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More Student Stories of Abuse at For-Profit Colleges

For-Profit College Students Speak Out About Abuses

Below are stories of students and employees who have been victims of the predatory practices and abuses of for-profit college programs. Campus Progress is gathering these stories through web-based research and direct outreach to students, as well as outreach to partner organizations. Unfortunately, these stories are not isolated incidents. We are continuing to collect stories from former students and employees of for-profit colleges.

University of Phoenix Charged Me Three Times More Than My Classes Were Worth

“I'm on disability, but the financial aid counselor convinced me that if I sacrificed and paid off the loan, I would receive my financial aid in a couple of weeks. So, I took my rent money and paid off the loan. My financial aid was not certified until September. I faced eviction and my electricity was turned off for lack of payment. When I realized that they were charging me over $1,100 per class and I could get the same classes at my local community college for 1/3 of that, I withdrew before they could schedule me for any more classes. I enrolled in the community college and have a 3.5 GPA. But I cannot take anymore classes because I have an outstanding balance with U of P and they will not release my transcript until they receive their money.”
—Cherryl Lockett, former Univeristy of Phoenix student

DeVry Monsters Feed Off of Students' Hope

“From my experience working there, a good 70 percent of the students are students from low- and mid-class families that are trying hard to etch out a life for themselves. These monsters come in and tell them pretty words that don’t mean anything. They make it seem like their only option is to go to DeVry and not another college, community college or university. They feed off the hope of the students essentially.”
—a former DeVry University employee

I Paid $22,000 For a Useless Degree

"The day I graduated from this school, my 'degree' was considered obsolete. The school's answer to this problem was, 'go back to school and get another degree.' More debt for me, more profit for the school. Total loan debt: $22,000.”
—Jeffrey Bland, former ECPI College of Technology student

Do you have a story about abuses in for-profit college programs? Tell us here.

About the Gainful Employment Regulations

The final gainful employment regulations issued by the Department of Education seek to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in some career college programs, programs that can leave students without marketable skills and buried in student loan debt. The rule is opposed by the for-profit industry, which has hired scores of big-name lobbyists and consultants, increased campaign contributions to members of Congress, and bombarded the airwaves with misleading TV commercials.

Campus Progress participated in the Department of Education's rulemaking process, met with government officials, published op-eds and reported articles, and helped build a strong coalition of groups in favor of the rule. Campus Progress also purchased a small cable television ad on MSNBC and FOX News to run a 30-second spot addressing this issue, countering an advertising blitz by the for-profit industry. For more about Campus Progress’ campaign, please visit

For more information, or to speak to a Campus Progress higher education spokesperson, please contact Katie Andriulli at (202) 481-8238 or

*The representations, views, and opinions expressed in these stories are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or experiences of Campus Progress or the Center for American Progress