My AIU experience (lies and deceit).

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by thedman, May 2, 2004.

  1. thedman

    thedman New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I graduated from AIU yesterday (May 1st, 2004) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Like many people who have posted opinions regarding AIU to this discussion board, I too have mixed feelings about the school and my overall experience while attending there. I can’t help but think I was lied to (or misled) on many occasions by AIU’s administrative staff. The now famous, yes-you-can/no-you-can’t, on-site graduation promise was just the tip of the iceberg in regards to AIU’s list of broken promises to me.

    I looked at several different colleges before deciding to enroll at AIU. Many of them offered distance learning programs in conjunction with on-campus learning. However, I work full time and can’t attend any land-based classes.

    My main concern with AIU was that I didn’t want the “online” moniker following me around everywhere. My “advisor” (salesperson) assured me that the college was an extension of the Georgia campus and the degree would be recognized as part of that institution and not as a separate “online” program. This was the statement that put my mind at ease and made me sign up. It’s also the biggest lie that was told to me by the administrative staff. I just found out today that my transcripts are indeed going to say “AIU Online” instead of American InterContinental University. I’m just sick about spending nearly $30,000 on a degree that says “online.” I’m sick about it because I was told it wouldn’t say that when I signed up. Online education is still new and many people can’t quite grasp the idea (especially employers). In the real world, the term “online” (in regards to education) could be perceived as “not to be confused with our high-quality, land-based, programs.”

    In one sense, what AIU’s salespeople did to me could be considered fraud. I agreed to pay for one thing and got something completely different. However, like many of you have stated, I didn’t get anything in writing and didn’t record the conversation. I just took their word for it and trusted that they were ethical people. Wrong! They are no better than used car salesmen.

    To make matters worse, I just found out today that AIU’s online program is trying to break away from its Georgia campus and become its own, separate college. I wonder if they will still have the same accreditation. I also wonder how this change will affect how previous AIU degrees will be perceived in the real world. I guess AIU’s salespeople can no longer play up the school’s history (founded 1970) and accreditation when recruiting new students.

    As far as quality of education, it’s hard for me to be completely objective. I already knew most of this material before signing up. I’ve been working in the Visual Communications field since 1997. In my opinion, the classes were too easy and the grading wasn’t hard enough.

    Everything seemed ok for about the first six months I attended there, but then everything started going to hell. The virtual campus was down a lot, with no explanation as to why or when service would be restored. Trying to talk to a real person on the phone became next to impossible. I went through three “advisors.” The last one either quit or was fired without any notification to me. I was left without an advisor for a few months (not that I really needed one). Towards the end of my curriculum, I noticed that my emails to school personnel weren’t being responded to in a timely fashion. It felt like I was attending a different university towards the end of my program.

    In conclusion, if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t attend AIU. I think their marketing/sales practices are shady and downright criminal in some cases.
  2. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    On a positive note you did graduate and I would not worry about the "online" transcript. Times are changing.

    Congrats again on your graduation.
  3. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Well, congratulations on your graduation :confused:

    As far as the transcript saying "online", I would not worry much about that. I have never had an employer ask for my transcript.

    Any plans for a grad degree? I guess if you did, it would not from AIU
  4. thedman

    thedman New Member

    Hi Fed and Randell,

    Thanks for the positive reinforcement regarding my degree. I would like to get a grad degree sometime in the future, but I’ll need to pay off most of my AIU tuition first. I had to pay for it all myself. I didn’t qualify for any financial assistance or reimbursement.

    Thanks again for your comments!
  5. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Congradulations on graduating. :)

    Your alma mater is now AIU. Forever. :eek:
  6. Myoptimism

    Myoptimism New Member

    For a second, considering AIU's tuition, I thought you had said...
    Seriously though, congratulations on your achievement. Now, on to grad school!

  7. Oherra

    Oherra New Member

    I have only seeen an unofficial transcript so far. I am holding out hope that whenever they send official ones they might not say online.

    I had some concerns about AIU and I too was upset about graduation but that's the only thinking I feel they ever lied about. I can defiantly understand being upset about the online stuff being printed on the transcript if they do that though.
  8. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    It is highly unlikely that the transcript will say "online." It will simply list the classes that you completed, the GPA, the total number of credits and the degree that was awarded. That's it!!!

    You can cast your fears aside. :D
  9. codekiller

    codekiller New Member

    congrat on graduation

    I completely understand your concerns also and agree most of what you said. I graduated about 5 weeks ago and I still havent recieved my diploma or email stating its on it way or any thing so I do understand where your comming from. But as for now the school has a good reputation and I have recieve many interviews since I graduated so online being on you transcrpt wont matter (because I havent even seen mine yet) nor where you got your bachelors just that you acheved it and that the school is accrediteded. Congrats agian on your achievement and good luck on the future!
  10. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Hey Edman: Congrats on graduating/surviving! If--if--the reassurances other posters gave you aren't already true, they very very soon will be (as far as the "online" label). Welcome to the board, and best wishes in your next stage, whatever that may be.
    Hey Oherra: maybe you meant "definitely" understand, but the "defiant" understanding you speak of is the best guarantee of DL success and the best prophylactic against millists and their lies. Thanks for a great phrase, a great watchword for us all.
  11. Oherra

    Oherra New Member

    Damn spell check! :D

    Instead of correcting my errors... it's coining new phrases.
  12. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Please keep us advised of this situation.

    If it turns out that what you were told *isn't* true (i.e., your transcript and degree do end up saying "online"), we (DegreeInfo) will take this up with AIU.

    AIU is currently one of our featured schools, and it's important to us that every school we feature (and therefore recommend) treats its students fairly, does not misrepresent its programs or offerings, and offers a quality education.

    If we find a school is not meeting this standard, and shows no interest in rectifying the problem and preventing future occurrences, we will remove them from our featured schools list and from our DegreeFinder database.
  13. thedman

    thedman New Member

    Hi Chip,

    I’ll definitely keep you posted on the situation. Thanks for your support!
  14. Redlyne Racer

    Redlyne Racer member

    My gawd! Was that another 10.5 temblor? No, just AIU quaking in their boots. :rolleyes:
  15. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    You'd be very surprised at what a grass-roots campaign can accomplish.

    Besides that, it's not about making AIU nervous, it's about this board being associated with quality schools that treat their students the right way.
  16. MBA2BE

    MBA2BE New Member

    I understand your frustration with AIU. Although I am not so concerned about my transcripts showing online, virtually all of the other problems and discrepancies I have encountered as well.
    With regard to advisors, I have had at least 6 financial aid advisors and 5 academic advisors, (like I really need a 22 year old to advise me). The administrative support at AIU is abysmal and I have experiences numerous technical difficulties too. And, too think I pay 22,000 a year for this privelige.
    Another big one is they send me emails indicating I am entitled to a 500.00 scholarship, but nobody knows who is responsible for it. Not even the people who sign the emails.
    With regard to grading, I think some of the professors are very lenient, especially with group projects where there is no participation from some of the group members. Yet they somehow end up with the same grade as the students who go above and beyond. Then, to see people on the Dean's List who cannot even construct a grammatically correct sentence.
    The only logical explanation I can come up with is be nice, these people spend a lot of money with us.
    I also find plagarism a big issue. In two different classes, I have had papers literaaly copied as is, with maybe four words changed, then submitted by other students. Yet, these students are still in school, even though they say they take plagarism seriously.
    I believe the problem does not lie with the professors, but with administration.

  17. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Just bumping this up, since an AIU official has decided to join us. :)
  18. thedman

    thedman New Member

    Hi MBA2BE,

    It seems like we’ve had similar experiences at AIU. Other than tech support, it’s almost impossible to get anyone to answer the phone. Last week, I wrote an email expressing many of my concerns and sent it to student services. A couple of days later, a lady from career services responded, but she didn’t answer any of my questions. She said to call her to discuss my concerns. I’ve been trying to call this lady for a week, and all I get is her answering service. I’ve left a few messages, but she’s never called me back. It’s ridiculous! If she wanted to talk to me on the phone, why didn’t she just call me herself? She has my number.

    Anyway, I also agree with what you said about some of the teachers being very lenient. I have seven years experience in the visual communications field and was appalled at what passed for A-caliber work in some of those classes. I remember one teacher who said that he was singled out for being too lenient and would have to grade a little harder. I thought “great, it’s about time.” Then, he stated that if we received high A grades from him in the past, this time our grades would be in the lower A range. I thought “what does that matter? A free A is still a free A. Why don’t you give people the grade they deserve based on the quality of work they turn in?” In the end, just about everyone received an A for this teacher’s class (again). I think the class average ended up being 975 or something like that. I saw the work being turned in, and the teacher was definitely giving A grades for B and C quality work.

    As far as plagiarism, I saw my fair share of that too. The discussion boards were filled with posts that didn’t cite any sources and were word for word copies of articles published in design magazines and websites. A few teachers made a lot of noise about cracking down on plagiarism, but to my knowledge nothing was ever done about it. They couldn’t have done much because many of these offenders ended up graduating with high honors.
  19. Tokyoboi

    Tokyoboi New Member

    Thedman, thanks for the heads up. Now I am worried...

    When I had an interview, I asked my advisor exclusively if others would know from any official documents issued at AIU online whether I would graduate from AIU online not AIU. He told me exactly the same thing. That was the major factor why I decided to study at AIU. I am planning to go to a traditional graduate school in Europe after graduating. (I am taking the fourth course out of 10 at AIU ONLINE now.) If a document says "Online" with straight As on my transcript, my chances could be lower.... Maybe, I am wrong but that would somehow upset me as I was told I would be treated like just other students at AIU campuses....
  20. Oherra

    Oherra New Member

    Hi Bruce,

    Did you actually get comments from someone at AIU?

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