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College Talk Blog

Education consumers beware

Education is a marketplace like any other product or service based arena. There is a wonderful array of high quality options for goods and services, there are some that are mediocre and there are some that are just plain bad for you. Name a product or service in education, and there is huge marketplace in the USA ready to provide quality service with integrity at a reasonable price...or make a buck and possibly do harm to your future.
All colleges and educational programs are not created equal.  There is a college and program for just about every level of career interest, academic achievement and financial circumstance. Most of them are good to excellent. Some are public, some are private and some are not for profit and others are profit driven.  None of these categories of colleges is bad. However, there are some for-profit colleges that do not give high quality instruction nor do they operate in the most ethical manner. Parents and students need to know that as they consider their options.
Parents and students who step inside the doors of a bad for-profit school will notice some unsettling signs and get the feeling that all is not right. They may even get that feeling you sometimes get on a used car lot. The first sign is that the school is determined to sign them up no matter what. There may be pressure to complete the application. They may try to complete the application for the student. They may hesitate to tell the student the full cost of attending their college or whether their credits really transfer to other colleges. Their accreditation may be less than that of other colleges.
Students and families who are likely to sign up anyway at a suspect college are those who are naive, perhaps in a hurry to graduate or who think there are no other options for them. Students who are highly trusting and who have low self esteem are also easy targets for such schools. My experience is that there is always a better option than inferior academic schools that promise what they know they cannot deliver. Before you sign on the dotted line and become indebted to any school, talk to someone who knows about education to make sure you are doing what is right for your future.  Do not get into  debt to an inferior institution from which you may not graduate or obtain skills that lead to better employment than you can get now. Be a good consumer and shop and compare before you sign up.

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