Jump to content

In Hard Times, Lured Into Trade School and Debt

News   (9,206 Views 49 Comments)
by D85619 D85619 (New Member) New Member

1,532 Visitors; 16 Posts

advertisement

You are reading page 4 of In Hard Times, Lured Into Trade School and Debt. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

14,067 Visitors; 1,986 Posts

In this area, some of these "career colleges" are offering associate degrees for medical assisting and the like (medical transcription, for another). I just get really angry when I see this when I happen to watch daytime TV. These schools can't even begin to over classes that would get them an associates' degree (college psychology, sociology, government, history - none of that!)

I hate to admit it but I attended one of these schools after I got my bachelor's. I wanted to work in a medical office to get my Masters, but all offices said that I had to "go to school for that first" (for whatever reason known only unto them). I actually wanted to do transcription as I was desperately trying to move out of state to support myself while going for my Masters'. I called several schools and was told, "Why yes, we have medical transcription! If you come down now we can even get you into a class for this afternoon! Otherwise you'll have to wait for the next class in (mumble mumble)weeks, but wouldn't you like to get started today?" Like a stupid person I went down there, and of course I qualified for admission on the spot with no transcripts.

I started the course (after filling out the financial aid forms - which is what they really wanted), and it was a self-taught class with basic 3rd grade anatomy. I didn't even need to read the text to know the answers as it was such a joke. Later on that day, I confronted one of them and said, "I needed the medical transcription class." She said that this was the medical transcription class that everyone takes, and the MT would come later on in the one year program. At this point I was so upset because I had been lead down the wrong path by a smooth talker. Again, I told them that I wasn't interested in that stuff and only wanted MT - "could I only take those classes?" An immediate "no" came forward, and explained that I'll be more marketable if I had my MA, coding, front office work, insurance knowledge, etc. Again I told them that I didn't have that much time and could I just take the MT portion? Again, no... one of them was actually honest enough to say that if they did it that way, they couldn't get the loan money from the government and the school couldn't stay solvent (so he said). I was so mad by this point, and he said that he could work out a special deal with me... if I stayed there for 6 months taking evening AND nigh courses, that I could get my MT faster and maybe, just maybe pay a little less.

The other girls around me had their GED's at max, some nothing. (No, I'm not picking on those students), but they tailored the classes to them while I was bored to tears by the following lab: these are your fingers, they lead your hand... the hard substance you feel inside your hand is called a) rocks b) cement or c) bone (and no, I'm not making this up). At the end of the week (I started on Wed) we were supposed to have a big meeting with the founder (Ooooo ahhhhh). She asked how it was going, and if we were having trouble. One girl (whom I did feel bad for) said that the classes were too hard. They arranged for extra tutoring for her. Then I told her my story, it was too darn easy, repetitive, and I was angry at the bill of sale they had given me. The person had enough of me by that point and said, "Don't say that in front of the younger kids! We'll try to get you into a MT only class." A week went by with her hiding when she saw me. I said, "That was it... I don't have a year of my live after I've received a Bachelor's to be back in kindergarten again." I'm leaving. No more money from me and you'll be wasting your time filling out that financial aid form because I won't be coming back.

For weeks they kept on calling me saying "they had a creative way to get me to take the MT part only, but there would be no discounts available." Tuition was 30K and they wanted the money. I said no, but the next week they'd call with their latest and greatest scheme/offer. Finally, I told them that any more calls would be unwanted and would be treated like stalking calls. Calls stopped after a little while and then I get one asking if I would reconsider. I lied and told them I had a job thank-you-very-much.

These schools are dishonest in every sense of the word: lying about how long it will take for you to get through the program, what these programs offer, and that you'd be put in a group of students with your ability, and MA and MT's are going to be the highest paid positions in the land!!! You will be making big $$$ You are entering a prof1ession which is in top demand even now in these hard times. When you take the job you will be paid as one of the top professionals, in the 1% of the highest gross earners. And the worst line: the health care industry is recession-proof and is still growing!!!

All of this makes me so sick... the local technology center has these courses (including MT on it's own!!!) for FAR less than these "schools" I think I checked and the MT program at that time was $500 and included everything.

I really am sick for these kids who have no knowledge of how the world works gets suckered into these programs, incurring loans in which they will have no ability to begin paying off... and there goes their credit along with the ability to find any job.

I hope that one day they will be investigated and put out of business. No pre-teen deserves to go into a debt of over ~$35,000K and only have a 8.00-9.00/hr way of trying to pay it off.

Sorry, I wrote a novel, but when I see these things, I truly get livid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

12,026 Visitors; 1,130 Posts

BabyRN2b--Were you a nurse at the time that you tried to take the MT course?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not_A_Hat_Person has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Geriatrics, Home Health.

1 Follower; 37,622 Visitors; 2,899 Posts

This reminds of the time when I was going for my CNA, and this "school" named Xintra, formerly Tech Com, formerly other names, which operated outside of Boston, had us pay nearly $700 and we and the instructor only had one class because the Board of Higher Education shut it down the next week for fraud and other things (they were in violation of a court order to NEVER operate again, so they operated under Xintra), However the school never gave us notice they were shutting down, and a phone call to the Attorney General and we got out $$$ back ASAP.

I was duped by Xintra, too, trying to become an A+ certified computer tech. I had computer tech experience, and I thought certification would make it easier to find a job in the field. I paid $600 for a class, failed the certification exam (which covered things that were never covered in the class), and never went back.

What I remember most was the desperation among my classmates. A few had gone to Computer Learning Center, which had closed up shop a week before classes started. I understood the feeling; I was trapped in a low-paying job I hated, and it took 7 more years (and 2 degrees) to get out. I was only interested because their course was cheaper than the one at the local community college. Ironically, I got my ADN in nursing from the same community college 7 years later.

I'm not surprised that "schools" like Xintra still exist, preying on the desperate, unemployed, and underemployed. If the feds get serious about cutting off financial aid, they will disappear.

Edited by Not_A_Hat_Person
punctuation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2,337 Visitors; 41 Posts

Here is ONE thing to be aware of:

If at all possible avoid Sallie Mae-based loans. Try anything...and I mean ANYTHING else.

Sallie Mae loans ARE NOT discharged in BK (bankruptcy). Nobody wants to be reduced to using the Bankruptcy Code for relief, but it does happen...often to people who do everything in their power to avoid THAT walk.

You are then stuck with:

A significant loan, with (usually) sub-market interest rates.

No job (or at least not the job you hoped for).

Being a young person with the rest of their life to pay off the loan.

The earlier poster who mentioned her cheap Kia scored a bullseye. Treat your educational and occupational goals with the same critical analysis that you would use to evaluate a potential spouse. If it (or they) do not add value, they get the heave-ho.

As a friend told me..."Student Loans - The Next Sub-prime"

"...The rivers are full of crocodile nasties

And He who made kittens put snakes in the grass..."

"Bungle In The Jungle" - Jethro Tull

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Junebugfairy specializes in Gyn/STD clinic tech.

4,695 Visitors; 337 Posts

i place more money and value into education than i do a car. i am simply unwilling to pay 20,000 for a name brand, when i paid 8,000$ for a brand new kia. i am a kia fan, mainly because i have had such good experiences.

you have to prioritize, what is important to you? i never pay more then 30$ for a new pair of shoes, i buy nice brands on sale and save big.

i make good financial choices so that i have more money for important things. yes, there is a wait in some colleges for nursing, but imo paying 50,000-60,000 is not worth it to avoid a wait. the wait can be a good time to save money so you do not have to work while in school, or pay off a car and get your finances together.

it's all about choices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14,067 Visitors; 1,986 Posts

BabyRN2b--Were you a nurse at the time that you tried to take the MT course?

No, I wasn't... I've had a long, twisty-turning career path. I had just graduated from a private university with a Bachelor's in Speech-Language Pathology. I didn't want to accrue more debt in getting my Master's at an out-of-state university 600 miles away and wanted to have MT to use to get through school. Long story, I really didn't want to do speech path (my mother didn't want me to be a nurse, that's what I wanted to do), worked to certify as a doula to boost my resume for nursing. After I got married my mom really couldn't tell me what to do anymore and I started working on my pre-reqs for nursing. I really wanted to go into nursing (still very much do) but got pregnant with our daughter. I've decided to be a SAHM, still being a doula and childbirth educator. I'm looking at the future and it's very possible that I'll go into nursing school at a later date (first of all, the economy has to improve first as there are no openings for new grads in this area). I (along with everyone else it seems) would love to do either L&D, or better yet, Mother-Baby and work on my IBCLC - I'm currently a certified breastfeeding educator and would love to continue that. But for now I love being a mom and we'll work on the future later. :)

Oh yes, I don't see MT in my future at all, but it would have been great at the time. Things change though. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14,067 Visitors; 1,986 Posts

As a friend told me..."Student Loans - The Next Sub-prime"

Oh, NO kidding... surprised it hasn't happened before now. I really won't be surprised when it happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

meluhn has 16 years experience and specializes in acute rehab, med surg, LTC, peds, home c.

8,518 Visitors; 661 Posts

I unfortunately went to one of the schools years and years ago.....way before I became a CNA or an LPN. I spent way to much money and used pell grants that I shouldn't have to go. I completed the schooling during which I was told that I was over weight and if I didn't lose 10 pounds the placement office would not be obligated to help me find work. I jumped through all their hoops, lost 15 pounds, only to be told I would find it hard to get a job. The last week of class several area doctors came in for a Q&A session. It was then I was told that because I was a military wife I would find it very difficult to find a job. No doctor would want to hire me, train me just to have me leave in a few years. I never worked one day as an RMA (registered medical assistant). I even took the national test and passed it though it was not required. These places should not be allowed to use government money they are the used cars dealers of of education. I am 51 days away from graduation of my RN program. My husband I have paid for it out of our own pockets, no money was borrowed, no contracts signed. I worked through the whole program full time at the hospital and felt many times I was going nuts. The moral of this story.....I wish I knew then what I know now and that someone had told me that I would never work one day as a medical assisstant.

What you are saying sounds very strange. A school telling you you need to lose 10lbs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WoofyMutt80 specializes in Geriatrics, Cath Lab, Cardiology,Neuro.

3,844 Visitors; 158 Posts

The good news is post-Xintra and getting my $$$ back, 3 years later I got my CNA (it took sometime due to unforseen issues, non-Xintra related), and soon went for my Medical Assistant Certification at an ACCREDITED COLLEGE. I hope to save some $$$ for RN school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2,241 Visitors; 120 Posts

i place more money and value into education than i do a car. i am simply unwilling to pay 20,000 for a name brand, when i paid 8,000$ for a brand new kia. i am a kia fan, mainly because i have had such good experiences.

you have to prioritize, what is important to you? i never pay more then 30$ for a new pair of shoes, i buy nice brands on sale and save big.

i make good financial choices so that i have more money for important things. yes, there is a wait in some colleges for nursing, but imo paying 50,000-60,000 is not worth it to avoid a wait. the wait can be a good time to save money so you do not have to work while in school, or pay off a car and get your finances together.

it's all about choices.

thats great...i am getting 110k in tuition paid for by uncle sam, and getting a commission as a second lieutenant with my bsn from an uber expensivo school. the military will pay for ccrn, acls, and other advanced training like picc. with any luck and perserverance they will also grant money towards grad school np or crna. what exactly are you getting in a year by the way? and a kia at 305k is not the rule. are you refuting consumer reports? also...would i want to drive a kia? never lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2,337 Visitors; 41 Posts

EXCELLENT choices...all around. Having the Fed pay for your education, while you gain leadership skills. Easy on the Kia reference, as you become an Officer, your subordinates will NOT take that attitude well.

One of the leading causes of Leadership Failure is leaders being openly disrespectful of their troops.

Here's a Female Naval Captain who refused to fall on her sword, so her superiors helped her out.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1969602,00.html

And to keep it balanced, here's a Male CO that suffered the same fate.

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/05/navy_burke_co_fired_070521/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

17,816 Visitors; 1,840 Posts

I'm sorry but a nursing degree is NOT worth being 50k in debt.

It may not be worth it if you don't like your job, but $50K worth of debt is nothing compared what you can make in nursing, especially if the alternative is a minimum wage job! I have almost double that in debt from school and I still think it's worth it compared to other degrees where you start at $20K-$30K for entry level positions and have to climb the corporate ladder and kiss butt for years to advance. Not my cup of tea!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing 0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×