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Grand Canyon University / total rip off

1 3300 W, Camelback RdPhoenix, AZ, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 877-234-9830

I wanted to further my education online and was told about Grand Canyon University or is known as GCU. I was told about this college and how good a Christian college it is.

I have been attending since 10/28/07, and purchasing my books with what they call a lopes card. 1. I was told my lopes account rolls over each semester in which I can buy more books from the bookstore. I only bought the book(s) I needed each semester. When I went online to purchase my next book they said I owed them more money for the book because my lopes account was depleted. A light should have gone off then.

2. Three times a year I receive a reimbursement check because I applied for federal grants and signed a promissory note to subsidize my tuition, which with all three of those combined they use my loan money-cost of tuition= credit and a reimbursement check. I was suppose to get my check this month which is March. The financial counselor never returned my calls. I did email her and somebody emailed me back stating I will not receive a reimbursement check because they applied it to the summer balance. The summer is when their new year starts and it hasn't started when all this occurred.

A friend of mine that goes to that college also was on the phone with her admission counselor and she emailed me that he told her the financial counselor weren't there all day which was 03/26/09.

I called the financial institution who I had the promissory note through and explained exactly what happened and told her if I don't finish my degree then I can't pay my promissory note. She assured me she would call and find out what happend. She knew the financial counselor's last name. Hmmm. The so called instructors are not called instructors, they are called facilitators, which there is a difference. When you need help in the tech support, everything is automated and they direct you to their website to try and troubleshoot your problem.

Now I would like to fly out there to see if there is a real college that exists even though they have a physical address.

If your wanting to return to college anybody can get federal money or loans to attend college. I recommend to everybody to college in your home down our your state college.

I have read previous post. The college stating you will be turned over to a collection agency is ridiculous if you have already allotted them money for your tuitition. In my personal opinion. They owe the money back to the federal government and to the financial institution if you took out a promissory note like I did.

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  • Wi
      27th of Apr, 2009
    +2 Votes

    I full understand your frustration with what has happened to you, you are not alone.
    Here's what I can tell you:
    1) While they claim they are a Non-Denominational Christian University, they are operated and owned by Mormons. (nothing against the mormons, but they work very hard at keeping this a secret)
    2) Since going public back in November, 2008, they have been working very hard at covering up the violations of laws and policies as quickly as possible.
    3) The main people who run GCU now are the former employees of University of Phoenix who are still attached to some of those lawsuits.
    4) Those University of Phoenix lawsuits have the same premise of those accusations now against Grand Canyon University. (how ironic is that)
    5) There is currently a subpoena and a whistleblower lawsuit filed against Grand Canyon University involving several issues, including possible documentation altering. (they create fraudulent documentation)
    6) Enrollment Counselors are allowed to lie to perspective students to get them enrolled.
    7) You are correct that the "instructors" are actually called "facilitators", they don't need a teaching degree, only a Masters Degree so its the luck of the draw at the qualifications of your "facilitator".
    8) They actually got rid of the lopes card several months ago and nevered told the enrollment counselors about it until students were calling in having issues.
    9) The enrollment counselors do not have the authority to pursue answers about perspective students issues, they are required to only tell their immediate manager. (that manager trys to "satisify" the issue so it does not go anywhere)

    There is so many other things I could list it is amazingly sad that these individuals have taken a Christian University and are now deceptively using the "Christian" aspect of it to rip students off. It is so important that more people start to speak out about Grand Canyon University and the things they are doing wrong to people before it balloons into something bigger down the road.

    The reason I can share this information with such certainity is due to me working for them and witnessing all of these things. Hearing enrollment counselors and managers come up with ways to lie to perspective students is sickening. Brian Mueller wants Grand Canyon's stock price much higher by the end of the year and is supportive of the suppression and abuse the employees take in order to hit the "numbers" to get this stock price. They will also try to keep anyone and everything silent about the wrong doings that have occurred in order to keep the positive momentum going for the stock price. Basically if you want a quick resolve and have any sort of evidence to your issues, threaten a lawsuit, then you will get helped. Lawsuits are something they are really trying to avoid right now or bad media, again because of trying to get stock prices up.

    Good luck in getting resolve and if you would like any specific information or help please let me know

  • Ka
      8th of Mar, 2018
    0 Votes

    @witness I would like help. I am begging and praying for someone to help. or 2705851502. My name is Kathy.

  • Le
      7th of May, 2009
    +2 Votes

    My name is Letitia Hayles amd I want to know is it too late for me to enroll in a school I am having problems signing in to my class to pick up my assignments so that I can complete them I just order my books yesterday and I hope that they arrive on tomorrow so that I can get started on my degree should I call the bank and ask them to cancel my loan application.

  • Wi
      27th of May, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Hello Helpless,

    Yes, it is sad, but true on what you are saying about the "Facilitators", not "Professors". It is important to distinguish between the two because the majority of the "Facilitators" are in no way educated or experienced "Professors". In fact some of the enrollment counselors I worked with were finishing up their Masters Degrees and then planned on becoming "Facilitators" themselves with GCU. That is why you will receive a message of having too many grammatical errors but still get a 90 on your assignment.

    It is important to note that while some of the "Facilitators" may be actually qualified to teach, there are many others that just have a Master's and don't truly know what their doing. This unknowing difference of the qualification of the "Facilitator" is one of the difficulties of going online and should be factored in when making the decision to go online.

    Yes, it is also true that they have trained people to lie. (they have since changed their tactics to be less brazen) I was specifically told to lie to students in order to get them enrolled by my manager. This is why it is so important to keep all documentation, emails, paperwork, even screen shots of your account online. The other aspect for those who may not have been specifically told to lie, is that they were pressured to lie and compromise to get the application. GCU is for profit and the pressure that is put onto the enrollment counselor is beyond moral and ethical reasoning and I also believe that this will eventually boil over.

    With regards to your tuition and financial aid, get copies of the breakdown of everything from GCU and your lender and compare the both of them. Also verify the amount you received in student loans versus grants, this is important because people forget that they will not receive anything from a lender about the grants because they are not paid back. The other thing to remember about financial aid is that even though you can start online school pretty much whenever you want that does not mean financial aid works that way. FAFSA is the best place to call to get more detailed information, but in a nutshell financial aid goes from July to July every year. This is something that people are usually not informed about or don't know about and it ends up screwing them up in getting all the monies they need each year.

    When I speak with the attorney again I will ask him what the best way for you to handle things and let you know. In the mean time I would suggest filing complaints with the BBB and the Department of Education. The more complaints received the more people will start to take notice.

  • Ru
      2nd of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am scared out of my mind now about GCU. Will the credits I've earned even transfer to a normal school? Does anyone know first hand that these creadits will transfer?I've taken 52 credits with GCU and if they don't transfer I am so screwed. I read that their accreditation was real. Did I read this wrong or what? I really hope someone can help. I will leave the school at the end of this semester or even now if the credits are worthless. Help somebody, please.

  • Ab
      28th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    I've also been scammed by them. I'm currently paying off a collection agency, which I will no longer be doing. I will tell them to settle with what I've already given or I'll have to talk to a lawyer.

  • Di
      16th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am in the middle of an 'appeal' with GCU. I enrolled in August of last year because of the lies one of the enrollment counselors told me. I already have a masters degree and this was the beginning of my second. I was told that I would be able to become certified for teaching ESOL in the state of Tennessee when in fact they can't even certify people in Arizona! Where they are located. I have entered an appeal of all my charges.
    Also I have had the same feelings about the discussion boards and things. SO many grammatical errors even by the 'facilitators'.
    I am NOT enrolled with GCU anymore.
    I plan on pursuing this legally.

  • Fi
      29th of Jul, 2009
    -1 Votes

    They have messed me up for the 2009-2010 school year, all because of their practicum hours needed for every M.Ed. class and needing to take a LOA. I live in Oregon and cannot do practicum during the summer, with schools here not running year round. I was assured this would not mess up my financial aid and to just send a note on my financial aid award letter asking for no aid for the summer sessions only. Well like that worked well, they denied me financial aid now for the entire 2009-2010 school year. It is now up to my so called academic adviser, who refuses to return my phone calls, to enroll me in the Fall II classes and then financial aid will fix the problem. HELLO- he was the one who put me on the LOA in the first place and supposedly got everything all figure out, yeah right! It is a clerical error, well I might buy this except it took them 4 months to "find" the 4 faxes I sent with my fingerprint records. And when I faxed the same records to the enrollment counselor they got it immediately. The department head do not talk to each other, it is the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, or if they even exist! What a bunch of ###s!

  • Wi
      26th of Aug, 2009
    +1 Votes

    +If this is all true why aren't you goin through the bettewr business bureau and not just posting complaints? have documentation for proof+

  • Wi
      26th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    If this is all true, why aren't you going through the better business bureau and not just posting complaints? have documentation for proof+

    am not defending them- it is just law- you have to have evidence and puttig this in writing can constitue libal and "flaming" on thesepublic board be extremely careful

  • Wi
      26th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    Well "willubeleft", you sound like the attorney from GCU that I had a meeting with. I do agree people should not make up stuff and post it, but that is certainly not what I have done. I do challenge you though to take a closer look at what you wrote and do some more home work yourself.

    1) I do have evidence that will prove my accusations.

    2) I did check the BBB and you are correct that they are rated A+, but did you also see that the University of Phoenix is also rated A+ and they have paid out millions of dollars for similar issues that people are now complaining GCU is doing. (how ironic that some of the people who ran U of P when they got sued are now the ones running GCU)

    3) You say "according to them there is no governmental action against them". However...

    ..the results of the ongoing investigation by the Department of Education's Office of Inspector General and the pending qui tam action regarding the manner in which we have compensated our enrollment personnel, and possible remedial actions or other liability resulting therefrom...

    I pulled this information directly off the GCU website and I do believe that the Dept of Education is part of the government. Also, if you look up what a qui tam action is you would also see that it involves the government.

    I am glad that you had a good experience with GCU and I am sure many others will also, but that does not mean GCU is immune from the free will of people who do not necessarily follow the same morals and values you or I have.

  • Ga
      22nd of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am so glad that I stumbled onto this page! I attended GCU in the early 80's, while they were still Southern Baptist. I was considering going back in the near future to get a degree in Biblical Studies. I had NO idea that they are being so dishonest and that they've been bought by the mormons. When did that happen?

  • Hi
      17th of Nov, 2009
    +2 Votes

    GCU has for many years operated their Online program in a way to break the law.

    1) The U.S. Congress passed laws that prohibit anyone in the enrollment process from getting any type of bonus or commission to enroll a student.


    Because students often use Student Loan / Grants, programs to go to school.

    When they get money it can come in two forms.

    A) Grants - (Free US Taxpayer money - that needs not be paid back)

    B) Loans - These are usually low interest loans that can be subsidized (1/2 of the interest paid by Taxpayers, while you are in school). The Taxpayers are also a Co-Signer on these loans. If you don’t pay then the Taxpayers pay off the lending bank.
    Then the Government comes after you for the rest of your life to collect.

    What happens with schools like GCU is that they often will enroll many students in Online programs, that really do not have the stills to get a degree. Most of the people that they high-pressure into school are very low income. Many are unemployed, older or disabled. Many only have a GED or just a few credits from long ago. When I worked for them many of these prospects had no computer or computer skills. They had to have this in order to do the schoolwork. However they were signed up anyway and told that Grants and Loans would pay their way to prosperity.

    "Enrollment Counselors" were paid a base pay (about 40K per year), however they had to hit their numbers. That meant they had to enroll a min of 12 people per month and had to make sure they really went to school as well. If you "Hit your numbers" then you got what amounted to a bonus (over a period of time – CASH). You got extra days off or got to attend vacation meetings at resorts.

    This is all very illegal. Why? Because, when these students cannot do the work, they drop out. Then their loans come do. With out their education completed, they have no means to pay back loans. So the collection firms come in and they can't collect either. The Government is a co-signer on the loans and guarantees them. So the U.S. taxpayer gets the bill. That is why the law states that those in enrollment cannot have any incentives. GCU did not care and used fancy terms, like "annuities" to get around the real word, "commissions". Anytime someone can get more money in their pockets, it can create the atmosphere that promotes greed. That greed can lead to dishonesty and high pressure to enroll students. It starts at the top and is pushed all the way down.

    The Department of Education has made it very clear that when there is an incentive to get people into school that will benefit the "enrollment counselor" than the best interest of the student and for that matter the Government, is in peril.

    I heard and saw many, many times daily; "enrollment counselors" lie and mislead prospective students. They lied about what the degree would do for them. The embellished almost every aspect of going to GCU. When I complained that these "enrollment counselors" had unfair advantage, because they were rewarded for high enrollments. I was told, "well they are hitting their numbers". It did not matter that the majority of the people they signed up, never went to school or dropped out after just one semester. It did not matter that they would be burden with high debts, that they could not pay. GCU preyed on this people for their own gain.

    GCU's enrollment department was high pressure and a direct carry over from the fraud that University of Phoenix as been caught at. It is really a shame, because most of the people that worked for them were good people that just needed a job and were afraid that they would loose their jobs if they spoke up. The ones that did got the axe. Managers were under great pressure as well. Everyone was under constant threats and performance reviews and written up.

    U of P. had a major law suite against them for this same thing. Even their own Enrollment Counselors filed a law suite against them. By the way, they are not real enrollment counselors anyway. They want and higher sales people! They advertise for Sales People. They are not qualified to advise you with your schooling. Most of them are students themselves, who are offered free classes as part of their compensation to work for GCU. They want a degree and will do what it takes to sign you up, so they too can got to school. Do you really want someone to advise you on your education, who does not even have theirs?

  • Je
      20th of Nov, 2009
    +2 Votes

    I have had more problems with GCU since I started over a year ago. When you get granted a pell grant, they take it all and loans to without you understanding what is going on. I have no income and returned to school there at GCU with the understanding that I would receive my pell grant and it would help with my personal expenses to. That the student loans would cover everything for my classes including books and materials and the pell grant would be sent to me to help pay bills. Well that is a joke. I keep getting the run around and refunds a scarce to non existant. If you do have a refund coming it takes months to get the refund. I know I am not the only one this is happening to and they continueally keep swithching my financial councelor and academic advisor and I am never notified. So when I need to contact a financial councelor they are in the dark as to why I got switched to someone else. They don't know what the others are doing so you can not get anything resolved. You just keep getting passed around. Especially if you have sturd up anything.

  • Jj
      16th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have done business with k-12 and colleges for a long time and have done my homework in regards to the financial aid system because it indirectly impacts a service of mine. You all have met the financial aid system and that is clear but it also sounds to me like you were not educated about how the system works in the first place. Financial aid is disbursed to students based on the number of credits that they are enrolled in (i.e. half-time, 3/4 time, full time). If you register for school as a full-time student and then drop a class then you reduce the number of credits in which you are attending so you owe schools a fraction of the money that they paid you. I know that it isn't a smooth system but neither is welfare, medicare, or medicaid; the government is too large to run smoothly. You are all casting blame to the wrong people. If you went to the University of Florida rather than Grand Canyon University you would still owe the school money if you drop a class. Oh and one more thing loans are loans and you owe your lender money and that routes through your college. As far as having great financial aid and enrollment counselors, good luck. If you attend Oregon State University you will be left in the dark as to your registration process just as much as anywhere else and that may also be counselor specific issues.

  • Je
      17th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am so tired of Grand Canyon University. If you transfer to another college you do not get to transfer all your credits from this college. Any bib or unv classes that you took and received credits for are not transferable. Also when you are owed a refund they will do anything that they can to add charges to keep you from receiving your refund. I have had enough of this place and I am looking into another college. But most of my credits for the last year are worthless. They don't tell you this you have to find out when checking in to other schools. I have been fighting them for over 4 mths to get my refund. I even dropped a class for the next 8 wks and I showed I had a refund coming of 887. dollars. After they got done figuring it shows I owe 300. dollars. I don't know how they can continually keep adding funds with no explanation. Does anyone know if there is a legal aspect of what is going on with them maybe it is time to file a suit against them. I am not sure if I have a claim or not. I am just tired of getting the run around. A new college is looking better and better, but I am afraid of the same thing happening. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

  • Po
      29th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes


  • Aa
      18th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    If you have questions about your student aid, please call the Federal Student Aid Information Center -

    or call the main line - to complain about fradulent business practices.

  • Gc
      27th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    I am a current student at GCU and I feel like I'm backed into a corner. Everything being commented on here is 100% true, I am a Christian, and I truly hope you do not attend this college. I have been flat out lied to numerous times. I am currently trying to solve some major problems and my advisor swore she would contact me with better details the very next day. That was three days ago, she is not returning my calls and neither is her supervisor. My advisor has gone out of her way to make me believe she is an advocate for me but she has produced zero results. She has caused more problems than not but she real sweet and polite. DO NOT FALL INTO THIS TRAP IT IS TRULY BUSINESS AND YOU WILL NOT BE THEIR CONCERN.

  • Ch
      12th of Apr, 2010
    -1 Votes

    GCU is a huge Christian rip-off. During enrollment they were so gracious, so kind, and so available. After the first semester the real GCU came return calls, emails ignored, and no assistance. I have had 4 Academic Counselors and 3 Financial Counselors, within a 2 year period.
    I tried to drop classes for personal reasons and I needed a break. I was told "No", my enrollment would continue. I found out later that the student loans were already applied to the class and they didn't want to refund the money. I want to go to AZ and see if the school exists-they give Christianity a bad name.

    I am investigating the possibility of suing them.

  • Ar
      13th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    WOW. First, I think you all are a bunch of fanatic people who want to blame someone else for your problems. I am a GCU student, and not had any of these problems. I think you hear one bad thing, and go and make up things that are false, and try to blame GCU for them. GET A LIFE! GROW UP! Maybe if you tried to learn, you would actually understand how financial aid works. If you say get $9500 a year for financial aid, they only get disbursements every semester, so if your tuition was $3000 a semester, then your refund would only be $1750 that semester, because they only got $4750 for that disbursement ... do the math.

    No matter what college or university you go to, there will be problems. There will always be down systems, there will always be times where technology messes up, and you cant log into your class for a day or submit an assignment, geez people, get it in your thick head that the system is not perfect. Lots of mistakes are made. GROW UP ... I feel sorry if your stupidity transfers over to your children, wow, what a stupid world we would have.

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