There is growing evidence that for-profit schools are using similar tricks to manipulate their placement rates (my thanks to Stephen Burd, and his post on the subject here). I have seen these tricks myself in trade school fraud cases, and it good to see them getting some public attention. If you think your school’s placement rates were inflated, see if you can uncover any of the following facts:
Were jobs counted as placements which shouldn’t have been? To get facts on this, find out if any of your classmates got jobs that were outside the field, or for which the school provided no training. Example: a culinary school graduate getting a job in McDonald’s; an accounting graduate getting a job stocking shelves). Often, graduate will know whether or not they were counted because they will have received a call from the placement office pressuring them to say they were successfully placed.
Did a lot of your classmates work for short periods of time after graduation? If so, they may have been counted as placements anyway. Former employees have testified that students who got a job for as little as one day were counted as successful placements!
Did a lot of your classmates get low wage jobs? Again, in their hunt to inflate placement rates, many for-profit colleges will count even minimum wage placements as successful placements. But, who would spend tuition to get a minimum wage job? That shouldn’t happen.
How many of your classmates went back to the same jobs they had before school? I’ll bet the school took credit for placing them anyway
Try to stay in touch with the admissions reps at your school. When they leave – and they will – see if you can get them to talk to you about admissions and placement practices. They are insiders and they know what really happened, and many of them are upset about it and want to talk – and even apologize.
If you try, you can get answers. That is the first stop towards getting even.