The College Network? Any GOOD thoughts?

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    Yes I am aware that they are a publishing company that provides material for Excelsior, ect. Yes, I have read the many posts on here that people were unhappy with them. My questions is, is there anyone out that this has worked for?
    The reason I ask is because I work with an LPN who is using TCN and she is very pleased. She says they pay for her to take the tests and she doesn't have to worry about coming up with the $$ upfront for the test. She feels prepared for the tests and seems happy with them.
    I have looked at going to Excelsior but living on a tight budget coming up with the $ for the tests,application fees, ect... and the CPNE was one of my concerns.
    Any thoughts?
    Mrsayevoe likes this.
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  4. 8 Comments so far...

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    I'm guessing that your friend must be taking out some type of loan and PAYING TCN. Even though she is not "paying" EC directly does not mean it is happening FREE.

    I think that student loans are available directly through EC if that is an issue. Please check with them before going TCN route if that is your only concern. TCN adds many thousands to the EC degree costs. After all they gotta make bank too.

    I have nothing to add - I did not use them, do not see the upside of paying double costs for the EC degree.

    TCN makes money ONLY by selling you STUDY MATERIALS. These have clearly worked fro some.

    Eliminating the money issue (of loans) or a payment plan that lets you have a fixed cost to progress through the program (though I'd bet that if you had to re-take certain exam fee's would be additional) it must work for some.

    The key is HOW do you learn best?

    Good LUCK!
    Debilpn23 likes this.
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    I agree with the above post.
    I got taken in by TCN and am paying them $145.00 a month. for 5 years .
    They are just a publishing CO
    nurse0520 likes this.
  7. 2
    The one think I learned about the TCN is that the guaranteed financing is ONLY for the TCN costs (study guides, "acadmeic advising"). In addition there is no guarantee that you will be accepted by the schools simply by signing up with TCN. The schools each have their own admission criteria that you must meet, while the TCN adviser may determine that you are qualified the ultimate decision is up to the school.

    The issue with Excelsior whether you enter via TCN or independently, is that there is no federal financial aid available for the LPN-RN program as it is not a distance/online education program but a "test out of the requirements" program. With limited clinical experiences aside from the exam, some states will not accept an ASN graduate (LPN-RN (ASN)) as qualified for NCLEX/license in the state. This is something you need to check with your own board of nursing to determine if it is acceptable or not.

    Honestly if you Google TCN and complaints the majority of the early links are complaints from individuals who may not have been suited for an independent learning situation (online/distance learning) and did not bother to read the contract that they signed with TCN. Some feel that if they never bothered to start the coursework then they should no longer be indebted to TCN. Or they didn't realize that when they gave the TCN rep a voided check they were agreeing to monthly payment debits from their checking account and did not budget for such charges. Some of these issues can clearly be avoided by asking questions, and reading all the contract documentation PRIOR to signing (perhaps not signing right away and taking a few days to review the information before making a decision).

    Excelsior's website when I last checked did not recommend using a third party vendor for admission/academic support at their school (they did not mention specific publishing vendors but TCN is not the only one).

    As far as the financing, sometimes TCN can include the school testing fees, course fees etc in the loan they obtain for you, in addition to the TCN advising/study exam prep guides. But the loans are private with interest rates in the 15%+ range, and do not fall under the federal regulation for government student loans (Stafford, Perkins, PLUS, etc.) and are not subject to the consolidation loans or deferment/forbearance options of the federal (much lower interest) loans. TCN programs are not educational programs nor are they a school so there is no federal/state financial aid available to pay for the TCN portion of your costs.

    Either way, by using TCN to sign up for a distance/online education program, the school fees for courses, assessments, exams, etc are not "Free". You are paying for them in your loan payments (if they are included) plus interest.
    DookieMeisterRN and Debilpn23 like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from wishinguponastarLPN
    Yes I am aware that they are a publishing company that provides material for Excelsior, ect. Yes, I have read the many posts on here that people were unhappy with them. My questions is, is there anyone out that this has worked for?
    The reason I ask is because I work with an LPN who is using TCN and she is very pleased. She says they pay for her to take the tests and she doesn't have to worry about coming up with the $$ upfront for the test. She feels prepared for the tests and seems happy with them.
    I have looked at going to Excelsior but living on a tight budget coming up with the $ for the tests,application fees, ect... and the CPNE was one of my concerns.
    Any thoughts?
    If you are on a tight budget, do not use TCN. Signing with TCN will add at least 2k on top of what you will pay Excelsior. Basic nursing care has not changed at least the past 10 years. It's easy to buy used nursing texts online from a variety of sources. You can spend $200 in comparison to +2k. Do some research. You can also buy used TCN modules on Ebay for a fraction of what they sell for. No matter what, you get your degree through Excelsior. TCN is just selling you overpriced books. Have you asked this friend if you could borrow hers when she's done with them?
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    Do not sign on with TCN. Excelsior will work with you closely along with this website (students/distance learning) to get your degree. Nursing books can be bought used thru Amazon.com ,Ebay & discount bookstores. I am speaking from experience, as I signed on with Chancellor's (competitor of TCN). Was successful in achieving my RN degree, but am still paying off loan of $99.00 monthly, which in my opinion was not anywhere worth product/services provided. Do not make the mistake that I did. Steer clear of "publishing companies." Good luck.
    Debilpn23 likes this.
  10. 0
    I am using them for just the study materials and have passed all my exams on the 1st try. I knew going in that was exactly what I was getting.

    I dont do anything with TCN as far as my exams are concerned. I am in the military and schedule them on my own thru Pearson Vue or directly thru the base education office. Excelsior College gets the grade electronically and typically has my transpcript updated almost immediately.

    I am very lucky as my civilian employer (a hospital) picks up whatever cost the military does not. I owe my civilian employer 2 years after I graduate, which is a small price to pay for a free nursing degree. They also have the incentive to offer me a job as a new grad, as they have paid for my degree. Win-win as far as I am concerned.

    I'm not being paid by TCN to say any of this. It simply works for me.

    Good luck all,

    Jen
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    If you are having trouble coming up with the money for the program, then you should want to avoid TCN. Why pay more than $5000 for material that you could get for pennies on the dollar elsewhere or for that matter, for free, from the library? Not sensible for someone on a tight budget.
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    I am currently taking my pre-reqs through college network. My dh is in the military and I can CLEP out of tests for free but do you know if I can use the military for the online TCN exams for free? I sent an email to my advisor asking him this but thought I would ask you to in case you answer before he does. lol


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