollo Group receives more Pell Grant dollars than any other college in the country, more than $816 million in 2013.[vi] Pell grants are need-based grants for low-income undergraduates and certain post-baccalaureate students, and intended to increase access to higher education. Studies have shown that 95.1% of Pell Grant students have a family income at or below 250% of the federal poverty line and 67.5% of Pell Grant recipients have a family income at or below 150% of the federal poverty line.[vii]
    Nationally, 41% of undergraduate students received Pell Grants in 2012-13, yet 59% of University of Phoenix students received Pell Grants in 2012. When the data is examined campus by campus, the rate goes even higher: as many as 81% of undergraduate students at a University of Phoenix campus receive Pell Grants in 2012.[viii]
    Alarmingly, the loan default rate among University of Phoenix’s Federal Perkins Student Loan students is a staggering 36.3%. University of Phoenix’s Federal Perkins Student Loan students owe $769,796 for loans in default for more than 240 days as of June 30, 2013.[ix]

    Apollo Group is not providing the highest quality education.

    The University of Phoenix’s accreditation is on Notice status by its accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Notice status is a sanction that indicates that the University is on a course of action that, if continued, could lead to the institution being out of compliance with one or more of the Criteria for Accreditation.
    Specifically, the University of Phoenix received this sanction because of practices around governance, student assessment and faculty scholarship and research for doctoral programs.[x]
    Although the University of Phoenix was only placed on notice, a comprehensive evaluation by a peer review team from the Higher Learning Commission actually recommended in February 2012 that the University of Phoenix receive a tougher penalty and have their accreditation put on probationary status.[xi]

    High Costs and Misplaced Priorities

    Tuition is higher at Apollo Group than at public colleges: hurting students and veterans.

    For example, tuition for an Associate of Arts in Business at the University of Phoenix Online costs $24,500, but the same degree only costs $4,087 at Phoenix College in the Maricopa Community College System.[xii]
    The higher tuition results in higher costs for veterans. From 2009-2013, Apollo Group received $751 million dollars from the post-9/11 GI Bill. For 2012-2-2013 the average cost per veteran attending an Apollo Group college was $6,250. In comparison, public colleges received an average of $3,914 per veteran.[xiii]

    University of Phoenix collected $12,319 per student in tuition but only spent $1,655 per student on instruction in 2012.[xiv]

    In 2012, John Sperling, founder and Chairman of Apollo Group, received $6.95 million in total compensation.[xv]
    Sperling’s retirement package includes a $5 million bonus, two company vehicles, reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs he incurs to obtain medical and dental care coverage under the Company’s health plan and a lifetime annuity of more than $70,800 per month.[xvi]

    Kicked Out of California:

    University of Phoenix performance is below the California standard.

    University of Phoenix is ineligible for Cal Grant, financial aid for California residents, for the 2014-15 school year.
    To be eligible for Cal Grants a school’s cohort loan default rate must be below 15.5% and graduation rates must be above 30%.
    University of Phoenix’s 2010 three-year cohort default rate is 26% and its 2011 graduation rate is 19.1%[xvii]

    Lawsuits and Investigations

    Apollo Group is under investigation by Attorney General offices and the Department of Education in numerous states.

    On March 21, 2014, University of Phoenix received a subpoena from the Mid-Atlantic Region of the OIG. The subpoena seeks the production by the University of documents and detailed information regarding certain activities conducted after January 1, 2007, including information relating to marketing, recruitment, enrollment, financial aid processing, fraud prevention, student retention, personnel training, attendance, academic grading and other matters.[xviii]
    Attorneys General in Florida and Massachusetts are investigating University of Phoenix allegations, including “misrepresentations regarding financial aid” and “unfair or deceptive practices regarding recruiting, enrollment, placement, etc.[xix]
    A 2010 Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation uncovered multiple instances of deceptive and misleading recruiting by University of Phoenix staff. Undercover agents were told inaccurate prices for tuition and were not given answers about job placement rates.[xx]

    Apollo Group has been the subject of numerous federal investigations.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigated the Apollo Group in 2012 and in 2009 but did not take any enforcement action.[xxi]
    The federal Internal Revenue Service is auditing Apollo’s tax returns from 2006 through 2010. Apollo previously settled with the IRS over an audit of taxes from 2003-05. Apollo paid $27.3 million in this settlement.
    Apollo Group was audited by the Arizona Department of Revenue in FY 2010 for fiscal years 2003 through 2009. Apollo paid $57.9 million in this settlement. [xxii]

    Apollo Group is being sued by former employees.

    In 2003, Apollo Group was sued by two former employees for violating incentive compensation rules. The case was settled in 2009 for $78.5 million. In 2004, the Department of Education alleged that Apollo Group violated incentive compensation rules; the suit was settled for $9.8 million.[xxiii]
    In May 2011, a qui tam lawsuit was filed in California alleging various inappropriate actions by recruitment officials leading to infractions of the False Claims Act; the case is still pending and a trial is scheduled for January 2015.[xxiv]
    In January 2010, a wage and hour lawsuit was filed in California and certified as a class covering 1,500 employees. The case was settled in August 2011.[xxv]

    Apollo Group is being sued by its own shareholders.

    In 2008, a jury found in favor of the plaintiff in a securities class action by the Policeman’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago, which alleged that Apollo Group made misleading statements by failing to disclose a Department of Education program review report. In 2012, Apollo Group entered into a settlement agreement of $145 million.[xxvi]
    In 2012, a securities class action lawsuit was filed by Douglas Gaer alleging that Apollo Group made false and misleading statements about its business practices and prospects for growth. Two related lawsuits were also filed with an overlapping class period of 2007-2010; the three suits were merged and the lead plaintiffs are the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme, and Amalgamated Bank. The case was dismissed in Apollo’s favor in June 2012 but the plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal in July 2012, and the appeal is currently pending. [xxvii]
    On November 2, 2006, the Teamsters Local 617 Pensions and Welfare Funds filed a class action complaint purporting to represent a class of shareholders who purchased stock between November 28, 2001 and October 18, 2006. In 2014, Apollo settled with the plaintiffs and the settlement is pending approval from the district court.[xxviii]
    On April 24, 2014, a securities class action complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona by Nader Saleh against the Apollo Group. The complaint alleges (i) Apollo manipulated federal student loan and grant programs to appear to be in compliance with federal regulations; (ii) Apollo’s predatory and deceptive recruiting and enrollment practices violated federal regulations; and (iii) Apollo engaged in a number of practices, including loan forbearance programs, to create the appearance that it was in compliance with federal regulations. The complaint further contends that the truth emerged regarding these statements when Apollo announced on April 1, 2014 it had received a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Education.[xxix]

    Apollo Group is facing lawsuits about its business practices.

    In November 2010, K.K. Modi Investment and Financial Services Pvt. Ltd. filed a suit in India to enjoin Apollo Group from investing in the education industry in the Indian market in breach of an alleged noncompete agreement.[xxx]

    Apollo Group is being investigated by Chile.

    Apollo Group institutional accreditation for its university in Chile was not renewed in Chile in 2011. Further, in 2012 a prosecutor’s office in Santiago, Chile requested documents between a former employee and consultant who served as a member of the accreditation commission until March 2012. The prosecutor’s office has also requested documents about its business structure and operation and relationship with other Apollo entities.[xxxi]

    University of Phoenix Fact Sheet | For Profit U

    For Profit U |
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    Re: Worthless Degrees and High Student Loans

    There are also any order of scams that involve overpriced training with promises of job placement.

    Medical Billing and Coding Scams

    Ads for medical billing business opportunities appear on the Internet and in the classified sections of local newspapers and "giveaway" shopper's guides. In the "Help-Wanted" classified sections, the ads may appear next to legitimate ads for hospital medical claims processors, leading consumers who respond to think they're applying for a job, not buying a business opportunity.

    The ads lure consumers with promises of substantial income working from home full- or part-time - "no experience required." They direct consumers to call a toll-free number for more information.

    If you call, a sales representative will entice you to sign up by telling you that the processing of medical claims is a lucrative business, that doctors are eager for help with electronic claims processing, and that you - even without any experience - can do this work from the comfort of your home.

    Medical billing scammers charge a fee of hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. In exchange, they claim to provide everything you supposedly need to launch your medical billing business: the software program to process the claims and a list of potential clients.

    https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/busi...ing-businesses

    Work-at-Home Businesses | Consumer Information
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    Re: Worthless Degrees and High Student Loans

    Trade schools not exempt from unscrupulous lies.

    Garvin spent more than $25,000 to attend a trade school, Katharine Gibbs School for graphic design.

    “The things that they promised when I initially went there at the end didn’t happen,” he said. “After 24 months I turned around to find the degree was worth nothing when I tried to transfer the credits to obtain a bachelor’s degree.”

    The promises he claims include graduation at Madison Square Garden and job placement. The school is now closed down, but stories like Garvin’s are all too familiar.

    Department Of Consumer Affairs Advising New Yorkers On How To Recognize Trade School Scams « CBS New York

    ================================================== ================
    Good tips on this blog...

    Beware of Enrollment Counselors
    Common misrepresentations include:

    Misrepresenting the prospects for obtaining employment following graduation;
    Lying about the potential earnings you can make following graduation;
    Lying about whether the program is accredited;
    Misrepresenting just how “difficult” it is to get into their school in order to create the false impression that there is a huge demand for the school.
    Make Sure You Understand Whether Your School Has the Right Accreditation
    Ask For Placement Rate Data In Writing
    Ask for the School’s Student Loan Default Rate
    Do Your Research And Be Realistic


    https://kcrlegal.wordpress.com/2010/...-school-fraud/

    ================================================== ================
    From 1989...

    The Trade School Scam - NYTimes.com
    "It's virtually impossible to violate rules ... but it's impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time." Bernie Madoff
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    Re: Worthless Degrees and High Student Loans

    Save Your Money:

    Don’t Pay for Help to Find Money for College
    Try These Free Sources of Information
    Don’t Pay for the FAFSA®

    Save Your Identity:

    How Does Identity Theft Happen?
    Reduce Your Risk When Applying for Aid
    How We Keep Your Information Safe

    Report Fraud and Identity Theft:

    Report Financial Aid Fraud
    Report Fraudulent Activity by a College
    Report Identity Theft

    https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/scams

    ================================================== ================

    1. Don't fall victim to telephone or Internet scams:
    2. Don't pay to apply for scholarships:
    3. Be suspicious of banks that charge large upfront fees in exchange for low interest rate loans
    4. Don't send a deposit for an apartment before visiting in person:
    Avoid 4 Common Scams Aimed at Students - US News


    ================================================== ================

    According to the lawsuit, the companies charged as much as $1,200 to do nothing more than fill out paperwork for free government programs.

    Student Loan Repayment Scams: How To Avoid Being Ripped Off - NBC News


    ================================================== ================
    The FTC cautions students to look and listen for these tell-tale lines:

    The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back."
    "You can't get this information anywhere else."
    "I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship."
    "We'll do all the work. You just pay a processing fee."
    "The scholarship will cost some money."
    "You've been selected" by a "national foundation" to receive a scholarship – or "You're a finalist" in a contest you never entered.

    https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/article...cial-aid-scams


    ================================================== ================

    Diploma Mills

    If you're ever tempted by an e-mail or ad claiming you can "earn a degree based on life experience," don't fall for it. Any company that offers degrees for a flat fee and requires little course work is a diploma mill. If your school is not recognized as an accredited institution by the Secretary of Education, you may not be able to receive financial aid and employers won't recognize

    Education Scams | USA.gov
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  7. #7
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    Re: Worthless Degrees and High Student Loans

    the only worthless degrees are the cold ones of winter and super hot ones of summer.
    Haven't lost any money to online scams.......results are typical.

  8. #8
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    Re: Worthless Degrees and High Student Loans

    Quote Originally Posted by Whip View Post
    the only worthless degrees are the cold ones of winter and super hot ones of summer.
    What about Kevin Bacon???

    Kevin Bacon.JPG
    "It's virtually impossible to violate rules ... but it's impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time." Bernie Madoff
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    Re: Worthless Degrees and High Student Loans

    see, those degrees are priceless!
    Haven't lost any money to online scams.......results are typical.

  10. #10
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    Re: Worthless Degrees and High Student Loans

    Priceless...

    Kitties.JPG

    Scammer University.JPG



    ============================================

    I've seen some bootcamps out there tout that a base pay of at least $80k will await at the end of the course. A lot of hopefuls see this as a no-brainier, they pay their $18k and get a return of $62k over the next year.

    https://www.techendo.com/posts/are-d...-s-perspective

    Edit: We have now built a site for grading bootcamps. Rate and let others know about your experiences with your dev school.
    https://schools.techendo.com/
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    Re: Worthless Degrees and High Student Loans

    People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made.

    Joan Rivers

    ===========================

    From today's WSJ.

    College Majors Figure Big in Earnings - WSJ

    https://cew.georgetown.edu/report/wh...ollege-majors/
    "It's virtually impossible to violate rules ... but it's impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time." Bernie Madoff
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    Re: Worthless Degrees and High Student Loans

    Interesting option...

    In lieu of tuition, App Academy makes students agree to fork over 18 percent of their first year’s pay.

    Coding Classes Attract College Grads Who Want Better Jobs - Bloomberg Business

    Jonathan Clements has some good stuff on money.

    Financial Advice for New College Grads - Total Return - WSJ
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    Re: Worthless Degrees and High Student Loans

    Eligible borrowers may have their debts erased because the Education Department determined that Corinthian defrauded them into taking out federal loans by advertising false job placement rates for its many career programs. Department officials concluded that Corinthian engaged in “widespread placement rate fraud” for almost 800 programs at nearly every one of its more than 100 U.S. campuses. Prior to its collapse, Corinthian consistently denied any wrongdoing.

    Even though the Obama administration presumes Corinthian misled these borrowers, as many as 80,000 of them are in default and battling draconian collection efforts—wage garnishments, the seizure of tax refunds and federal benefits—on behalf of the Education and Treasury departments. Others are paying off debt they aren't aware they don't owe.




    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...sed-to-forgive
    "It's virtually impossible to violate rules ... but it's impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time." Bernie Madoff
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