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The College Network Scam

Posted

To All UPSET and angry nurses who joined THE COLLEGE NETWORK

This is my story...

After graduating my LVN program and waiting to take my boards, all of my classmates and I were very positive and enthusiastic to keep our schooling going and continuing on the path to becoming an RN. I heard alot of my classmates talking about The College Network and how they joined and are already taking their pre-requisites towards their RN. I wanted to see what it was about and met with a TCN advisor. He painted pretty pictures of how it is SO easy and convenient to study with TCN and how many of their students have went on and got their RN in a couple of years. I completely fell for his pitch as I was so enthusiastic to keep learning and further my career as a nurse. All TCN does is provide you with less than satisfactory notebooks and online modules for a ridiculous price. They are essentially a publishing company that has absolutely nothing to do with colleges and admission to colleges. What their advisors pitch is not what it actually is. I don't know one person that have succeeded using their materials. Not to mention Indiana State and some other colleges they mention they're affiliated with do not even recognize or accept students from California! Ask them about it.

I called them multiple times explaining my discontent with their study guides asking them if there is anyway I can get out of the contract to no avail. I have only received one binder full of useless information and have not even used any of their study modules or materials in years, but have continued to pay them every month out of fear it will ruin my credit. I know there are MANY of you out there that are still doing this very same thing. Many of these people are full time hard working people, single moms, struggling families-whatever the case may be..that cannot get out of these binding contracts. This is a complete scam and I am warning each and every one of you enthusiastic nursing students and others who may be looking for a way to further their career "conveniently".

DO NOT LOSE HOPE!! I have searched relentelessly for a solution throughout the years I have joined TCN and I finally got my answer. To All of those who are looking for a way OUT of your contract, contact the INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL. I emailed him and told him my story. I immediately got an answer back from the Attorney General and TCN with a settlement offer. It would be selfish and I wouldn't feel right if I did not atleast try to warn others of this company and give atleast one person relief and a light of hope that there is a solution to getting out of their contract. Being a nurse is not easy by any means and it is tragic that there are companies like this that target nurses trying to further their career.

I wish you all good luck!! :)

Edited by Joe V
removed formatting

tyvin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice / Psych / RNAC.

Wow...perhaps someone/others could get a FB page going on this subject. If they did it to one you know there a multiple others who probably don't realize they can get help or are looking for help. :up: United we stand and all that.

kc87t

Specializes in ER & Critical Care. Has 4 years experience.

My boyfriend was in the exact same situation. He lost $4,000 from them. That "company" is a load of CRAP!!!!!

SE_BSN_RN, BSN

Specializes in LTC, Agency, HHC. Has 8 years experience.

When I first decided to go back and get my BSN I looked at going thru them. Something just didn't seem right, and when I asked about clinicals they said it was 3 days in a local hospital with a nurse who checked you off on skills.....nothing invasive. I said no thanks when I heard that. Along with all of the people who failed clinicals for silly stuff, then having to come up with more money to do it again. This is a case of buyer beware! And, yes, I agree they are a scam!

BrandonLPN, LPN

Has 5 years experience.

It's kind of funny that our posts in this thread are literally embedded with ads for Indiana University, Excelsior, The College Network, etc.

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

Excelsior College has no relationship with TCN ... they actually warn students about third-party publishers, etc.: Exam Preparation Advisory - excelsior.edu

This is a hard, hard lesson that many people learn. When you sign a contract, it's just that -- a contract. An obligation. This is why I research everything to death before I sign -- because if it sounds "too easy," it probably isn't. The OP was lucky in that he/she was able to reach a settlement, but not all people will be so lucky -- many are held to their obligation that they incurred when they signed a contract. As with everything in life, caveat emptor! And I always tell EC students who have signed TCN contracts and who are upset at spending all that extra money that the best "revenge" is success in the program! Get some return on your investment.

Ironically, I got a postcard in the mail from TCN about 2 months after I graduated, and it was like, "Hey paramedic, want to be an RN in about 18 months?" Hahahaha.

lhflanurseNP, APRN

Specializes in Adult Nurse Practitioner. Has 40 years experience.

Such a shame. When I started on my venture towards my BSN, there were little choices and I signed with TCN. They did fulfill their part of the agreement...I received the modules needed to take the CLEP/Dantes exams. I was unable to begin right away and after 4 years was able to begin using the system. I found the modules marginally helpful yet I passed all my exams on the first try. Since then, I have learned that you can do the same thing on your own through CLEP and Dantes (they provide study material, you schedule and take your exam and the scores are uploaded into the system. I think TCN is going to be hard pressed into continuing their program now that more and more programs are available.

just one big business!

@karmabrown

I feel like your post was an answered prayer. I signed up for TCN as an LPN back in 2003 to attempt to get my RN. Needless to say, I was never satisfied with their program-everything from the "binders" to the structure of the program. I paid 2k back, took 1 exam and these "no good-----" decided after 9 years to bing a judgement against me and sue me for 7K (that included all accrued interest)!!!!!!!!!!!! So, as angry as I possibly could've been-I had to begin paying them $250/monthly or face garnishment of my wages -which in Ohio is 25% of my disposable income. As an RN charge nurse at a local medical center, I made great money and 25% was going to kill me! So, I continued my arrangement with their "attorney" until my BSN student loans came due and I was up to my neck in loans bills. Long story short, I stopped making payments, and was once again sent garnishment papers from my local county clerk of courts. I sent the "emergency hearing" paper back to the courts so that I could speak with the magistrate about a $50/mon payment that I could manage well. I never heard back from them and not only 2 weeks ago the attorney had my bank account "frozen" and they took almost $1,000.00!!!!!!!!!! I was devastated to say the least. So...4 phone calls later, I am completely out of my 1,000.00 they got, cannot fight that...but u still owe another 3K!!!! The attorney, once again, had me go into an agreement that I would pay $50/month on the 1st of each month! They wouldn't except $50 before!!!!!! Ugh!!!!! HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is there still hope for me to write the IN attorney general and somehow settle that 3K they say is owed to them! For what? They don't deserve another dime from me! They did nothing for me. It's not as if it was loan money and I spent the darn money! I just got boxes and boxes of binders for Gods sakes.

I wouldn't....in a gazillion years ever recommend TCN to anyone, EVER! It could only be a matter of time before they are forced OUT of BUSINESS!!!!!!!!!!

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 13 years experience.

RNtoNPwithfaith, Unfortunately it is against the website Terms of Service (TOS) to provide legal advice in the forums, so we can't really tell you what to do in your situation -- the OP can only describe what worked for him/her. I am so sorry you had this experience, and I wish you all the best in resolving it.

PMFB-RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Traum Rapid Response. Has 16 years experience.

It is shocking to me that so many otherwise smart people are taken in by TCN. I mean TCN isn't scamming trusting little old ladies here but people bright enough ot finish LPN or praramedic school. My first contact with TCN when I was an LPN sent SCAM allerts running through my head,

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

I guess it's the same reason why for-profit schools are able to scam people into enrolling in their nursing program to the tune of $30K PER YEAR. Desperation?

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience.

I guess it's the same reason why for-profit schools are able to scam people into enrolling in their nursing program to the tune of $30K PER YEAR. Desperation?

30K PER YEAR!!!!

If you are paying total 50k for the entire BSN program, OK, but if its more than that and not IVY, I would stay away from it...

I encourage people to WAIT and apply to every public Uni and college across the NATION BEFORE shelling our money to go to a for-profit school...even if it means either moving your family, or moving yourself to get a affordable education, just my opinion.

moorebluejacket

Has 15 years experience.

The TCN contract states that if the student is not admitted into ISU, the student will receive a full refund. TCN wrote the contract but is failing to honor it. Many California ISU students have taken TCN to small claims court, which in California is now up to $10,000. When facing the lawsuits, TCN has tried to settle for less than the contract amount but require the student to sign away their constitutional rights. Such as freedom of speach. TCN wants the student to sign an agreement that the student will never say anything against TCN for the rest of the student's life or TCN is owed from the student a minimum of $1,000 for each breach. The original contract has no such strings or requirements.

Also, TCN will try to keep a percentage of the contract as an 'educational fee' that can be applied to another program. However, in California, there are no other programs available and the student should be the person to decide if they want to apply to another program associated with TCN not TCN. Recently when TCN went to court in San Diego the middle of March 2013 to represent itself in a small claims suit, the judge heard both sides and then asked the TCN representative if he had brought its checkbook because the judge was certain that TCN wanted to do the right thing, i.e., honor the contract. The student won the small claims lawsuit for the maximum small claims amount of $10,000 plus court and fees. TCN has 30 days to appeal the judgment and in a week or so the appeal timeframe will end.

If you are a California student who signed a TCN contract, you do not have to settle for less than $10,000 plus court and filing fees. The contract is iron clad and the courts have ruled that TCN has to honor the contract.

moorebluejacket

Has 15 years experience.

The program you describe is not ISU's LVN to BSN program--or was. The program you describe sounds like Excelsior. The TCN program required clinicals as well as classes. The clinicals were normal nursing school clinicals with no shortcuts--or at least by California nurse practice act and the California Business and Professions Code there were not supposed to be short cuts. It was the shortcuts and timesheet fraud uncovered Spring 2012 that the VA nursing instrutors at the Long Beach Medical Center practiced and then the ISU nursing administrations' cover-up that caused the CABRN to investigate the ISU LVN to BSN program. The CABRN's attorney found in 2012 that the CABRN had been mislead when ISU applied for approved status and continued to mislead the CABRN during its investigations. The attorney found that the CABRN would retroactively remove the ISU LVN to BSN program going back to the initial approval in 2007. from the approved CABRN schools.

moorebluejacket

Has 15 years experience.

Excelsior College has no relationship with TCN ... they actually warn students about third-party publishers, etc.: Exam Preparation Advisory - excelsior.edu

This is a hard, hard lesson that many people learn. When you sign a contract, it's just that -- a contract. An obligation. This is why I research everything to death before I sign -- because if it sounds "too easy," it probably isn't. The OP was lucky in that he/she was able to reach a settlement, but not all people will be so lucky -- many are held to their obligation that they incurred when they signed a contract. As with everything in life, caveat emptor! And I always tell EC students who have signed TCN contracts and who are upset at spending all that extra money that the best "revenge" is success in the program! Get some return on your investment.

Ironically, I got a postcard in the mail from TCN about 2 months after I graduated, and it was like, "Hey paramedic, want to be an RN in about 18 months?" Hahahaha.

ISU and TCN are intimately involved and TCN is an associate of the ISU nursing program. In fact, the studyguides that ISU is fostering upon new students are written by ISU nurses or administrators. ISU and TCN are so intimately involved that at the California BRN meeting in which the CABRN attorney made his ruling against ISU, TCN represented itself as well as ISU at the meeting.

moorebluejacket

Has 15 years experience.

@karmabrown

I feel like your post was an answered prayer. I signed up for TCN as an LPN back in 2003 to attempt to get my RN. Needless to say, I was never satisfied with their program-everything from the "binders" to the structure of the program. I paid 2k back, took 1 exam and these "no good-----" decided after 9 years to bing a judgement against me and sue me for 7K (that included all accrued interest)!!!!!!!!!!!! So, as angry as I possibly could've been-I had to begin paying them $250/monthly or face garnishment of my wages -which in Ohio is 25% of my disposable income. As an RN charge nurse at a local medical center, I made great money and 25% was going to kill me! So, I continued my arrangement with their "attorney" until my BSN student loans came due and I was up to my neck in loans bills. Long story short, I stopped making payments, and was once again sent garnishment papers from my local county clerk of courts. I sent the "emergency hearing" paper back to the courts so that I could speak with the magistrate about a $50/mon payment that I could manage well. I never heard back from them and not only 2 weeks ago the attorney had my bank account "frozen" and they took almost $1,000.00!!!!!!!!!! I was devastated to say the least. So...4 phone calls later, I am completely out of my 1,000.00 they got, cannot fight that...but u still owe another 3K!!!! The attorney, once again, had me go into an agreement that I would pay $50/month on the 1st of each month! They wouldn't except $50 before!!!!!! Ugh!!!!! HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is there still hope for me to write the IN attorney general and somehow settle that 3K they say is owed to them! For what? They don't deserve another dime from me! They did nothing for me. It's not as if it was loan money and I spent the darn money! I just got boxes and boxes of binders for Gods sakes.

I wouldn't....in a gazillion years ever recommend TCN to anyone, EVER! It could only be a matter of time before they are forced OUT of BUSINESS!!!!!!!!!!

Does the back of your contract state that if you were never admitted into the program TCN will refund full contract price? This is the contract statement that many of the recently scammed students are making TCN live up to. Since the CABRN has stated that there is no nursing school and should have never received approval in 2007, the ISU students can not be admitted--for those who were not in the program. You stated you started your TCN studies in 2003. The ISU program did not get approval until 2007. Did you study for the ISU challenge exams?

The three day clinicals are Excelsior and are held in WI. The clinicals through Indiana State University are held at a location near where you live and you set them up for so many hours per week. TCN offers pre-requesite classes for entrance to Indiana State University. If you don't have all the classes needed for entrance to Indiana state, they help you take them online at a much lower cost than the university. I know quite a few people wo are using TCN and are very satisified with them. C A is one of the states that doesn't recognize TCN.

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