Hide and Seek on American Career College’s New Website (Part #1)
recently, American Career College spent thousands of dollars updated its website. while this change seems to provide more information, most notably what is missing is anything that relates to the tuition costs for the school. additionally, it is very difficult to determine when classes start. This information seems to be missing from the site.
this is a long standing tactic at American Career College. the reason you cannot find the information on the site is because they are trying to force you to give them your contact information so they can release their admissions staff on you to pressure you into attending classes. that is why there is no problem finding the lead form – but good luck finding the tuition and class schedules.
why do we bring this up? because this year, the state of California reinitiated its agency that is responsible for regulating for-profit schools. In the new regulations, the Bureau for Private Post-Secondary Education (BPPE) specifically requires that this information – along with anything information that is required in the catalog, be included on the website without requiring the forfeiture of lead information. See paragraph “O” section 94897 entitled “Prohibited Business Practices” (http://www.bppe.ca.gov/lawsregs/ppe_act.shtml#94897). It specifically states the following:
(o) Require a prospective student to provide personal contact information in order to obtain, from the institution’s Internet Web site, educational program information that is required to be contained in the school catalog or any information required pursuant to the consumer information requirements of Title IV of the federal Higher Education Act of 1965, and any amendments thereto.
did American Career College revamped its website and not include this information and are violating this regulation? the short answer of it is no. but they try pretty hard to make sure you can’t find it. see this video that shows how hard it is to find this information on its website.
why would they do this. well there are a couple reasons. The initial reason it is in a pdf, buried deep in the catalog is it makes it very difficult for search engines (google, bing, etc.) to pick up – making the tuition more difficult for someone to find prior to visiting or calling. this is also why they put it just one non-descriptive link on a page that very few people will find on the site.
but the most important reason is, as stated before, they want you to call or visit the campus before they tell you the price. why? because it is in these private conversations with the prospect when they can mislead and pressure promise prospects into making the decision they want – the same actions found by the GAO posted on this site in September. This way there is no evidence accept the prospect’s account – which American Career College can easily deny. It is critical that they continue the high pressure tactics that they use because this is the only way they can get someone to pay over $15,000 for a Medical Assisting certificate that would cost less than $1,000 at a community college.
as with everything – people only hide what they don’t want others to know about them. in this case, American Career College is charging students – thus indirectly every taxpayer – over 15x more than a community college. talk about a ripoff…..