hard to believe that this article was written 13 years ago. this is the same story that is going on today – only change the $4,700 tuition to something like $15,500.
the recommendations at the end are still applicable as well.
# Get the name of the agency that accredits the school. Write and ask for the results of the school’s latest review. The agency will tell you whether the school passed, and if not, why.
# Ask the school for its graduation rate. A decent school should boast a 50 percent completion rate in any program—70 percent for courses of less than a year. Lower rates generally mean that students are dropping out discouraged. Request the percentage of students who pass their licensing exams and get placed in jobs. If a school publicizes its placement rate, it must also, by law, provide all information necessary to back up its claims. Those numbers must be available to you by the time you apply for admission.
# Request the names and phone numbers of recent graduates. Ask them: Did you find the training useful? Did you find work? While you run the risk that the school will give you only the handful of happy graduates, that’s at least something; a school that can’t cough up even a few satisfied customers is one you should definitely avoid.
# If the school tells you that local colleges will turn the program into credit, call the colleges directly and confirm. If it turns out the trade school gave you wrong information, it’s a good bet they’ve misled you on other fronts too.
# If, after taking these precautions, you still feel your education was inadequate, or if the school closed while you were a student, you might have some legal recourse. Contact your lender or the U.S. Department of Education (800-4-FED-AID), and ask for the “Fact Sheet for Students Adversely Affected by the Closure of a School or False Certification of Eligibility to Borrow.” It warns you to keep making loan payments until you are notified otherwise, and outlines the narrow conditions under which you might be eligible to have your loan discharged—if the school closed, for example, or you can prove that they knew you’d be unable to meet licensing requirements because of your age or disability.
the US Senate is in the process of reviewing the actions of the for-profit sector of education. basically the for-profit story is that it is helping those that did not make it through or like the traditional education process. the question is around whether they are delivering what they are getting paid to do.