I have been 100% Permanently Disabled since 1995 and incapable of ever returning to work in my career field since 1993. As such I live on Social Security Disability, SSI, and Food Stamps. My monthly income is less than 1/4 of the national poverty level. My experience with The Bryman School began in late 2004 and was forced to withdraw due to medical conditions worsening in early 2005. My Primary Care Physician felt I could finally attempt to obtain a new career skill through higher learning. I felt ready to attempt this.
My experience began with an entrance counselor. I was extremely honest with her in letting her know my physical situation, limitations, and that I was attempting to obtain a degree in a new career field, in the hopes of possibly returning to work. I advised her of my uncertainty of being capable of retaining what I would learn and the possibility of my physical condition worsening at any given point or time during my studies. She assured me this would not present a problem with the school. I took a so called entrance exam, which she informed me I passed in a higher percentile than the normal students they enroll. This excited me. I was made to feel, at long last, I was capable of doing this with success. My first requirement was to pay an entrance fee of $100. I borrowed the money and paid for this. I went to orientation classes and was prepared to undertake my new avenue in life.
I began classes for an Associates Degree as a Hospital Unit Coordinator. Right off the bat I was in a Critical Thinking class. The first class day, the instructor came in coughing her head off with a cold. The very next day I was ill and could not return to school for 3 days. When I did return, I was called from the class room by one of the student attendance administrators. They were placing me on temporary attendance probation for my absence. I voiced by opinion regarding how I obtained the illness and refused to sign any document stating I was on temporary attendance probation for something the school exposed me to creating the situation. I started off really well in their eyes.
I went on to achieve an A/B average in every class I took until I became so severely ill my doctor said I could no longer attend a campus setting to further my education. I began to look for an online method of furthering my education. I spoke with my student advisor at The Bryman School, informed him of the necessity for me to withdraw due to my health severely worsening and my inability to no longer attend a campus setting because of mobility problems, lack of coordination, frequent loss of balance, and reoccurence of my seizures. He stated I would need to fill out the necessary paperwork to withdraw, beginning with the Financial Aide Office.
This is where the nightmare began and still exists. They readily informed me I owed them $900 dollars out-of-pocket because they had returned my Pell Grant money when I was absent from school. I told them I did not have one penny to pay them. Things became rapidly heated as I told them they had received almost full payment for my degree program and I should not owe them anything. The rapidly heatedness came from the Financial aide person. I had not completed five months of my degree program at that point. I refused to sign any form of note stating I owed them the money they wanted. They offered me a payment program of $270. per month until it was paid off. Once again I re-stated the fact I could not pay them one cent per month. I requested to see the director.
Once inside the directors office he sided with the financial aide person (As if I expected anything less). I was told I had to pay the money. I told the director it was not through any fault of mine other than my worsening health that created my having to withdraw. I did not feel I owed them anymore than what had been paid to them by my student loans and Pell Grant. The director stated if you are incapable of attending a campus setting we have an online course of degree study. I was astonished by this. I ask why it took my getting to him before anyone told me about this. I could have just transfered from one to the other. He did not respond. I left his office owing them $900, without signing their agreement to pay them this so called balance.
I came home, went online and enrolled in their affiliate Anthem Online. They set me up in classes, sent me text books and I began to study online. I finished my first chapter online and went online to the test area to take the final test associated with it. No access. I tried to obtain access to the test over and over again with zero results. I tried to return to my study pages. No access. Finally I e-mailed the instructor of the course. She e-mailed me back stating I could not access online because I had been dropped from her class. I contacted Anthem Online to find out I would have to pay $270 per month during the entire degree program to continue online with them. I ask why I was not informed of this. They had no reason to give me except they would find out why and get back to me. That was my last conversation with Anthem Online.
Next the bills started coming through the mail for the $900 The Bryman School wanted from me. I called them and once again emphasized the fact I had no money to pay them with. The phone calls started coming from them. They offered to allow me to pay them $170 per month until the money was repaid. Once again I told them I had no money to repay them with.
The ONLY thing I got from The Bryman School and Anthem Online was owing Student loans in excess of $8, 400, wasted Pell Grant money in excess of $3, 500, and owing them $900 out-of-pocket. They refuse to release any official transcript of my 3 classes taken for a total of 13.5 credit hours until I pay them $900. I do not have the financial means to do this with.
I am preparing to go to community college but have nothing to account for my wasted time at The Bryman School, except indebtedness for something I will never have or be capable of having access to. I know there are rules to every college pertaining to withdrawal and deadlines for doing so. What I do not understand is how a school can ripoff a persons student loans, defraud the Pell Grant system by accepting money they are not entitled to and still leave someone owing the school money??? There are circumstances beyond a persons control which create a situation where they cannot continue on with their education. There should be allowances made for such instances, as I was mis-lead there were at The Bryman School by the Entrance Counselor. They do not exist anywhere.
This school and their affiliates are a work of art. They are the BIGGEST RIPOFF in Phoenix. Their ONLY interest is in your money. They could care less if you get an education as long as they suck the system dry. From what I saw and experienced while attending, virtually everyone has major problems with their financial aide and The Bryman School Financial Aide Office. Unless you have a clean bill of health, are below the age of 25, and have no learning disability STAY AWAY FROM THIS SCHOOL AND AFFILIATES!
Once you pass the Entrance Counselor and begin your studies you are in for the ride of your life and will pay for it for the remainder of your life.