Author Topic: We've made a big mistake...  (Read 7715 times)

Zarrr

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We've made a big mistake...
« on: January 08, 2014, 06:29:06 AM »
My wife signed up for The College Network. She thought this "school program" would take her from being a Licensed Practical Nurse to a BSN (Batchelor's in Nursing). What she was actually signing up for was $13.5k worth of 'study material' that can help her pass college equivalency exams to get from being an LPN to being eligible to go to Indiana State University's nursing program. 6 months later I am just now reading over the contract because we're paying $232/month for this. They had her take out a private (not an education) loan with some backwoods credit union in another state.

I found out about this because I was getting ready to do our taxes and thought we would get a tuition deduction because my wife is in school. Nope. The College Network does not have an EIN.

The contract does not permit her to cancel the program and it is already paid for via this stupid loan anyways. It's sort of like we just bought a car with an autoloan but we're not allowed to sell the car and get something affordable in cash. The only positives I can find in the contract are that #1 it will pay for her exam fees for these college equivalency exams (she's passed 1 exam so far and is working on her 2nd) and #2 it appear that it pays a certain amount towards tuition at Indiana State University. My wife isn't sure she can make it through all of this. She has worked on the material for the statistics exam for about 3 months and really struggled with it. That's not even the hardest class, unfortunately.

I've carefully looked over every word of the contract (I should have done this BEFORE she signed it). My name is not tied to this thing, it is all in her name. It looks airtight. There is even a section in there that says any legal dispute can only be resolved by a neutral arbitrator of The College Network's choosing. This is shady as hell. Are we stuck?

I'm disappointed and angry about this...mostly at myself. I should have been more involved when she was signing papers.

nikki

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Re: We've made a big mistake...
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 07:06:29 AM »
Yikes. Just yikes.

I did a quick Google search for "The College Network" just to see how they were portraying their products, and this was on the first page: http://allnurses.com/nursing-online-distance/college-network-scam-815772.html

This poster contacted the Indiana Attorney General and got a settlement. Perhaps this might work...? It's worth a try, anyhow.

Zarrr

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Re: We've made a big mistake...
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2014, 07:28:07 AM »
Yikes. Just yikes.

I did a quick Google search for "The College Network" just to see how they were portraying their products, and this was on the first page: http://allnurses.com/nursing-online-distance/college-network-scam-815772.html

This poster contacted the Indiana Attorney General and got a settlement. Perhaps this might work...? It's worth a try, anyhow.

I live in Indiana, so I will contact my state AG. Thanks for linking that forum post, I had not seen it! We will continue making the loan payments until there is a clear way out.

HappyHoya

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Re: We've made a big mistake...
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2014, 07:47:47 AM »
Just because the contract looks airtight doesn't mean it's enforceable. I would absolutely contact the AG, and also look into other anti-fraud efforts in your state. They're called something different in every state, but you will likely get a quicker response if you can contact a specific division within the AG's office, if you can determine which one is the appropriate office. A lot of states are cracking down on these type of for-profit education scams. Good luck.

ritchie70

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Re: We've made a big mistake...
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2014, 10:24:00 AM »
Yikes. Just yikes.

I did a quick Google search for "The College Network" just to see how they were portraying their products, and this was on the first page: http://allnurses.com/nursing-online-distance/college-network-scam-815772.html

This poster contacted the Indiana Attorney General and got a settlement. Perhaps this might work...? It's worth a try, anyhow.

I live in Indiana, so I will contact my state AG. Thanks for linking that forum post, I had not seen it! We will continue making the loan payments until there is a clear way out.


Depending on what the loan contract specifies, I might stop paying while you fight it out.

[Mod Edit: Quote Tags Fixed.]
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 10:56:47 AM by arebelspy »

acroy

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Re: We've made a big mistake...
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2014, 11:04:50 AM »
WOW! this 'College Network' racket sounds like a great one to get into.

Zarrr

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Re: We've made a big mistake...
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2014, 11:49:48 AM »
WOW! this 'College Network' racket sounds like a great one to get into.

I'm filing a complaint with my attorney general right now and am going to talk to a lawyer about initiating a lawsuit, so I wouldn't advise it!

Here is part of the contract, which I find to be very disconcerting:
Quote
GOVERNING LAW AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Any and all disputes, claims, or controversies (Claims) arising from, out of, or relating to this Agreement, or the relationships between Buyer

and TCN which result from this Agreement, or the breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity thereof, shall be determined,

confidentially, by binding arbitration in Marion County, Indiana, before one neutral arbitrator selected by TCN, and with the consent of Buyer

(and no other person), which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld; provided, however, that either party may assert an action in small

claims court. Any arbitration or small claims action (including any appeal if allowed) shall be conducted between Buyer and TCN only (and

only in Buyer’s individual capacity), and shall not resolve, seek to resolve, nor purport to resolve any disputes, claims, or controversies of any

person other than Buyer and TCN. This agreement to arbitrate shall not preclude either Buyer or TCN from seeking provisional remedies in aid of

arbitration from a court of appropriate jurisdiction.

This Agreement shall, notwithstanding any conflicts of laws, be governed by the laws of Buyer’s state of residence when executed by Buyer, and

any applicable federal laws; provided, however, Buyer and TCN agree and understand that their decision and agreement to arbitrate shall be

governed by the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1, et. seq. The arbitration proceeding may be conducted telephonically or videographically.

Any demand for arbitration must be served on the other party (and any small claims action must be filed) within one (1) year of the date any

Claims accrue. TCN shall notify Buyer of the arbitrator selected (for Buyer’s consent) within 30 days. The arbitrator will adhere to the terms of this

arbitration agreement. If TCN and Buyer do not agree otherwise, the rules for the conduct of the arbitration shall be determined by the arbitrator.

Judgment may be entered on the award in any court having jurisdiction.

Buyer shall be required to advance no more than $250 for the arbitration filing fee and arbitrator’s fee. However, the arbitrator may, in the award,

allocate, and order reimbursement of all or part of the costs of the arbitration, including fees of the arbitrator and the reasonable attorneys’ fees to

the prevailing party.

MicroRN

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Re: We've made a big mistake...
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2014, 02:04:17 PM »
TCN is pretty shady.  I know a lot of people who went through Excelsior's RN program, and TCN will charge you about 5 times as much as Excelsior to provide you with some study guides.  One person found out that she could have gone straight through Excelsior without using TCN, but she was locked in by then.  Good luck fighting it, I very much hope you are successful.