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University of Phoenix / fraud and scam

1 United States Review updated:
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On the day of my eighteenth birthday, I was contacted by a Ms. Patricia Takahashi, an enrollment counselor for the University of Phoenix (“UoP"). During a phone conversation, Ms. Takahashi told of endless possibilities that a UoP degree would provide for my future. While I did not have time to attend a traditional university at the time, I thought it could be a possibility that I would be able to make time to attend the UoP, especially since Ms. Takahashi promised that the UoP's schedule would work around my schedule. Therefore, I stepped away from my guests, there to celebrate my birthday with me, to complete the application process with Ms. Takahashi. After a few days, I was notified by Ms. Takahashi that everything looked okay at which point she gave me an intended “start date" for my course.

A few days after this, I called Ms. Takahashi to notify her that unfortunately, I did not feel it was the best time for me to be attending college. Being that my personal life is just that, personal, I simply told her that several unfortunate events had made me feel that it was not in my best interest at to pursue a degree at the time. Over the next several days, I spoke not only to Ms. Takahashi, but also with her supervisor, discussing the possibilities of a later start date. During these phone conversations, my personal matters were pushed aside as mere insecurities, and both Ms. Takahashi and her supervisor told me that if I did not continue with my degree now, that I may never be able to get it. They told me of how my decision not to continue with enrollment in the UoP could ruin my future, and limit my possibilities. These conversations only added to the confusion that was my life at the time, just having graduated from high school, finally turning eighteen, on top of all of my other personal matters which I was dealing with at the time including divorcing parents and the death of a very close relative, I was truly in a vulnerable state of mind. The UoP took full advantage of this vulnerability and through their deception finally persuaded me to continue with enrollment.

Finally, my intended “start date" rolled around, and I was able to login to the “classroom", at which time I found myself to be utterly disappointed. It was nothing of what Ms. Takahashi had promised, what I expected to be an exciting, learning filled, educational environment, turned out to be nothing more than a glorified social forum, an online message board. Though anyone with a basic knowledge of the web and access to a bulletin board script could create a better environment, I at this point decided that I would not be hasty and immediately withdraw from enrollment, but would give the university a few days, so that I could see how “class" was conducted.

After observing for a few days, it became blatantly obvious that this “learning environment" was nothing of what I was promised nor was the schedule as flexible as promised. I therefore called Ms. Takahashi immediately, less than one week into my course, to let her know I wished to withdraw. I was assured that withdrawing so early in the course would not impose any financial obligations other than that of possibly a few minor application fees, none of which would be exceedingly large.

Months later, I began receive statements from the UoP stating I owed an outstanding balance of $1012.25 a sum which I felt was inaccurate to the actual amount of time I spent enrolled, especially given the fact that their services were drastically misrepresented. I sent letters disputing this amount but was told they are never received even though they were sent certified mail. A collection agency, RP Solutions called my home on numerous occasions and gave relatives information regarding this alleged debt demanding it be paid, I am still shocked they were so freely able to give out anything that could be my personal information. I then began receive threats of my credit being effected, I spent months battling this getting no where, and finally gave up on the cause. Recently I received a credit report, and sure enough the University of Phoenix is on it.

After months of fighting, I had pushed this aside as a losing battle, that is, until their name showed up on my credit report. I decided if I can't do anything else, I can warn others who may consider enrolling in the University of Phoenix and advise them to be very careful with what they believe. I cannot use the word liars in regards to the faculty of the University of Phoenix, as that would be an understatement. Make your decisions wisely and don't get ripped-off like I did.

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  • Va
      2nd of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    On May 2, 2008 I was advised by UOP headquarters in Arizona that if I wanted to make a request for my student file to be investigated for inappropriate viewing that I was to contact the person(s) manager of whom I felt viewed my file. So I did but the Manager named CS, informed the employee of my request and the reason. The employee was advised by Ms. S to file a restraining order for harassment against me. Well on May 5, 2008 the employee went to court and filed a temporary order with a court date of May 27, 2008 which the judge did not do. He order a 'Mutual Non-Clets Restraining Order' meaning I had one against her as well because of her harassment to me while at work at the University of Phoenix Gardena CA campus. She sent me 6 emails cursing me out from 12pm to 6:30pm and phone calls with threats as well all while at work!!! I did inform her boss and headquarters however, the employee is still there to this day as an Academics Counselor giving academic guidance to students. Go figure??

    The problem is, I asked Ms. S via telephone and via email to investigate my student file. In the email, I copied Ms. S's direct boss and the Manager of Academics located in Arizona. I am sad to say to this very day 2 months later I have not received a phone call, email, letter or anything acknowledging my request for this investigation. I am assuming Ms. S feels that because the employee took me to court that the matter was resolved... well it is not. I am now in the process of contacting the United States Board of Education being that UOP is a private college for them to file a formal complaint and investigation. I have also filed a complaint with the BBB as well.

  • Va
      12th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I have been a constant reporter concerning The University of Phoenix. I read one report from a woman that was told she had to pay for a class she had to drop. So did I. She was put in touch with the financial counselor that I tried to get in touch with in May, 2007 and I, too, was told she was on. At University of Phoenix that is a code word for 'too busy duping another potential student.' I was told by an adviser that the financial counselor had sent me e-mails but that was notorious about putting the UOP e-mails in junk mail. UOP has an answer for everything but where the money disappears to when loans are suddenly and mysteriously used.

    I, also, had a promise that my ADHD would be taken into consideration and a disability counselor provided. Not only did he lose all my paper work, he said that my doctor had not faxed him the necessary papers. My doctor had.., I was standing there. How many of us out there are being scammed? After reading many of the comments on this website, I have learned not to believe anyone when it comes to money.

    I will fight the UOP. I will notify the DOE. Silly as I am to believe that to loan money to students, an investigation had to be done of the UOP.

  • Te
      9th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I took two classes from University of Phoenix and then found out that my employer would rather I had a degree from some other school. I went to a local University to enroll but I was short on Financial aid because the University (I use that term loosely) of Phoenix had not returned the money that was disbursed to them. They got financial aid money after I withdrew from the school. I keep calling my financial counselor at Phoenix. He just won’t answer his phone nor will he return my calls how convenient for them. Looking back the only time I actually talked with him was when my bill was coming due and he wanted to make sure they get paid. They also are charging me for a class and books after I withdrew from the school. They are a waste of time, MONEY! They are a joke!!!

  • Va
      8th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    I enrolled in UoP for a class in May 2001. When I found out about the 'Learning Teams', I dropped the class. I am a single parent and i was doing all the work while the 'team' was getting the credit. I wasn't comfortable. I had until June 6, 2001 to drop the class.

    On June 4, 2001 I emailed the instructor and told her I was dropping the class. She replied that I couldn't drop the class, but I could, and I did. On June 20, 2001 I snail mailed my advisor and told him I was dropping my enrollment for good. Then in September of 2001 I started receiving collection letters for a $1200 tuition. The letters asked my to respond in writing if I disputed the debt. Since I dropped the class, did not receive a grade or credit, I responded that I did not owe the debt.

    I received three 'canned' letters and sent three responses, all went ignored. Then in 2003 I noticed UoP as a charge-off on my credit files. I wrote to the collection office listed on the credit reports, again, ignored.

    In late 2004 the name on my credit files changed to Apollo Group, and I wrote again. This time I received responses from Margreat Iacangelo that my records and claim would be looked into. YESTERDAY (now it's 2006)she sent me an email that she can no longer get to the archives and my debt still stands but I can send the 9 past letters I've written to a Finance Grievance Committee for a review, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    I've had it. UoP conveniently dragged this out and ignored me and now the only verification they have of a debt is MY letters (which Ms. Iacangelo has taken to quoting back to me). I wrote to the Finance Grievance Committee this morning, but I'm tired of waiting for yet another run around. After reading all these complaints I contacted my lawyer and am going to see about initiating a class action suit. Anyone interested in joining me?

  • An
      13th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    I’m absolutely outraged by the way my financial aid has been handled by this University. I have attended this school for a little over two years. Upon time for my second term loan, I had continuously called the financial aid processing center, financial and academic advisors several times a month for at least 6 months to inquire about my second term loan. Each time someone would tell me that the funds would post sometime that month. Finally, all of the financial aid was released at the end of the seventh month. As a result the school applied the funds to all of the charges on my account and issued an excess funds check to me right as I was about to take my last class. Then two weeks before I finished my last and final class the school initiated a return of some of the funds back to lender and billed me. Now I owe the lender and the school. Worst of all I can not get my degree until the account is cleared with the University of Phoenix.

  • Va
      14th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Let my start by saying that I was an enrollment advisor for University of Phoenix Online, and AXIA/WIU Online under Apollo Group for 3 years. I recently quit from my position as one of their highest paid advisors. Paid on the amount of enrollments I did in 2003. I also completed my MBA/MKT while there.

    For all of you in this forum defending this organization, you are simply spewing ignorance and rehashing information provided you by this organization. Please stop, you are not doing any good and I am sorry to say this, but you are wrong. So wrong that it borders on ignorance.

    Let defend something for a moment. The company as a whole does contain good people, some of which do try and help and have good intentions. The problem stems directly from one man the CEO, Brain Muller. He has set in motion internal policies that create a hopeless scenario for all within the organization. They either comply, lose money, or are fired. When you start threatening a person's lively hood, they will usually fall in line. This is why so many good people have had to deceive or lie to potential students, and why you see so many reports in this forum.

    There are many things that can be addressed here but let's start with some basic things. Accreditation. UOP Online is Accredited by the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission (Perdue Shares the same body as do many other schools) However, this really does not mean anything.

    Yes, UOP has their programs screened and verified by the HLC, but their accreditation is not reviewed for years. What most people do not realize is that it is extremely hard to loose accreditation once you have it. There is no active monitoring of courses or instructors. Any audits that take place require UOP be given advanced warning.

    This means that can basically provide sub-par courses for outrageous prices. Yes, their classes are a joke. If you believe that college is about shooting emails back and forth via Outlook Express and working in 'Learning Teams' then you are delusional. Fact: Learning Team arose as a reaction to an audit by the Federal Government on UOP's financial aid usage. They had to require learning teams in order to maintain Title IV funding capacity.

    As said before, UOPO is fully accredited, but they do not require the GMAT for the MBA programs. What does this mean? It means that they do not have AACSB Accreditation. Here is more on that: This is why when I present my MBA to professional organizations, they laugh. Sorry to inform you, but your degree is not as valid as you want it to be.

    Next I would like to address the organizations misuse of funds. They have been for many years now, embezzling monies from their employees and Title IV funding.

    Let's start with Title IV. As mentioned about, they were abusing access to funding in the late 90's by claiming student living expenses on their report for on campus housing. Hmmm, online makes that a little hard to validate. They were using this money as venture capital to finance growth and investments. They continue to do so till this day, just in a different way.

    First, you must understand the accounting variables that go into a billion dollar company. There is money flying all over the place on their balance sheets. Income, expenditures, investments, etc. It is a fact that UOP has continuously decreased its amount of new enrollments each year since its peak in 2003. This is part of the reason they rolled the UOPX stock back into Apollo group last year. However, the CEO's Brain Muller and Todd Neilson still need to generate shareholder interest to keep the stock high.

    Now, if there is a decrease in enrollments as compared to prior years, but the CEO is still claiming huge growth in years to come, how does the company make up for that? By counting scheduled students as enrollments for their report without every actually having those students start.

    There is one problem. Smart investors can look at organizations financial statements and tell if they are losing money. So how does UOP make up the money difference in the accounting department? 2 ways. First, it decreases the pay of its employee workforce and (for years) violated AZ and Federal Overtime law by making overtime mandatory but refusing to pay employees overtime wages.

    A quick search online will reveal the lawsuit filed by the AZ Dept of Labor last year and the $10 Million settle UOP had to pay. 10 Million? Sounds like a lot right? Not when you consider the amount it saves over the last 20 years by not paying overtime wages. Somewhere in the 100 million mark. Wonder how they were able to grow so rapidly?

    Second, accounting is basically money in, vs money out in an organization. When you are dealing with a billion dollar company, it is hard to keep track of every dollar. One might wonder why UOP Online takes so long to distribute Title IV funding to students. They tell you it takes 2 to 3 months, this is a lie.

    The money is in the hands of UOP a week or two after you attend your first day of class. Why do they take so long to distribute the funding? Two reason. One is to keep their official default rate down. Considering they lose about 30% of enrollments after the first class, it would look very bad for them if all these students started defaulting one loans they done think they need to pay back because they didn't take a full class.

    So it is official UOP policy to hold the funding in accounts until the person has completed the first few weeks of class. This allows them to send the money back if the student does not complete the class without reporting anything to the lender. The student is then in debt to UOP collections and not to the lender. Not to mention, FA doesn't pay for dropped or failed courses. What of the money in the holding tanks for months at a time. Hmmmm. Well, when you have over 100, 000 students, 80% of which use FA in the sum of roughly 15K per year, they are basically counting that money as income for the organization even though technically it does not belong to them yet.

    What that means is that they can invest monies, gain interest or assets with money that does not belong to them. Sound illegal? Borderline, but impossible to prove through accounting audits.

    Questions from the public.

    Yes, advisors are trained to lie and manipulate. I did this training myself they call it the AMOPS process. It is a technique used to manipulate leads into buying a product.

    Yes, advisors are paid off of the number of enrollments. It's called the Matrix; they changed it in 2004 to look more in line with requirements of the DOE. This led to a record number of pay decreases across the board, a record turn over rate for employees, and a mass exodus of their top advisors.

    No, the degree is not looked upon as being high quality. I attended the ground campus with 2 managers from Intel here in AZ and they showed me a memo that went out to their managers stating that they are no longer allowed to hire graduates of the BSIT program at UOP.

    No, you will never be cleared by the collections department. Yes, EAs will tell potential student that student loans do not need to be paid back.

    Yes, the CEO once said that he wanted to be the Wal-Mart of education. Obviously without the low pricing.

    No, the cost of tuition increase has nothing to do with expenses, it has to do with showing income on the books.

    Yes, there is a promotion every month.

    Yes, you should select your own lender and choose to have the funds distributed to you, even if that means you have to wait to start and pay for the first class out of pocket.

    No the people who defend this place have no clue what they are talking about.

    Yes, I know there are probably typos in this so you tards that want to point them out, save your fingers.

    If you have any questions post them in here and I will check in and try to answer them.

    Peace. Oh yeah, if you want to get to the root of an issue here are the names of the top executives in the organization who promote this shady crap. Brian Muller CEO. Vince Grell VP Enrollment, Aaron Wettstien Director North East, Trish Elliot Director NE WIU, Larry Etherington VP mkting. Brett Romeny Senior EM. Kristin Tursinni Senior EM, Nikki Fossi Director and the most viel manager of them all, Jacob Nevzoroff. The list goes on.

    But you can call 1-800-366-9699 and ask to speak with them and they will transfer you. Or you can take their fist name dot their last name and add on the end and that should go directly to them. Not really sure on that one though.

  • Ju
      16th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    I just signed up with these guys (uop) on the 9th of this month. I already did all the paper work and just faxed over my verification of tax forms (transcript of 2007 taxes.
    But, now that I read all these complaints, I dont wanna attend this school!!
    I havent started class yet. My 1st day will be on the Oct. 20th (Monday), am I able to cancel everything without penalty's. I still wanna get my FASFA through a diff. college, so if I do cancel is it considered DROP OUT or WF (withdraw)--I think... ???
    Please try to write me back asap.
    I already left a msg for my rep to call me back so I can cancel all...

    Julie Chavez

  • Ma
      20th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Yes I would be I've gotten the run around from huricane Ike. One class let me take an incomplete yet the other did not. They also did not give me any lead way two weeks before when my niece past away and i was out of town for the week. I do not feel that I am getting my money worth in this school. They really do not help you they just ask questions. When you ask them a question you get told to look back over your work.

  • He
      20th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    I have been attending The University of Phoenix since 2007. At first it was great and then I did not pass The Action Research Class. My financial advisor told me to pay 1, 455.00 money I did not have so she decided to write it off and a 0 balance showed up. Now, I have taken my next to last class and have not heard from my Academic Advisor or Financial Aid Counselor and I need to take my last class, but I owe $199.40. This is a bunch of ###. I wish someone would file a Class Action Lawsuit against this school. It is time for UOP to stop using people when it comes to financial aid. I hope someone opens their eyes and help us poor people. Could someone please call me at (828) 698-3704. I am under alot of pressure because of this. Thanks

  • Ja
      30th of Oct, 2008
    -1 Votes

    Learn to spell dude

  • Jj
      24th of Nov, 2008
    -1 Votes

    This guy has no clue, he is a former employee who was probably fired for not doing his job and is bitter. I can waste time here pointing how many holes are in his story, but it really is laughable. There are so many employers that pay for std's education at UOP, that his claims are ridiculous.

  • Da
      25th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    I can relate to your case. I have been receiving bills from loan companies/agencies that I supposebly signed up for loans that I didnt sign up for. I deal with two loan companies for all of my student loans and two companies have sent me bills that I have never heard of. I contacted both companies and told them the situation. The only thing that I can think of is whoever my finanical aid advisor was (which it changed, they seemed to have a high turnover rate) signed me up for loans that I didnt approve of in order to have me enrolled in their college. I dont know if they had certain "kick-backs" with these companies. When I was attending the University, I had tried conacting my financial advisor mulitiple times and they never called me back.
    It is interesting that you mentioned your ADHD because I also have ADHD and I was never told about getting consideration for my disorder. UOP seems very fishy. I am starting to wonder how many people are actually in our situations.

  • Jo
      2nd of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    I would like to join the class action lawsuit. Let me know what you find out from your attorney. I am a little worried about a retaliation effort by UOP since I am a current student but retaliation should not be tolerated.

  • Vi
      22nd of Jan, 2009
    +1 Votes

    My daughter was on bedrest during a high risk pregnancy, did all the right paper work but they are still harassing her.

  • Vi
      22nd of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    We are going to try this next. BBB shows all complaints as resolved and also gives the person to contact

    Business Contact & ProfileBack to Top Business Name: University of Phoenix Central Administration
    Business Address: Office of Dispute Management
    Mail Stop AA-S401 4615 E. Elwood Street
    Phoenix, AZ 85040
    See the location on a Mapquest Map
    See the location on a Google Map
    Original Business Start Date: 4/1/1986
    Type of Entity: Sole Proprietorship
    Principal: Tondra Claiborne,
    Phone Number: (602) 557-5566
    (877) 507-2258
    Email Address:
    BBB Accreditation: This business is a BBB Accredited Business

  • To
      26th of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    Any luck on this lawsuit I am also in the process of trying to find a lwyer to deal with my issue. I am being charged over 3000.00 for a class that i was told I "had to enroll in or I would be dropped" the same day I enrolled I recieved a letter saying I was going to be dropped for not paying tuition so i stopped attending class. I called sallie Mae who informed me that UOP sent back my tuition money to them. TodaI spoke with an ### named jason who when i told him "look I'm just trying to get in school and get an education" he told me "well guess what your not getting back into any school till you pay us our 3000 dollars.

  • Pa
      25th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    The University of Phoenix is a huge scam! They went through the enrollment process so fast, I should have known something was up. After I started my classes, which, by the way, were completely useless and not needed for my field, I was notified that there was a problem with my financial aid. They told me to fax in my tax return for 2007 as well as my husband's. So, I did. Not good enough. They needed a letter from my tax preparer. Not good enough. Now, I'm told that my husband will have to amend his filing and I'm withdrawn from classes until this is done. In the meantime I owe them $400 for two weeks of classes. Absolute BS. Had I known before I started classes that there was a problem, I would have never started them! They are the ones who rushed me into starting my classes. They are the ones who told me my financial aid had gone through. Not my fault. I do not see how they can consider my liable for any of this, since I simply did everything they told me to do. I am not paying them, and I will get a lawyer if neccessary. By all of the complaints I have read against them, I'm surprised there is not a class action lawsuit against them. Maybe my lawyer will be interested.

  • Ro
      19th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    University of Phoenix: Unfair charges of fee's :
    I faxed in my official withdrawal form, (being within my time frame to do so) I was unable to reach my Financial Aide Counselor (whom I've never spoken to before). I left numerous messages over the course of 2 weeks. I tried email, contacting other people in the department, and even left multiple messages with her supervisor requesting a call regarding an important, time sensitive matter. Nothing, but now I owe 1947.50 for a 1 credit course and only attended for less than 10 days. Then I was sent a letter stating that I was certified for 15 credit hours. I need to pay for these classes. So, the refund policy and withdrawal policy is useless. I don't think that the University will continue to scam students. Surely, there must be a class action E lawsuit in the making, let me know if so @

  • De
      21st of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have to say that I have been enrolled with UOP (axia) since Sept 08'
    I havent had any problems til here recently. I have made all A's so far and yes I do read and study my materials. The class I do have now, I cant make a passing grade and I do the work properly. Its frustrating. But I do honestly try now I fear of failing the class and having to pay out of pocket which I can not afford. I am thinking of going to a traditional school. This way everything is good and there is not confusion or crap to have to add stress to our everyday lives as is. I just wish all the best in whatever they may have to deal with, dealing with UOP.

  • Ra
      29th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    What Bernard is saying is correct. Employers do not look favorably upon UOP Degrees. I've sat on many interview boards for my organization and those UOP Degrees are a dime a dozen. If I interview 10 UOP graduates and one Traditional University graduate for a certain position, I will always look more favorably upon the person that attended the traditional university. Don't get me wrong, my hat is off to all those that have attended UOP and received their degree, but I would rather hire someone that sat in class for 4 years. A UOP degree is great if you're in an organization that requires a degree for advancement, but not great if you're just starting out in life. More and more businesses have added to their job advertisements "APPLICANT MUST HAVE ATTENDED AN ACCREDITED FOUR-YEAR UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE", or some even state on their job advertisements "UOP GRADUATES NEED NOT APPLY."

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