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University of Phoenix / unethical practices

1 AZ, United States Review updated:


I recently quit the University of Phoenix as a Finance Counselor. I was promoted to that position after working for them for about 9 months. I worked with UOP Midwest Division Healthcare I have read numerous stories about the Universities Enrollment Counselors and their horrible conduct. Please don't think it ends with them. Within a month after I finished Financil Aid training I noticed a pattern of the University starting students before they were certified for Financial Aid or even qualified to start the University. They defer payment from students for up to 90 days while they check to see if they are qualified. The result is that I had a student who accrued a bill of over $3400.00 before we even knew if she would qualify for loans to pay this debt. Ofcourse she was given the impression from Enrollment that everything should be okay. That way she would start without worry; afterall the student starting class is the most important thing in this Universities culture. No one had ever explained to this student what might happen if everything did not go well with her qualification for Financial Aid. Whenever I tried to explain both sides of what can happen, I would be called negative by my manager and Academic Counselor.

The student went through class and Admissions found that her previous schools were not accredited so she could not continue with the University of Phoenix. This means she could not remain in school and could not receive any Financial Aid. The student still owed the University $3400.00 for classes they let her into though. Her account was placed in a delinquent status and moved to our collections department after about 2 months per University policy. When I went to my manager and told him this was the most unethical thing I had ever seen a company do; he looked me directly in the eye and shrugged his shoulders without a word. I immediately started looking for a new place to work and soon after that interaction gave my two week notice.

I just want people to know what they are dealing with when considering enrollment in the University of Phoenix. The above story is not the only thing I have been a part of. I have had numerous students tell me about lies they have been told by enrollment counselors. When I reported these lies to management(Enrollment and Finance) I was always told that students hear what they want to hear. Managment always told me that it was a misunderstanding not an outright lie; no matter how often it took place.

So now I want to write some advice to keep you safe. When considerng UoP.

***Please Keep in Mind***

1. If you're not sure...Do not Start Class They can schedule you for class several weeks in advance and certify your Financial Aid before you accrue a bill. Why take chances? It is not them who will suffer if something goes sideways.

2. enrollment counselors will be written up or terminated if they do not have enough students start. There is a conflict of interest. They are wonderful people with great personalities. However, they get credit for starting you two weeks into your second class...if you succeed or not. I had an enrollment counselor who wanted to start a jobless man with 3 kids who would have to pay $500.00 a month to stay in school. She told me that we shouldn't approach the man with the news in a "negative way". Luckily he did not start because it turned out that he had defaulted student loans. Jobless or not they would have let this student start.

3. I was in a meeting with all of the Online Finance Counselors and Current and Co CEO. Last Quarter the University started 100, 000 students by the end of the Quarter only 50, 000 students were still enrolled.

4. Never sign a form called an "Authorization to Close" unless you know exactly what it means. You need to understand both the good and bad aspects of signing this form. UoP usually doesn't volunteer the possible negative side of issues.

There will be those of you who will say you work for UoP and have not experienced any of this. Congratualtions, that does not make what I have written less factual.

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  • Ni
      29th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    Thank you for posting this!

    I almost started class today. I have a loan that was in default, I paid on it but when I became unemployed at the end of February I missed a payment and they put me back in a status that would not allow me to receive funding.

    I called UoP and told my enrollment counselor this news. He said he would talk to his manager and call me back. I recalled talking to my finance counselor the day before, who said that the certification process would take 3 weeks. I realized that I would be approximately 2/3 done with my first class before I even knew whether or not my financial aid would pay out. Well when my enrollment counselor came back with his manager's advice, he told me that the company handling my defaulted loan could only be handling private loans (not true, it's a federal stafford loan that defaulted) and that it wouldn't affect my current loans in process. ALSO he said that if I did have a defaulted loan on file it would have come up when they submitted my paperwork to financial aid and through FASFA (I also find this hard to believe).

    I'm waiting for a call from my finance counselor to further discuss this, and I'm going to tell my enrollment counselor to cancel this class until I am GUARANTEED that my financial aid is approved.

    Thank you for confirming something I've been worrying about since last night.

    BTW EdFund is the company holding my defaulted loan. When I called in February to tell them that I was unemployed and would need a week or so additional to get the money together for the payment, they detailed no negative recourse or ramifications if I failed to pay on time, but I found out when I called last night to make my most recent payment that because I missed the payment I was placed back in a probationary status that would keep me from qualifying for aid for an additional 9 payments. I think it is unfair that most other aspects of the education industry take into account unemployment and economic hardship (for which this loan was deferred (then defaulted without my knowledge) for).

    Something needs to be done about the education industry. I'm so depressed reading these complaints about schools and lenders. When did helping people grow, helping people learn, become a business? Why are so many other countries doing internships instead of hours and hours of class time for hands-on degrees? I truly feel the reason that state/federal/school levels require so many credits to graduate is because they know you'll pay for them, because you can't get a good job without a degree. They've turned the degree into a necessity and force you to empty your pockets and stretch your limits in hopes of getting a good enough job to pay it all back once you are done. It's sad. I hate that I'm 25 with no children and I'm already scared to death that I won't be able to save up enough money to help any children I may have with school. I had no help which is why it's taking me so long to get back. When did everything get so convoluted by greed?

    That's my $.02

  • Az
      21st of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    I too worked in the Midwest Division as a Financial Advisor for I am ashamed to say almost three years. I was terminated in early March after a very long battle to keep my job. Huge and high student counts made it impossible for me to be a "counselor". Phone c alls from students went unanswered because reports were more important than customer service for our students. If reports were not done per deadlines finance counselors could lose their jobs and their performance was and is still rated on this.

    Everything this previous poster says is 100 percent correct. I was hated by my enrollment counselors because I chose to fight less than ethical enrollments and told the students in my care the "whole truth". At every turn I was blasted by the Enrollment and Finance Managers for delaying class start dates and demanding financial aid paperwork was complete and correct before a student started.

    Almost every student I saw enrolled was enticed with promises of thousands of dollars of excess financial aid from grants and money they could receive that would not be needed to cover classes. Many students enrolled only for that reason and left class the minute they got that money never to be heard from again. Financial Aid does cover the full cost of tuition here BUT the school only keeps enough to cover each class in a disbursement period one time in their accounts. Students get every other penny in an excess funds check. 4 classes12 credits are in a disbursement period. Students are told if they have to retake a class for any reason they have to pay to retake the class themselves. By the time that happens they had usually always spent their excess money.

    I saw hundreds of students come and go along the way. Less than 20 ever made it to graduation from even the Associates Degree Program. Less than 50 Axia College graduates even walked at the recent graduation ceremony I attended. I tried to make a difference for my students that is why I stayed so long.

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