Regency Beauty Institute / Shame on Regency Beauty Institute
From a young age I have had a passion for the beauty industry. After high school I decided to enroll in cosmetology school. I did not know much about schools in the area so I asked around and toured several schools. They all lacked a sense of professionalism and looked like something straight out of the 1980's- bad perm and all. After some consideration I decided to keep my options open and try and find another school. This is when I found Regency.
I found Regency Beauty Institute online and scheduled an appointment to tour the school. The location that I planned on touring was the first in Arizona to open. I toured the school and it seemed like a diamond in the rough. Construction was still taking place but the school seemed to have much promise. This was very encouraging after my previous experiences. I met with the school manager and her supervisor who was visiting from Minnesota (where the schools headquarters are).
They knew the right things to say and promised me the world. They led me to believe that with good attendance, attitude, and grades, I would succeed. It was very clear to me that I needed to sign up and get the papers going so that I could be a part of this fantastic school. I was very misled. I began at Regency and was ready to take my future into my own hands. I felt like I was on top of the world. As school progressed i noticed that what was occurring was not what was promised to me.
The school was lacking staff, order, professionalism, EDUCATION, and the list goes on. There were many times when we would go to the mall across the street for the day and "pass out business cards" which translated into- students wondering around the mall, throwing business cards away and eating lunch while getting credit for an 8 hour school day. Which in translation means: for tuition, school is roughly $9.50 per hour. This means that I had to pay $76 to go hang out at the mall.
During my experience at Regency there were many days where there was a lack of instructors to lead a classroom so we were told to hang out on the salon floor and study. No direction was given of what to study or why- just study. This usually meant that half of the girls were texting or standing in front of the school smoking.
There were many basic skills that we were never taught. When i would ask a teacher when we were going to learn about them she would reply "well you can't learn everything at once". I did not ask her to learn everything at once; I asked to learn one thing at a time. If I wanted to sit around and do nothing I would have stayed at home. But I enrolled in school to learn and be taught. Not to mention, this is not a free education. You have to pay for it.
The lack of staff seemed to get worse by the day. The environment at school was very chaotic. Things like dress code, attendance, student conduct, and so on were rarely enforced. Cosmetology school is based on hours unlike traditional college which is based on credits. Each day students must clock in and out to track their hours, much like a job. At Regency we clocked in daily on a computer using our social security number. Almost every day students would be absent and their friends would memorize their ssn and clock them in while they were at home ditching school so they could get credit for an 8 hour day. Nothing was done to stop this.
To sum things up, the negative things about Regency highly outweighed the positives. Being fed up and see my money, time, and effort go to waste I decided to withdraw from the program. The week that I decided to withdraw I was one of FOUR out of my specific class who had made the same decision. We had had enough. Every day I was seeing my dream and the dreams of my fellow students slip out of our hands.
When I withdrew, my campus manager took me through the process. She led me to believe that I was free and clear and all that I would have to pay for was the hours that I had already attended (400 out of 1600). She also informed me that the student loan I had taken out would be covering that so all I had to do was sign on the dotted line. After that, my transcripts would be transferred to my new school and to the state board for when I was ready to test for my cosmetology license.
After leaving Regency and finding a much better school I found out through a close friend that the campus manager had been fired. Shortly after that I received a letter from Regency headquarters stating that I owed over NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS. Immediately I replied disputing these charges. I explained my situation at the school and that I had only attended for 400 hours. There was no way that I was going to pay over nine thousand dollars for something I did not receive in the slightest. Regency replied and immediately dropped the amount because they had no reason to charge me that amount. They also warned me that if I did not pay I would be terminated from school. This goes to show their lack of attention to detail. I informed them that I had already withdrawn and was attending a much better school. It was very clear to me that Regency obviously has no interest in the student or education (better yet lack of) they were putting behind their name. They want your money and then some.
After going back and forth with Regency through several letters, I sent one asking them to explain to me what I was being charged for. I haven’t heard from them since. A short while after that, I received a notice from a collections agency. Regency failed to communicate with me, neglected my needs as a paying student, and ran from the situation. I am now in collections for something that I do not owe and no one can explain to me what it is for.
Since all of this has happened I have completed my 1600 hours total at another school. However, until I pay collections the money I do NOT owe, Regency will not release my transcripts. This is preventing me from being able to take my state exam and become a licensed cosmetologist.
The grief, disappointment, time, money, energy and frustration that Regency has caused me to have cannot be underestimated. Just like most young adults, I do not have the thousands of dollars that it is going to take to settle this. Regency Beauty Institute should be ashamed. It is an absolute poor excuse of an education. It makes my skin crawl to thing about how many young girls with a dream are going to get screwed over the way that I did.
Research schools and ask questions until you are blue in the face. Get everything in writing and do not take no for an answer. Trade schools like this stay in business because of situations like mine. How do they sleep at night? Shame on Regency Beauty Institute.
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