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Choosing a College or University - let the chooser beware...

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  • Choosing a College or University - let the chooser beware...

    I had to throw this up as I just watched another Frontline program on PBS that not only talked about the woes of a "for profit" school like Westwood, AI, etc, but focused it on Veterans - I was disheartened by what I saw.

    Graduates at "for profit" schools on average earned 15 to 20% less than state universities and similar private schools (think Yale or Harvard) - and "for profits" have high drop out rates, high loan rates, and according to the VA only a 28% graduation rate, with most if not all credits not transferable to any other school, and student loan averages at 80 to higher than 100K for these "for profit" degrees. Not to mention the part about job recruiters preferring and choosing regular degree program graduates over online (or for profit) school grads...

    I know that in this forum the discussion on varios school types has hit a few times, and I learned a lot from those who chimed in - and saved myself a lot of lost money and time as I have permanently diverted myself from the "for profit" schools.

    For those looking to choose a school and a program, I would offer that your first stop should always be a local Community College - then after that look at the 4 year established universities - and my advice would be to avoid any for-profit school like it had the plague...

    Talk to the admission counselors at fully accredietd schools about your goals and situation and work to find the path to your goal that is workable and balanced - do not waste your GI Bill (MGIB or P9-11). If you have questions, there are resources available through the state ARNG education office, the VA (and thier new and improved website) as well a Vets resource office (which most schools have).

  • #2
    Re: Choosing a College or University - let the chooser beware...

    I couldn't agree more. In my opinion, for-profit schools should be avoided like lepers. Even the school I'm attending now, a conventional four year Tier 1 college, offers some online classes and a small number of 100% online degrees that no employer would ever know is an online degree unless you volunteered that tidbit. And even then, the online classes must be taken via video conference, video on demand, or DVD so online students are literally taking the exact same classes as those students on campus. With more and more conventional top-notch colleges entering the virtual medium, and tuition being competitive in many cases (just $9K a year for me, as an in-stater) why choose ANY for-profit school over that? It just staggers the mind.

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    • #3
      Re: Choosing a College or University - let the chooser beware...

      Good thread LRSU. Do you have the link to the program or just go to the Frontline website?

      I received my degree from a State University but at the same token, I have seen some positives from for-profit universities. At our education center, there is a University of Phoenix and brochures for American Military University all over the place (heavily advertised in the Army Times) and two soldiers in my unit have their degrees from UOPX plastered on their desk and wall (MBA). One was a former SFC who pinned MSG early this year and a MAJ who just made it for the LTC promotion list.

      I am not implying that solely they were able to get promoted based on their education accomplishment from that school but the government paid for the tuition of their programs. I also know individuals that went to MONROE in New York City and are very successful today.

      I joked with the Major when I saw the University of Phoenix degree on his wall. And he responded, that the program fitted on what his education goals were. The MSG took all his class for UXOP in a classroom and personnally I prefer that better. I am currently finishing my masters from a rep-utable public university and I have taken all those classes on line. I even sought a hybrid course but none available. So far, I have received all As and am happy for that.

      I did attend this school and almost my credit was ruined from them. But I was able to transfer some credit to get my bachelors degree.

      http://www.uscollegesearch.org/the-w...institute.html

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      • #4
        Re: Choosing a College or University - let the chooser beware...

        I found the video at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...llegeinc/view/

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        • #5
          Re: Choosing a College or University - let the chooser beware...

          Well, I've done my fair share of college recruiting at a private nonprofit accredited college. And the forprofit colleges are very agressive in their approach to recruiting, in fact some came under investigation for paying their reps commission on each individual, which is a huge no no in enrollment management.

          The rule of thumb is don't borrow more than you can pay off in the first year after college. And since the average college graduate makes 27K, that's not a whole lot.

          Of course the National Guard is a good way to pay for college, since some states waive tuition totally!!!

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          • #6
            Re: Choosing a College or University - let the chooser beware...

            Originally posted by Chaplain4me View Post
            Well, I've done my fair share of college recruiting at a private nonprofit accredited college. And the forprofit colleges are very agressive in their approach to recruiting, in fact some came under investigation for paying their reps commission on each individual, which is a huge no no in enrollment management.

            The rule of thumb is don't borrow more than you can pay off in the first year after college. And since the average college graduate makes 27K, that's not a whole lot.

            Of course the National Guard is a good way to pay for college, since some states waive tuition totally!!!
            +1 and to get those reps to have these students sign off on loans they will end up defaulting on.

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            • #7
              Re: Choosing a College or University - let the chooser beware...

              Ok the original program was on "for profit colleges" and with the link provided below by fmcityclicker, also use this: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/collegeinc/

              The second program that I just watched was specific to how "for profits" are preying on Veterans: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...geant-pantzke/

              Definately watch the programs, and then pass the info on to your fellow soldier/veteran... chances are you will be as disgusted as I was after watching "Educating SGT. Pantzke".
              Last edited by LRSU_Dog; June 29th, 2011, 01:43 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Choosing a College or University - let the chooser beware...

                Originally posted by LRSU_Dog View Post
                Ok the original program was on "for profit colleges" and with the link provided below by fmcityclicker, also use this: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/collegeinc/

                The second program that I just watched was specific to how "for profits" are preying on Veterans: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...geant-pantzke/

                Definately watch the programs, and then pass the info on to your fellow soldier/veteran... chances are you will be as disgusted as I was after watching "Educating SGT. Pantzke".
                LRSU, thank you for providing that second link. It was a very well done report and informative. Something that leaders should pass on to their soldiers.

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                • #9
                  Re: Choosing a College or University - let the chooser beware...

                  I tried to tell a soldier on FB to avoid ITT. Then 2 other soldiers (one his brother) jumped allover me. I am sure they would care more if it was money out of their own pocket paying for it. (And ITT is expensive as ****.)
                  Last edited by SteveLord; June 29th, 2011, 05:09 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Choosing a College or University - let the chooser beware...

                    I have it on good authority that degrees from AMU are accepted by federal agencies, and quite a few guys I work with in the civilian intel world are getting their masters at AMU as we speak. I think the biggest problem with AMU is the undergrads getting the Intel Studies degree thinking they are going to waltz into the IC off the street with no experience or security clearance...which is a very rare even when graduating from a traditional school (unless you speak a critical language or are a cyber security ninja).

                    As far as the hiring managers I've worked with are concerned, unless it is a technical or professional degree, a degree from a regionally accredited school is just a check in the box regardless of it being an online or traditional establishment. Besides, someone correct me if I am wrong, but AMU is nowhere near $80-$100,000 is it?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Choosing a College or University - let the chooser beware...

                      $250 X 121= $30,250 tuition alone. Then add 500 each semester books, which is another 4,000. Student loans are about $150 dollars payment for each 10K.

                      Therefore that's about a 500 dollar a month student loan payment. Like for the next ten years.

                      250 a credit hour ain't too bad.

                      I go online and pay 146 at Liberty, therefore I go to seminary free because of FTA.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Choosing a College or University - let the chooser beware...

                        Books are provided for AMU undergrads at no cost according to their website, and you don't have to shell out money on dorms, meal plans, extra gas, etc...I suppose to each his own, but it all probably works out in the wash.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Choosing a College or University - let the chooser beware...

                          Just watch the video - then as opposed to arguing about what costs more, give your comments on what you see.

                          http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...geant-pantzke/

                          I am sure that there are better and worse verions of the "for profit" schools - but in truth you never hear of a "traditional school" (in-classroom or online) taking advantage of soldiers/veterans. As well, since there are "for profits" that have a physical presence in some areas, there are still issues... These issues never arise at a traditional school, at least I have never heard of any, and these are the colleges I have experience with in various classroom or distance settings: University of Colorado at Boulder, Metro State College of Denver, Red Rocks Community College, and City Colleges of Chicago.

                          I have thought, in the past, about AMU, but aside from perhaps a class or two that sound interesting, if I pursue a Masters degree I know I need to do it at a traditional school - I am not solely pursuing Government careers, nor do I want to have any choices limited based on, or questions in regards to, who provided my education...

                          Ultimately this post is to help open the eyes of some soldiers and veterans to really check the fine print of who provides thier higher education, and the value of what they have achieved when it is all done - knowledge is power, right??? and like the program points out, you only get one shot to use your GI Bill benefits...
                          Last edited by LRSU_Dog; June 30th, 2011, 12:35 AM.

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