Admissions representative explains to the undercover applicant that although community college might be a less expensive place to get a degree, community colleges make students spend money on classes that they do not need for their career. However, this school also requires students to take at least 36 credit hours of non-business general education courses.
Admissions representative did not disclose the graduation rate after being directly asked. He told the undercover applicant that it is a “good” graduation rate. The college’s Web site also did not provide the graduation rate.
Admissions representative encouraged the undercover applicant to enroll by asking her to envision graduation day. He stated, “Let me ask you this, if you could walk across the stage in a black cap and gown. And walk with the rest of the graduating class and take a degree from the president’s hand, how would that make you feel?”
Admissions representative said the bachelor’s degree would take 3.5 to 4 years to complete, but he provided a one-year cost estimate equal to 1/5 of the required credit hours.
Admissions representative required the undercover applicant to apply to the college before he could talk to someone in financial aid.
Admissions representative told the undercover applicant that almost all of the graduates get jobs.
Flyer provided to undercover applicant stated that the average income for business management professionals in 2004 was $77,000-$118,000. When asked more directly about likely starting salaries, the admissions representative said that it was between $40,000 and $50,000.
College information and degree sought
CA - 2-year, owned by publicly traded company
Certificate – Massage Therapy
DC - 4-year, privately owned
Bachelor’s Degree – Business Information Systems
Students receiving Pell Grantsa
Students receiving federal loansa
Encouragement of fraud, and engagement in deceptive, or otherwise questionable behavior
The financial aid representative would not discuss the undercover applicant’s eligibility for grants and loans and required the applicant to return on another day.
Undercover applicant was told that he could earn up to $100 an hour as a massage therapist. While this may be possible, according to the BLS, 90 percent of all massage therapists in California make less than $34 per hour.