Anyone seen this article on Westwood College?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by guy_smiley, May 7, 2005.

  1. guy_smiley

    guy_smiley New Member

    It says 67 students are suing Westwood College for misleading them about Westwood's accreditation, graduate job success rate, and transferability of credits. It also compares Westwood's tuition to Harvard.

    It does not say how many were online students; however, I figured some of you might find it interesting given Westwood's online presence.

    Here's a video as it aired on WFAA 8.

    Full article (requires registration though)

    Here's part of the article for your convenience:
  2. galanga

    galanga New Member

    programs ARE accredited, though not RA.

    The Texas program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT), as are a number of its other programs. Others are acredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). Those are both CHEA-recognized accreditors, but not from the set of Regional Accreditors.

    The price is completely crazy.
  3. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    As I was awaiting a flight from San Antonio to Houston this weekend, I sat next to a lady that was frantically making call after call to potential students (and their parents) from her cell phone, in an attempt to schedule “interviews” or meetings. She was working from a stack of survey forms (I would guess more than 500 of them) and was extremely aggressive in her approach (to the point of advising an illegal immigrant as to her financing options). Curiously, all the prospects seemed to come from low income families. It struck me as a bit odd, not only because she claimed to represent a college, but also because this was on a Saturday at approximately 6:00PM.

    The school she claimed to represent? Westwood College in Houston.
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    A school like that is similar to a car dealership: both need customers who can pay. But neither needs customers with money.

    In both, the finance departments are critical.

    But where they differ is that low (or no) income customers don't do well at the car dealerships; they're ability to gather sufficient financing is diminished (or non-existant). The exact opposite is true for trade schools! Low- or no-income students are most likely able to gather Pell Grants and subsidized Stafford loans. This makes them a lot more realiably paying customers--someone else (the government) is making the payments!

    Low- or no-income customers are also most likely to "fall" for a trade school's pitch. They're most in need of a job (or job change). Sadly, the quality and relevance of training received at trade schools, even accredited ones, varies widely. In fact, many replicate training available from local community colleges, but at a much higher price. But the customers, insulated by financial aid, don't feel it. Until the student loan payments become due, of course.
  5. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Actually, it is not necessarily so obvious that low or no income customers don't do so well is at the car dealerships. I have twice been offered nothing down and no payments for four months. I fell for it the first go-round., in 2000. I turned that car, a 1995 Kia Srphia, in on a voluntary repossession four months later. I wasn't about to fall for that the second time around. Of course there's always the fools that get on TV and start screaming "Bad Credit! No Credit! Divorced! No Problem!" Then they get you to come in and have you sign loan papers at 21% interest. And so it goes.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2005
  6. aic712

    aic712 Member


    There was a student (or former student) in the video that said other schools would not take his credits from Westwood, stating that he would have to start over.

    I am sure that no one at westwood explained the difference of national and regional accreditation to potential students, and that cost is absolutely nuts (similar to the FMU thread a while back) especially for a 2 year degree.
  7. marilynd

    marilynd New Member

    Unfortunately, there are many trade schools that survive only from federally-insured loans and government grant programs. I'm sure that it is not enough to provide quality job training. It pays the bills but not much else. Often substandard training, low completion rates, high tuition which mortgages their students' futures without return on investment. These sorts of schools are the bottom-feeders of American education.


  8. tsling

    tsling New Member

    I was wondering why these people had not gone to community colleges where the tuition fees are low instead of Westwood and the likes where tuition is much higher.
  9. guy_smiley

    guy_smiley New Member

    A community college would take 2 years, 1.5 years with summer courses, and the programs tend to be general, whereas a place like Westwood is accelerated and specialized.

    I had one of their interviews. I agree with the salesman in the video, that the entire interview is a high-pressure sales pitch where your admission is based on your ability to pay--not on ability or talent.

    I have to admit that for a day or so they had me hooked on their sales pitch. After coming out of the daze, I did some searching and found the news report and remembered how the "interview" went and thought about what my sales friends have told me about salesman tricks and strategies. The number one trick is to get across a sense of urgency, that if you don't act now, you'll never get this "amazing" chance again. After the 3rd day from first contact, they had me a few mouse clicks away from course registration and federal loan application. This combined with the "salesish" interview, news article, extreme price really bothered me. I have attended 2 community colleges and 1 university before. None of those moved as fast as Westwood or gave me the high-pressure spiel.

    Btw, there are two follup articles on WFAA's website if you register and search on the keyword "Westwood".
  10. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Yes very sad.

    Can they take chalange exams at the same time wile it is fresh in their mind, lets say EC or other big 3 to save their spent time and money and to transfer earned knowlage in to RA credit.

    Maybe a CLEP, GRE etc.

    One way out of this mess


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