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Excelsior College


It's a scheme.

Complaint Rating:  85 % with 130 votes
85% 130
Contact information:
Excelsior College
7 Columbia Circle
Albany, United States
I was enrolled in the LPN to RN program via The College Network (another group of crooks). This college charges all kinds of fees that go up on a regular basis. They claim that they are there for the student, but that is not true. Calling them is a headache, if you can get anyone on the phone. The lost my application for clinical. When I finally got to clinical I found the nursing "examiners" (we were not allowed to call them instructors) were rude and unprofessional. They look for any little reason to fail students and when they fail them they present them with an application to take the clinical again, and of course to pay the high fee again. After talking to other victims of Excelsior this seems to be their game. Avoid them.
Complaint comments Comments (130) Complaint country United States Complaint category Education


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N  25th of May, 2009 by    0 Votes
Well Rick, that "sounds" nice. The program "sounded" nice on paper and looked affordable. However, reality does not reflect what you are saying or what was put on paper by the College Network at my seminar.

I believed the man at the seminar when he said, "If you can pass the mock test in the back of the study guide then you can pass the actual test." I had no reason not to believe him until I started taking the tests and I discovered that what he said was not true.

I had no reason not to believe him when he told me what my education would cost. Then I found out about hidden costs, extra courses, annual fees, and additional study materials I would have to pay for.

I had no reason not to believe him when he told me I would have support from the College Network. But when I called with my complaints and concerns I was told the same, generic statements that the study guides are sufficient, etc etc. I even gave the person on the phone examples of questions containing material not covered in the study guide.

I had no reason not to believe Excelsior would be fair, but in clinical I found out they were anything but fair. If it is in Excelsiors "best interest" for students to pass, why would they fail such a high number in the 90's in the first place and risk tarnishing their reputation?

Again, Excelsior's website had a disclaimer about the College Network study guides, and I was directly told by the college that they do not vouch for these study guides and that the material may not be covered fully in them. I don't know if they still have a disclaimer on their site or not, but they did at the time I was there. They sold their own materials on this site as well.

Anytime I have ever complained to either the College Network or Excelsior I have gotten a response along the lines of "some students find self study to be too much of a challenge" etc. I think it's all a scheme to get as much money as possible from students, esp with Excelsior. I regret that I ever heard of this program. I regret the time, the money, the unprofessional attitudes, and the overall lack of support. I cannot turn the clock back, but if I could I would go to a traditional school.
N  15th of Jun, 2009 by    -1 Votes
Kathleen, all these for profit schools are a scam. I went to Remington and even though it was an actual in class setting I got an A in a class that I never did work for because the teacher just didn't teach it. I find it hilarious that some person from Excelsior actually is trying to defend this diploma mill.

N  15th of Jun, 2009 by    0 Votes
vl- Did you actually get a degree? The person defending this overpriced, no good program is from the College Network, which isn't much better than Excelsior College.

I was amazed at the unprofessional behavior of the Excelsior nurses in my clinical exam. They were crabby, holier than thou, and just plain nasty. I was failed because I did not chart that there was a pillow placed behind my patients back in bed. First off, I did not put it there, the examiner did. Nurses are not supposed to chart the work of others. Second, I didn't even know she put it there till after they failed me. I had left the room to take the sheets, etc to the laundry. Third, nurses do not chart in that much depth. Unless you have a patient with a hip replacement, or something where positioning is very relevant, why would you chart in that much detail? We'd be there all day if we did that. Nonetheless, I can't chart it if I don't know it happened. My patient was very happy with me and my care plan was impeccable. Since she could not find anything there she found another way to fail me.

So to thank them for screwing me out of my money, time and effort I plan to continue to tell nurses and others in general to avoid them. I wish someone had told me. I could have avoided this overpriced nightmare and went to a real school.
N  16th of Jun, 2009 by    0 Votes

I have no problem with you expressing your opinion about your individual experience. My concern is that many people experience success furthering their educations this way. You should take a moment to read some of the stories of those who have earned a degree or certificate with the assistance of TCN (http://www.college-net.com/Testimonials.asp).

Oftentimes this is a more cost-effective, convenient way to earn a degree that would otherwise be out of reach. I think it would be a shame if someone were to base their decision to further their education on statements made in your posts.

The College Network
N  16th of Jun, 2009 by    0 Votes

I am sure you do think it would be shame because it would result in financial loss for your employer, The College Network. I am also willing to bet that the College Network and Excelsior only post positive comments from students (how do we know they are actually from students) on their websites. That is only common sense.

It's too bad there was not any of this "concern" when I was enrolled in the program and running into problems. No one showed any concern over the extra courses I had to take that I was never informed of in the seminar, and there was no apology when I explained that I was never told that the college charges annual fees that go up every single year if not more often. I was basically told that I wasn't right about the study guides, even though I reported the material that showed up on the test but was never covered in the study guide. I was told "well, don't you learn that at work"? I couldn't believe it. There was no concern from Excelsior, in fact there was discrimination. So, I am sure you would like me to stop talking about my experience because it may harm your bottom line, but I am not concernd about that. I already gave enough to that and got nothing for it. CN and Excelsior need to examine how they treat students and how they deceive them. That is the truth, and that is what I will keep talking about. I spent 3 years of my life and my hard earned money, and my precious time, all for nothing but hassles, hidden expenses and lies. I do NOT take that lightly. It may mean nothing to you, but it mean everything to me. That was my dream that was not to be because I made the wrong choice. If someone had warned me and I had made a different choice it's very likely that today I would be an RN.
N  18th of Jun, 2009 by    0 Votes

You have come so far in your program. It's not too late to become an RN. I apologize that you feel as though your concerns were not handled appropriately. We can continue on this way as we have for the past month, or we can move forward and try to help you complete that last bit of your program. You've done a lot of hard work and it would be a shame to let it go to waste.

Please contact our Customer Care Manager. Her name is Heather and she can be reached at 1-800-634-1443.

The College Network
N  18th of Jun, 2009 by    0 Votes

How can you help me if you're not part of Excelsior College?
A  20th of Jun, 2009 by    0 Votes

You are right on in your statements, the truth hurts. Everything you said is exactly correct . I went on a search for complaints etc on Excelsior College, this is after my sister who works at Stanford Hospital as a LVN failed her 2nd time, over the most rediculous thing, won't mentioned it hear cause my sister doesn't know Iam posting this. Iam so fed up with these 2 Grand trips, Airfare, hotel, rental car, all that and you get these Nurse Ratchets with there (subjective ) thumbs up or down. Its a joke. Id never enroll in an online course. I feel so sorry for my sister, she's got one last chance and I don't know if she's going to put her self threw this again. I feel sorry for these people, many just lose everything, and feel like its all their fault, which nothing could be further, Ive heard some of the horror stories from my sister on the forums of some of these wako examiners . Sorry to hear about your ordeal. Best of luck to you in future.

N  21st of Jun, 2009 by    0 Votes
Thanks, Rudy. If your sister would like to contact me I would love to talk to her. I would like to take our case to the media against Excelsior College. If we can warn others about it then they won't suffer the same fate. Why should we take this lying down? If I can find others who are interested I would gladly talk to any media who is willing to listen to expose Excelsior and their scams.

Regardless, I wish your sister the best of luck. It had to be dishearterning for her to pay that insane fee yet again just to be failed over something frivelous. It's terrible to know that you are a good nurse and you worked and studied hard, but because Excelsior is money hungry you are not where you should be in your career. Keep me posted. Take care.

N  2nd of Jul, 2009 by    -2 Votes
the college network is a professiona publishing company.. NOT a college or school of any kind. They sell study guides . Ihave ehard that their sales pitch gives the impression that they are a school, however reading the infe print will show that they are offering a loan so students can afford to purchase their overpriced study guides.

Excelsior College is an accredited school and their nursing program is NLN and ANCNE certified ( a feat a diploma mill could not muster). In addition the schools students are eligible for pell grants and government backed student loans ( another feat that diploma mills can not imitate).

Excelsior does give wanrings about using these expensive vendors on thier web site and in their written literature. I feel badly that many students do not find out they can enroll directly thorugh Excelsior college until after TCN, Chancelors, RUE or IStudy Smart have bilked them..

Check out low cost study aids on ebay if you decide to go with Escelsior college.


Lisa Arends BSN, RN
N  26th of Jul, 2009 by    0 Votes
I too went to Excelsior and took the CPNE 2x and failed for stupid little things ( I actually stopped for one lab because the examiner was on the phone and then I went over time). I appealed and lost and had to take it a 3rd time, I wasnt sure if I could do it but went to Tinas review seminar in San Jose, Ca and passed on the 3rd time. I am now a RN and charge nurse on a step down open heart unit. I do understand the feeling of being " screwed" by them but yet I also know it can be done. I figured after taking all those classes I wasnt going to start all over again.When you have the RN in the end it wont matter where you went to school and can just chalk it up to expensive lesson learned.Good Luck to all in their endeavors!

N  26th of Jul, 2009 by    0 Votes
Hi Heather, I understand what you are saying, but to me it does matter how you get there. If more people stepped up and took action, maybe these things would not happen. Obviously to retake the clinical each time you had to pay the insane fee, travel, pay for a hotel, and give your time and effort. I also know the seminar costs a lot of money. I paid for tapes and study guides for clinical as well. The "expensive lesson" is that Excelsior cheats it's students, and they need to be exposed. I have worked many years as a LPN, and my patients and families are happy with me. I was failed for a ridiculous reason, which was not charting that my insructor put a pillow behind my patients back. Number one, you don't chart the work of other people, and number two, I didn't even know she did it. They were seeking to fail me, probably for money. From what I gather, they have a history of doing this. And there is no appeal for the student. This school is not interested in fairness, your career, or anything other than money.
N  31st of Jul, 2009 by    0 Votes
Lisa - The only reason you are trying to put down College Network is it is one of your competitors. You sell study guides on ebay that are copied material from textbooks and other web sites. You sell videos which the copyright belongs to someone else yet you call it your copyright. Excelsior gives warnings about people like you too!!
N  31st of Jul, 2009 by    0 Votes
Dear “concerned student” I actually put down The College Network (TCN) because they charge ridiculously high prices for their study guides and give the impression that they ARE a degree granted agency and ARE connected with Excelsior College (they are a publishing company willing to give students a loan so they can afford TCN study guides) – TCN is the type of expensive publsihing company that Excelsior College warns about!!!

I do sell self-made copyright protected study guides that are very well referenced. My guides do not infringe on any ones copyright and I do not sell videos. You must have me confused with the LPN /name removed/, she sells yahoo notes and other Pirated work.

I am actually an Excelsior Graduate, Registered Nurse and Author selling lost cost study guide s that have heplped thousands of students save money and still pass the Excelsior exams with high scores.

Please get your facts straight.. Moreover, consider using your name when you slam someone, to hide behind a pseudo name is cowardly.

Lisa Arends BSN, RN

N  12th of Aug, 2009 by    0 Votes
Wow, Ok, .. first of all I gotta give credit to Kathleen for speaking up! I kinda had a similar experience with another college. In my opinion, this whole college network - Excelsior College thing is a crock of ###! I think all colleges, except for Ivy league schools are a crock of ###! Ivy league schools get all the money they need from wealthy parents, so they don't mess with them. Anyway, you got all these crack pot colleges popping up and even the SUNY-CUNY systems are getting involved with this scam. The big picture here is that one thing the colleges DON'T tell you is that they get kick backs from banks to get the students to take out loans with them. WHY? Because it's a guaranteed loan backed by the government! So, in essence the schools work with the banks to start the "Matrix" way of life by ###ing us all with high interest loans from the start. Ever wonder where all the credit card applications come from? How do you think they know what you make? Of course the college network is going to stick up for the Excelsior school/system. I don't even know them, and from what I read sounds like a recruiting ground for the start of the whole ###ing scam. There is enough evidence and court cases that can prove that this "steering" with the banks exists. They don't even tell you that you can actually get a loan from your own bank, or in my case a credit union that has even lower rates. Where the ### was that check mark box son!? USED CAR SALESMEN!!! Good god... sometimes this whole way of business makes me sick in this country. We been ###ed since the creation of the "federal" reserve...

Answer me this Rick from the college network - Excelsior elite college man! Why is it I can program and run a server for a private company, but when I apply to a job for a major company they shoot me down for some jack off that got ripped off by you and your "system"? I talked to that knuckle head in the lobby, he practically sounded like some intern. All because you ### bags want to charge hundreds of thousands for what???? a piece of paper???? Please I got a enough TP from walmart and that only cost me a buck or two. Granted there are somethings you need to go to school for. I don't want some guy with a pocket knife giving me heart surgery. But, all you crooks listen up! If it's one thing your going to learn is... Don't ### with the chief or a doctor! This guy might invent a cure for some terrible disses that you might suffer from someday. And when you don't get it, and you ask why??? Because there is no money in the cure! So you will have to take a pill the rest of your miserable life just to live! Call it Karma, but in time when you skrew someone over you get whats your in the long run!

P.S. You think I'm just a little pissed at something?
N  12th of Aug, 2009 by    +1 Votes
By the way, if the schools are really for the student... they should adopt grandfather clauses on the campus requirements from the day the student enrolls. Otherwise its false advertisement... You can lie to youself and say you told them in the 1000000000 page of the student manual that you have the right. But who the ### is going to find that? ###s!
N  23rd of Aug, 2009 by    0 Votes
I am enrolled in the College Network and I can say that I have not had these problems with them at all. Never had a problem on the phone getting anyone to explain or be helpful about anything. I asked for a book and it was here in 3 days, and the only money I have paid is just what the agreement has stated. I do take it upon myself, however, to buy additional material on the subjects I am studying but was never told that was a requirement. ..I am still in the program with a ways to go, but as I said no problems ot complaints from me for the few months I have been involved with them. Cami
N  29th of Sep, 2009 by    0 Votes
Miesha, I agree with Kathleen. The College Network and Excelsior College can be very confusing and misleading. The material/books is not even 1/3 on the test . I ended up failing #3 and buying the regular Rn books anyway, which takes another 90 days and 240 dollars out of your pocket. For the last three years I have taken Anatomy/Physiology 1 &2, Microbiology, Nursing 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and just took 7 and made lower than a C!!! I only lacked the Cnep now Excelsior has new Currileum and I am required to take additional three exams and simulation labs before clinicals. I am so upset about this how can a program change currileum and not grandfather the old students in. Well I will not give another dime or my time to this unethical place of business!! The sweat and tears and numerous amounts of studying I have done. The upsets and failures, not seeing my family, countless nights of worrying about grades, ClEP!!! Is this what nursing is all about??? To pay and pay more money for a profession I love and want to succeed in. To obtain my goals to be an Rn from and LPN. I have worked as an LPN for almost seven years both hospital and nursing home and have loved this career of choice. I have a BS degree in Criminal Justice and did not put the numerous time and energy into that degree that I have in this one. Miesha if you or anyone is reading this please take my advice look into your community colleges near you, study the admissions test get in! Believe me it is 90 percent cheaper and you will have advisors and clinicals instructers to help you along the way. The best thing I did learn from test seven is who our NLN and organizations to better are education of nursing. Nursing is a wonderful profession, yes it challeging, however this is what makes us stronger at our positions. I am currently trying to go back to LPN TO RN school where I obtained my Lpn. Im in no hurry, Im actually putting it in Gods hands this time.
N  7th of Jan, 2010 by    0 Votes
Wow! My brain hurts, but great feedback from everyone-curse words or not! I happen to agree with the plaintiffs here...and justice should be given to these students. Online college is relatively new per say and now the kinks are starting to show rapidly. Eventually, after all of our endurance to fight the scams and the backward ways these colleges are doing things, we'll have created an easy going situation for our future grandchildren. Fact is, however, we are here and now, and want a good ol' honest experience! We're giving at least 2 arms and a leg here right?
I'm a college student online myself. I will not disclose the college at this time, but I do have to say that the instructors do not teach- they are only there to grade you. Generally the instructors do not follow their own curriculum, they are so busy that they have issues with their own grammar, and they make accidents while grading. It has and can be quite frustrating. I feel that I have more problems with my academic counselor/financial counselor more than anything else.

So, to provide some justice as much as I can, I will have to say for those of you who have bravely stated your claim: Thank you...I will not be enrolling to Excelsior. Second to this, I am willing to appear ignorant for the time being because it is only a matter of time before a close friend of mine will have to take her clinicals...so I am just waiting to hear back. Further, I have always been a person who had hope in things greatly condemned. Later I end up kicking my self for not listening. This time, I think I will. So, good by Excelsior for now.

Head the warnings people. I am!
A  20th of Jan, 2010 by    +1 Votes
Once again-I am tired of your system not being able to log me on so I can pay for my test. Excelsior says it is something with my bank! US Bank says that Excelsior web site has not even registered in my account-they have no record of Excelsior posting any transactions to my account! I have had nothing but trouble with this on-line program and to me nobody at Excelsior gives a damn. You at Excelsior have “been working on the problem”- this has been going on for 6months now. This program and technical support is CRAP in my opinion. I referred a couple of people to this program and I can only apologize to them for getting them mixed up in this program. I am a working adult trying to further my career, if I would have known that on-line programs where more work than going to a university-I wouldn’t have looked twice at this MESS(EXCELSIOR). I don’t want anybody to contact me back-Because it has not help in the last 6 months so I doubt that in 2010 you will be able to resolve the issue. I just need to get this off my chest!

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7 Columbia Circle
New York
United States - NY12203-5159
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