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In Hard Times, Lured Into Trade School and Debt

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by D85619 D85619 (New Member) New Member

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anurseatlast has 4 years experience and specializes in maternal child, public/community health.

224 Posts; 6,346 Profile Views

There is a local college (which recently changed its name, probably because it was so poorly thought of in the community) that targets low-income people with these kinds of promises. The tuition is crazy - $30,000 for medical assisting, for instance. Oh, did I mention that their nursing students are no longer allowed to do clinical in some hospitals because they are so poorly prepared?

I work with teens, some of whom are being enticed by this place. They tell them, "It won't cost you anything!" which is not true of course. If they even make it through the program, they have big loans but will not make enough to pay them off. I try to explain the difference between grants, scholarships, and loans but too many of the girls have bought the story. Many of the parents have not been to college and do not know how to guide their kids in making these decisions. Many of the students never make it through because the school does not screen out those who are highly unlikely to succeed. It makes me sad that students who would do well in a more appropriate program think the problem is them when the problem is the school. The bottom line is that these programs exploit people for financial gain.

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SharonH, RN has 20 years experience and specializes in Med/Surg, Geriatrics.

2,144 Posts; 17,031 Profile Views

I'm glad somebody is exposing these charlatans. They target the most vulnerable: the unemployed and undereducated and promise them fabulous careers for lots of money. If I didn't know anything about the field of healthcare and I was somebody who was looking to get an education and escape a life on the fringe, I would absolutely be attracted to some of those schools. Many of them need to be shut down. These ads run on a continuous loop during daytime TV. Unfortunately some of the schools locally have resorted to using actual physicians to promote their programs lending a legitimacy to what they do.

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Baloney Amputation is a BSN, LPN, RN and specializes in LTC, Acute Care.

1,130 Posts; 12,030 Profile Views

Oh and let us not forget about those medical transcription schools that really suck people in with promises of being able to work at home, whenever you want and make big bucks! What a rip off! :mad:

It's quite a challenge to pick which courses are legit. Search medical transcription online and you'll be bombarded with names of training programs. MT is an interesting career in that national employers that allow MTs to work at home in those critical first 2 years of working favor employing people who completed training from very specific online training programs that are NOT college based. Getting a college diploma in MT is not necessarily the best way to go in this situation.

The first couple of years of MT is really a poor earning time, but many times you can pick your scheduled hours. That part is true, even as an employee. Now that I've been in this for 5 years, I generally make more than I did in nursing, with no daycare costs on top of that.

The part that grinds lots of MTs is when ads for MT schools really advertise hard to stay-at-home moms, making it look like it's no biggie to work with kids floating around. MT takes 100% concentration 100% of the time. You can't work an 8-hour shift, make your line counts (and subsequently make money because we almost always work on production) with kids interrupting you, which they will when they are floating around. Unfortunately, I think many a transcriptionist finds this out too late, after they've invested much money in a well-marketed training program and are making $3 an hour on production in their early months of working as a transcriptionist.

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36,689 Posts; 96,666 Profile Views

A classmate of mines just took out a loan for $55,000 :eek::eek:for the nursing program at Samuel Merrit University in Oakland Ca. She was desperate after not being able to get into our public university program for 2 yrs.

Samuel Merritt is a legitimate school with a good reputation. At least the graduate can sit for the NCLEX when they finish, a worthwhile goal.

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GadgetRN71 has 10 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Operating Room.

1 Article; 1,820 Posts; 13,858 Profile Views

One of the schools in my state(the same one that overcharged me for my surg tech degree, back in the day) just started offering an ASN degree..this ADN will cost roughly $50,000 and they aren't accredited yet. We have a perfectly good CC around here that I got my ADN from and it cost me $6000. I will be starting an online BSN from a private college, and I won't be paying anything near to $50,000.

They are taking advantage of those who have been on waiting lists and so are desperate. My former school just started performance based admissions again so maybe some couldn't get into the CC program..who knows?

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14,620 Posts; 103,246 Profile Views

The newspaper in the nearest big city to me did an series of investigative articles a few years ago on the local branch of a well-known national proprietary tech/voc school. The school offered computer programs, not nursing, but the articles documented in detail how the school recruited people who clearly could not be expected to be able to do college level academic work, helped them apply for federal student aid and loans, enrolled them in classes, and then, when the students flunked out, the school pocketed the money and laughed all the way to the bank (and the "students" were left with many thousands of dollars in student loans to repay). The limited number of students who did complete their programs and get their certificates or degrees found, when they went job-hunting, that no technology employer in the area took the piece of paper seriously and they were no more employable than they were before they were suckered into attending the school. The entire "school" was little more than a scam to collect federal student loan money. After the articles ran, the school shut down and left the area.

I notice from reading here that that same "school" chain is now offering nursing programs in some cities (not in my state, thank goodness!) I really feel sorry for the people who fall for their slick marketing and hard-sell "student advising."

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OgopogoLPN is a LPN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, LTC/Geriatric.

585 Posts; 9,676 Profile Views

A private college in my province continually advertises its LPN program, which is $22,500 :eek:

They are accredited and their graduates do have high percentage of passing the national exam, however I have heard very negative feedback from their students...disorganized, high staff turnover, poor lab equipment and supplies.

This school also keeps running the program many times per year, even though the LPN market is saturated in many parts of the province and new grads are having a very hard time getting hired anywhere, even casual.

On the other hand, I took my LPN education at a public CC and paid $4500 for tuition. My college had added a 3rd intake of LPN students, ran it for one intake and then suspended it as the local market is saturated and there are just no jobs for those grads....responsible thing to do in my opinion. You'll never see a for-profit, private college do that!

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hope3456 is a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, Psych, M/S.

1,262 Posts; 20,165 Profile Views

On the other hand, I took my LPN education at a public CC and paid $4500 for tuition. My college had added a 3rd intake of LPN students, ran it for one intake and then suspended it as the local market is saturated and there are just no jobs for those grads....responsible thing to do in my opinion. You'll never see a for-profit, private college do that!

You make a good point here Ogopogo ~ colleges (that are gov't funded, esp.) should be responsive to what the job market is and only offer courses that are pertinent to such. They are taking our tax dollars as well as tuition money from the students who attend and are trying to better their futures, so I don't think it is wrong to expect this. So often, students are given false info and hopes by guidance counselors who are only trying to make their own dept look good by gaining more students (thereby $$$$).

Edited by TheCommuter
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llg has 40 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

13,067 Posts; 58,151 Profile Views

I want to thank the OP for starting this thread. I hope that some of the pre-nursing students here on allnurses read it and take it to heart. There are a lot of bad programs out there ... and prospective students are easily sucked in by false promises.

The hospitals in my area are also starting to take action -- by limiting those schools' access to clinical sites and by hiring few graduates from those schools. But most students don't look closely enough at those things. They see the shiny new skills lab and the high NCLEX pass rates (of the 25% of the student population that actually graduates) ... and sign on the dotted line.

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1 Article; 5,758 Posts; 32,460 Profile Views

There was an article about a similar scam listed in the WSJ. It said that people were paying a lot of money to take courses to be casino card dealers. The schools are a complete scam because the casinos only get their dealers from a small number of certified schools.

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76 Posts; 4,607 Profile Views

The Pell grant program counts those useless credits against the individual so their future attempt for an education will be thwarted as they used up their eligibility. Also Pell counts units you took when you weren't receiving Pell grant for them. So beware. My local community college has to turn away people from their phlebotomy classes even though thee are no jobs and layoffs of existing phlebotomy jobs.

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120 Posts; 2,241 Profile Views

Anyone expecting to get a good wage for 1 yrs schooling at a cheap tuition is expecting too much. Someone said 22k is too much for tuition. Isnt that the average price of a decent new car these days? So u would buy a car, but not get an education? The concern is will the education actually result in a job, or is it a scam training for jobs with zero demand.

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