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Westwood College - Lai / Have been pressured into taking high interest loans!

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I graduated from Westwood College in July of 2004. I recently received a phone call from a collections agent at Willams & Fudge, stating that the college will want to pursue litigation due to the fact that I am delinquent on my payment of loan to Westwood College, which has since accrued almost 100% from 9,000 USD to $16,000 USD.

It was stated that I should take out a loan, get a new job, or "sell something" to pay for the loan. I was also told that I would have to pay the loan in full, and if I didn't they would have no choice but to take the matter to court, and I would be forced to pay for both sides legal fees.

I moved away from California, and have an unlisted address as well as unlisted number in Alabama. I'm not exactly sure of the means that they have used to acquire this information, as the home and phone number are not in my name.

All of that aside...

The problem that I have with this experience is that the school came to me less than a week before my graduation, and stated that they had "undercharged" me for various services such as books, lab fees, etc. The amount they said that they had undercharged me was approximated 9000 USD, and I would not be allowed to graduate had I not paid this off somehow.

They offered me a high interest loan, and said that unless I could find a personal loan, I would be not be able to graduate as I would not have qualified for Sally Mae loans so close to graduation. I was told that I should have been meeting with my financial adviser (my original had left about a year after I had started classes) along the way to check the progress of my loans. I believe that if I was "undercharged" the school should have found that out in the first place, instead of treating me like I am the criminal for this action that they were paying employees to perform.

In my naivety I agreed to the loan, and have since been in hell trying to have this issue resolved. I believe that this is a scam, and I have since gained immense financial advice, but unfortunately, I wasn't aware of what was happening at the time. I was 20 at the time, young, and I didn't know any better, which is apparently exactly what Westwood looks for in its victims.

I am looking for other students who have been pressured into taking these high interest loans mere days or weeks before graduation, or any link to anyone I can find who is currently preparing or in the process of a class action lawsuit against Westwood College for these activities.

Thank you for your time.


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N  7th of Mar, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Please discontinue or cancel the amount for some kind of magazine offer coming out of my checking account. All I wanted to do was request some information for the Medical Asst. course at the college.
A  14th of Mar, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
HA! I just received a call from Williams and Fudge today saying that I owed that school money (I attended Westwood College Online). About 2 months into my education, they said that none of my loans went through and that I owed them $12,000. The reason, they said, was because of an error and that it took that long to get back to me about it. I called BS on them, dropped classes, and told them to forget the whole thing as it was entirely their fault.

Then I receive the call today from W&F saying I owe them and to pay it or face "further action".

I would like to talk further with you about this so please hit me up with an email. I would be interested in starting or joining a class action lawsuit against them.

A  8th of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Hello I was just replying to your story. I have a similar story, although mine is a little different. I went to Fox College and I guess they granted me a private loan. At the time, I didn't know anything about this. I thought that all my loans had been granted by sallie mae, but apparently they weren't. Due to this the other private loan went to collection, which is Williams & Fudge. My original balance was about $6,500 and NOW is $11,000 or higher. I don't know how I would pay this amount. It will never happen unless I won the lottery. I tried by giving $250 monthly but after discovering that out of the $250, only $50 was going to my actual balance and $200 worth of interest. This was a waste of money. I now have a baby and can't afford giving this much. The balance will never go down, meanwhile they are getting most of the money. This is really messing up my life and stressing me out, I even regret going to college & while I'm here breaking my head on how I could pay MY ORIGINAL BALANCE ($6,492). The amount continues to increase, it's ridiculous!
A  24th of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
My boyfriend was in a similar situation. He enrolled into Westwood College in Chicago in 2004. He attended the school for about 3 months. I questioned the school when I took a glance at his assignments. It just didn't seem like his homework had anything to do with law enforcement. So I immediately started my own investigation. I called the Chicago Police Academy and asked if they accepted Westwood associate diploma for their program and they said they didn't. I called DePaul University and asked an adviser if they accepted transfers from Westwood and she replied that they didn't accept any credits from that school because they weren't nationally accredited. My boyfriend soon after quit his studies at Westwood but weeks after was hit with statements from Westwood and sallie mae.

According to them he owed Westwood about $4000 and another $3000 to sallie mae. This school is scam
that preys on people who have little knowledge on colleges and finances.

Please let me know if you had any luck finding people who are trying to fight this and help others before they make the same mistake.
A  13th of May, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I believe everything you said about westwood college. Westwood college is the worst school out there and someone should do something to stop them.I attended Westwood for one year and had a similar story. The instructors were complete garbage and don't deserve to teach anything. Everyone there is so unorganized and pressure new students to take out personal loans. PLEASE SOMEONE HAS TO STOP THEM!!!
N  24th of May, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau about Westwood College Online... I have had a similar experience with them... They said that I now owe over $3000, and they have now submitted my balance to a collection agency. They have never given me an itemized bill detailing the classes that I took, and how much they cost. All they have given me are lump sums for books, classes, online fees, etc... I suggest that you all also file complaints with the Better Business Bureau... You can go to their website at http://www.bbb.org.
A  31st of May, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I was online trying to find a good place to get college loans, so i could attend Westwood online. And wow look what i stumbled across. I am glad i read this before making a decision, sorry for the people that got screwed over, thanks for posting this so i could see head of time.
A  2nd of Aug, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Hi I am having similar problems with there online courses. After being enrolled for 2 years, screenshots that I am not the only one having issues with their education or lack there of, the amount of money ect, I finally got a hold of the person I should talk to about a refund. Well, he believes a refund is not necessary. I am currently transferring to a new College. I told them I am will to fight them on this, and am very much looking for a lawyer for a class action lawsuit against them. If you are still interested, please email me at cfergerson@adelphia.net and tell me a little about yourself. Anyone interested at all, should try to contact me.

Catherine Fergerson.
A  9th of Aug, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Hind-sight is 20-20, isn't it? Usually I am very good at researching and checking facts before jumping head first into waters such as these. I have seen another sight with people voicing similar complaints about Westwood College. I began this farce of a school about two and a half years ago. I had to leave the school in January due to a cross-country move. I just received a letter informing me that I was delinquent on a loan with them (I thought everything was through Sallie Mae). They have now sent my information to a collection agency. You guessed it, Williams and Fudge. The thing is, the letter was dated the 19th of July, the letter was not sent out until the 26th of July, it had to be paid by the 31st of July, and I received the letter on the 8th of August. Coincidence? Probably not. The educational value of this school is laughable. The courses are not designed by the instructors. The instructors are merely following guidelines and really have no clue about the lesson plans, the quizzes, or the tests. I can't believe I was duped by this horrible institution (if you can call it that). I think Catherine has it right. People need to act before others fall prey to false promises.

Jason Tuttle.
N  26th of Sep, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I, too, attended Westwood College in Chicago, IL and realized that they are NOT nationally accredited as I request tuition reimbursement through my employer. After 3 months of school, I dropped, trasnferred to Depaul and surprise! surprise! Depaul did not and will not accept transcripts from Westwood, so back to sqaure one for me.

After dropping, I was told by their financial advisor that my loan was not approved and had to pay the full amount. I don't have that kind of money and tried to work out a monthly payment plan but Westwood refused and sent my student loans through Williams & Fudge (they are not helpful, in any way), where for about a year, have been arguing with them because they choose NOT to sent a detailed summary of classes, books/labs or whatever fees accumlated while I was there for 3 months.

Also, the teachers are a joke - the schoolwork was and is a joke - I do not recommend this school. People need to do research before falling prey on empty promises and dreams.

I would like to be involved in a class action lawsuit towards Westwood College, so please contact me: catvonray@gmail.com
D  28th of Sep, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Hey wait a minute! I attended Westwood College too. I have to tell you guys that my experience and that of all my classmates at Westwood College have been GREAT! Yes, there are some teachers that are better than others, but the reality is...it happens at every college in America. I know, I have attended a couple of other schools where the service, well let's say, there was none. In other words, students had to figure out there own financial aid, students had to pick their own classes, and frankly most students would not ever graduate. I know Westwood College is not perfect, but the quality of the education I personally receieved is excellent. Overall, I would do it again AND I would reccommend the college to others. I would also encourage people to do their own reseach not only about Westwood College, but about other colleges....you will find there will ALWAYS be a complaint about EVERY school out there. Trust me...no college is perfect.
A  2nd of Oct, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Yes Westwood College have some of the most amazing professors, however the part stated that:
"students had to figure out there own financial aid"
that is exactly what you are doing at Westwood, because you go from own one amount to another amount where you have basically paid for two extra terms due to the high interest rates student loans.

I went through and still going through the same issues at Westwood. I attended the Chicago Loop Campus from Aug. 2005-March 2007. It felt like every term they would went up on the tuition, and i would get this letter that said that had to take yet another student loan to cover my balance and still pay the $110 school monthly tuition.

I was looking to apply for an internship in law and was told that they could not hire me because because of the accreditation. The same thing happen to my friend after he graduated from Westwood and could not find a job. I transferred and went to East-West University, because that was the only college besides Devry who would accept the credits.

However, Westwood would not release my transcripts , claiming that I owed the school $16,000 which was not true, it took almost six months to get my transcripts. The reason behind this email is that students are sending complaints to Department of Education Inspector General's office
(http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/hotline.html?src=ct) and sending e-mails and letters to anyone is who will to listen (newspapers, News stations ) to protect students form the things Westwood students are dealing with now.
A  3rd of Oct, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I recently graduated from Westwood in Chicago and about 7 months after I recieved my diploma I got a letter in the mail from Williams & Fudge. The letter stated that I owe around $22,000 and that if I didn't pay within 30 days that I would be reported to the credit bureau. I immediately called Sallie Mae, who I thought all of my loans were through, and they told me that I was current on my account and there was no problem. So then I called Williams & Fudge because obviously there is some mistake. They explained to me that they were hired by Westwood to collect on tuition that was never recieved. Somewhere in my "wonderful" experience with Westwood I was duped into signing something, I was never informed that I was supposed to be paying ANYTHING, and never even contacted about these so called "Apex" loans.

I am now in the process, with no help from Westwood, to figure out what happened and how I owe so much. The recruing interest on Westwood loans is about 18 percent. So within just a few months I have gone from a principal balance of $16,000 to $22,000.

I want to warn anyone thinking about going to Westwood College not to do it. Sure the instructors are nice, the classes are easy, you barely even have you use your brain. But the money that you owe in the end is not at all worth it. Plus they are not even nationally accredited like they make you think.
A  22nd of Oct, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I've sent e-mail to Catherine up above stating my problem with the school pulling what seems to me like a bait-and-switch regarding their proficiency exams.

I've also stress concern to the school about the quality of the education they provide. Don't get me wrong they have some great instructors, but more than that, I've had instructors there that I knew more about the material than them.

I've been attending for about 2.5 years and recently switched my program from the bachelor's to associates due to time restrictions and personal and professional obligations. Doing this change made it so I had 2 classes left to take, one being a history class, that I already have credit that could be applied to and substitute it. The other was a public speaking class with a proficiency exam available for it.

At first they were accommodating (sounded like it), but as time grew nearer to the start of the new term, the less i heard from them until the term started. All they told me was to register for the proficiency exam for this one class and that should be it, so I do it... I mean they're my "advisor's", right? Days later, the then tell me i can't take the proficiency exam, because there's a "deadline" and it would remove me from school. They said it was in their student catalog (restrictions, etc on proficiency exams). There was information, but nothing that they told me regarding deadlines, or attendance status. I can't login to my class, because if I do, i would get disqualified from being able to take the exam. They go on to tell me that testing takes place in weeks 4 and 8 every term. IF I don't post attendance for 14 consecutive days, I automatically get booted from school, but if I post attendance, then I can't take the exam, and must pay full price for the class...

I spoke to a director, and he said he'd get back to me, which he didn't. He sent someone else to be the bearer of bad news, which was in order to graduate with that joke of a degree from them, I'd have to attend two classes to have financial aide pay for it, or I can attend that one class, and pay out of pocket for it.

I'm interested in any legal action that may take place to correct this school's bad practices, or even revoke their "accreditation."

A  8th of Nov, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I went to Westwood Online for a while (about a term) when I realized the school was nothing to me and that I wanted to do something else (was separated from the Air Force) so I went to my recruiter and was able to rejoin. So I figured, fine I made the mistake, I'll pay for the little bit of student loans I used. Well, now I get a thing from Williams & Fudge saying I owe $921 to westwood.

Never received a bill or anything, just that $921 is in collections and I have to pay. They give a login account to check the balance and pay and whatnot, I cannot login to. I am calling BS on all of this because student loans should take care of everything school wise. Even if it didn't I should have received a bill a long time ago stating I owe $921.
A  17th of Dec, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Yes westwood is overly priced I attend the atlanta midtown location they charge over $200 for books alone. I am really thinking they are a scam. They dont have the proper items to run such as presentation stands scanners and computers and recently a man got fired from that location because he had gun in class and the instructor didnt have a real degree and was teaching at the school. There really is something wrong with that.
A  20th of Dec, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I sent the original complainer an email and I just thought I would let you all know that I am in the same boat now. When I attended westwood I was paying about $110 a month for tuition fees and the financial aid was supposed to do the rest for me. Two classes away from graduation, they told me I owed about $16,000 or so!! They locked me out of my online classes, tried to make me get personal loans, and about a month later Williams and Fudge was calling me! The financial advisor was a major b*&( and didn't even want to hear what I had to say or work something out! Anyway, I stopped paying westwood right away and have just taken the hits on my credit for the past 3 years! I can't even get a Kohls credit card! And I work there! I would like to do something about this, if anyone wants to contact me my email is hbear4752@yahoo.com. I would really like to stick it to this crappy school! Thanks

A  2nd of Jan, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Westwood is the biggest scam for sure i got screwed by them of course they sent me a bill for 24,880.40 saying i still owed them 6,946.69 which sallemae loans didnt cover i contacted sallemae and they told me westwood was sent 30,028.00 i called them back and told them that and they changed there story telling me they did receive the money from sallemae but insisted i still owed 6,946.69 i told them sallemae told me to have westwood call them to straighten it out they ignored me and talked over me then i asked what the real balance was they couldnt tell me said they needed time to get the info and kept insisting that the bill which they didnt remember sending me was wrong. They emailed me a new bill the day after which came too 36,946.69 which was completely different and didnt match up at all they said it was a "Computer error" on there part and this is the real bill. Things here in florida are bad and i havent been able to find a job but they put the 6,946.69 into collections with Williams & Fudge collection agency and they contacted me by mail asking me if im disputeing the money with westwood in which i told them i was then they called afew weeks after acting like i never mailed them to dispute the money in which i sent them 2 more letters on it and then finally they called me agian and i told her im still disputing it the person i spoke too said well i'll make a note of that but it will not matter westwood will get there money one way or another and they hung up on me. And now i'm still stuck with that money i owe westwood that collection agency charges 18pct per month on any money so the money i owe is well over 8,5k. Not to metion all the money which is in federal loans with sallemae which atleast i can deffer since i dont have a job and havent been able to get one. And they have completely changed there story from the begining they really should be investigated

If there credits really are as worthless as all the other people ive heard who've been scammed by westwood, where all paying thousands of dollars for "Nothing" how can it be justified to charge someone over 3.6k for 18 months of college with no degree and credits which cant be tranfered when they advertise that crap about being nationally acredited that in itself is a false advertisement.

I've tried contacting newspapers on this whole situation ive gone though and no one seems to care what so ever. I guess they won't help consitering that over 30 of the states gov's get kickbacks from sallemae and westwood is just a well organized goverment scam to fill the pockets of goverment official's is there no justice anymore.

If anyone has taken them to court over it and won I sure would appreciate help cause it all seems hopeless to me this not only drained me mentally all the phone tag trying to find out what to do and how to go about it but it all seems to just be a dead end at every turn my emails hitokiri1859@hotmail.com if you wanna talk you can add me to msn too.
A  6th of Jan, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I'm facing a similar situation, only I attended for almost two and a half years. In that period I accumulated loans through Sallie Mae of just over $49,000.00 and the program cost was $60,000.00. Had I finished the last year that I had left I would've accumulated loans for the total progam cost and I had financial aid assistance as well. Well, then I decided to transfer to another college and was told by several colleges and universities that they would not accept credits from Westwood College that they weren't nationally accredited. I then talked to Mr. Polland at Westwood and he said that he had a student transfer credits to Jones University. Well who and what the hell is Jones University??? I too am looking for more information to file a class action lawsuit. If anyone has anything that can help please let me know. The admissions rep. that signed me up at Westwood College is no longer employed there but he and I became good friends from the get go and he has found out things that he wished he never got involved with and would also like to get in on this as he signed up a lot of students that he now wants to help out of this situation.
A  8th of Jan, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
My experience with Westwood wasnt too good either. I enrolled, did the whole nine and was sent a letter saying that financial aid was paying $7,000 or so ... and all I had to pay out of my pocket was a few hundred dollars. I was getting emails saying that I was NOT APPROVED for a loan. I got about 10 of these emails. Well the day before the term started I got an email with an attachement... at the very bottom it said that if it is not signed they will assume that I agree with the $7000 LOAN! In none of my conversations with the financial aid rep did he mention that the $7ooo was a LOAN. I was under the assumption that it was a grant... considering I got tons of emails saying I was not approved for the loan. I recently discontinued my enrollement at Westwood, told them about my findings on the Better Business Bureau... 24 complaints in the last 36 months!! Can you believe that?? I also told them I want an itemization of what I was charged and what financial aid paid for. I only attended Westwood Online for 3 terms but I'm still so mad that I waisted my time... especially if my credits are not accepted by the college I have my eye on.

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