what is REALLY missing from the site is the information that you need to make your decision about the school. that information is the placement rates for the various programs. why is this not included? because apparently there is something to hide.
why do we say that? well, let’s think through it. in the end, the reason every student chooses a program like those offered at American Career College is to get a job and start on the new path for the rest of their life. students pay extra (around 15x the cost at community college) because they want a streamlined program and support they don’t expect to receive from the traditional school system (in a later post we will talk about how for-profits consistently underdeliver).
while the support component might be difficult to quantify, getting jobs for students is not. it is called placement rate. Every for-profit school knows what it is because they must track it in order to maintain accreditation and federal recognition for Title IV funding. the question is why this number is not available on the website? if they are placing well, wouldn’t it be front and center showing how they get students jobs?
we contacted ABHES, the accrediting institution for American Career College, and they told us to ask the school for this rate. this is just daring ACC to make up the number, and from what we have heard, they do. programs from medical assisting, pharmacy technician, vocational nursing and medical billing have all been under the required 70% placement rate by ABHES in the last few years. yet, this is not shown anywhere public and is supposed to be covered in the private meeting when the prospect is alone with the admissions representative. what is really happening is that the information is buried in the enrollment agreement is mixed in with a stack of documents. students enrolling don’t even know that they are acknowledging that they were told these lousy placement numbers.
think about this. 70% is seven out of ten. even if they make this requirement it means that 3 out of every 10 students that attend American Career College will pay 15-20x the cost at community college and will still be looking for work.
3 out of every 10 will not be able to transfer the credits they just earned, they will not be able to get their loan forgiven and they will not be able to get the time they just wasted back.
3 out of every 10 will have just made their life worse than it was before they went to school.
explain to us again why do we need organizations that act like this in our community?!?!
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…..