Regardless of where you are in your life, choosing a college can be one of the most significant decisions in your life. The right college can provide you the tools and foundation to begin a career in the field that you want. Unfortunately, on the other side of the coin, choosing the wrong college can lead you toward a path of heavy debt and regret. This is why we recommend that you take some time and do your homework before deciding on a college. Here are some practical ideas that you might try.
College is supposed to be an exciting time. We have been taught our entire lives that in order to make more money and provide a better life for ourselves and or families, we should go to college. In other words, if we dedicate ourselves and work hard, we can improve our situations. It is the American way. Unfortunately, as attorneys at Moss Bollinger, we have seen that some colleges are far too eager to prey on people who are just trying to get ahead in life.
For-profit colleges often advertise and recruit students with a message of hope. That is, these colleges show commercials about hard-working people with children who had better lives and were better able to provide for their children after graduating. In addition, for-profit colleges have gotten in trouble, like DeVry, for advertising false statistics to back up their claims. A recent study conducted by the Center for Responsible Lending examined the student loan burden of college students in Maine. The result? For-profit colleges target lower income students and put them in heavier debt than other colleges.
Were ripped off by Corinthian College? Were you promised a great education and better job prospects, yet left with nothing but a massive student loan when the college shut down and went into bankruptcy? Unfortunately, you are just one of tens of thousands of students who was defrauded by the for-profit college. But in some rare positive news, you may be entitled to some relief in the form of student loan forgiveness.
Veterans who serve our country with honor do not deserve to get ripped off. Unfortunately, since World War II, there has been a disturbing trend in for-profit colleges seeing uniformed service members as a source of easy money. This is because the G.I. Bill, created after the second World War, was established to provide tuition to veterans so they can get a college education. For-profit colleges have a special incentive to target veterans due to a loophole in the law, referred to as the 90/10 rule, which allows them to get significantly more Federal money per veteran student than they do for non-military students. Some proposed laws in Congress are being considered to protect our veterans.
When the giant for-profit college ITT abruptly went out of business, thousands of students were left in the cold with worthless college credits and massive student loans that did not result in better job prospects. In addition, taxpayers were left having to pay off hundreds of millions of dollars in defaulted federal student loans. All of this has been a cautionary tale for prospective students looking to get ahead by going to college. One of the takeaways from the ITT debacle? Beware of aggressive college recruiters.
Part of the American dream for many families is going to college or sending your children to college for the chance at a more prosperous life. The unfortunate reality for many people is that college is simply unaffordable, unless they want to take on a giant student loan. Did you know that over the last 45 years, the median income for a household has only increased about 10%, while the cost of attending a public college has increased by 530%? The math simply doesn't work out. Current legislation before the California legislature is attempting to bring attention to this problem and offer a chance at free tuition for California residents.