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The Art Institute Lied to Me About Transfer Credits

By on December 11, 2017

Question:

Dear Steve,

I ENROLLED AT ART INST OF COLORADO IN 2009. MY ADVISOR, JAMES TAKEDA, NEVER TOLD ME THAT THE SCHOOL WAS UNACCREDITED AND IT WASNT UNTIL I TRIED TO CHANGE SCHOOLS AND FOUND THAT MY CREDITS WOULD NOT BE TAKEN. THE ADVISOR HAD ASKED IF I WOULD EVER PLAN ON MOVING ANYWHERE AND I SAID, WELL MY FIANCE AND I TALK ABOUT MOVING BACK TO PENNSYLVANIA, WHERE WE ARE FROM. HE ASKED WHERE WOULD WE MOVE TO, AND I SAID PITTSBURGH BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE MY HUSBAND IS FROM. HE SAID GREAT, WE HAVE ART INSTITUTE THERE, YOU CAN JUST TRANSFER WHEN AND IF YOU MAKE THAT CHANGE.

I AM 75000 IN DEBT, NO DEGREE AND MY CREDITS ARE ONLY TRANSFERRABLE TO OTHER ART INSTITUTES OR DEVRY. IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO. LOOKING BACK ON EVERYTHING, IT WAS TRUTHFULLY LIKE I WAS IN CAR DEALERSHIP BEING SOLD WITHOUT THE DETAILS. I NEVER KNEW COLLEGES COULD BE UNACCREDITED. I HAD NOT IDEA THERE WAS SUCH THING. I WENT TO OHIO STATE AND YOUNGSTOWN STATE…I NEVER GRADUATED BC I GOT PREGNANT AND HAD A ROUGH PREGNANCY. ALSO ONE OF THE CLASSES THE TEACHER WAS VERY DISRESPECTFUL AND GAVE ME A LOW GRADE WITH VERY LITTLE EXPLANATION AS TO THE REASON. IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO? I FEEL LIKE I WAS SOLD ON A UNTOLD LIE.

Bethany

Answer:

Dear Bethany,

I took a look at the 2009-2010 Federal School Code list that I publish.

First we need to confirm what Art Institute in Colorado you went to.

According to the approved school code list The Art Institute of Colorado is on the list. The problem is the bankruptcy exception for school loan discharge only applies to schools which did not meet the federal approval process.

The issue of acceptance of credits is not an accreditation issue as much as it is a college internal process. Some states, like Colorado, do publish a Guaranteed Transfer process.

As the State of Colorado says, “GT Pathways courses, in which the student earns a C- or higher, will always transfer and apply to GT Pathways requirements in AA, AS and most bachelor’s degrees at every public Colorado college and university. GT Pathways does not apply to some degrees (such as many engineering, computer science, nursing and others listed here).”

I don’t disagree with your car dealership analogy because you do have commissioned sales people trying to sell students into seats, often without any regard for the truth or the welfare of the student.

According to the Art Institute, even classes from one campus to another may not transfer. They say, “Programs offered by one school within The Art Institutes system may be similar, but not identical to, programs offered at another. This is due to differences in state laws, use of different instructional models, and the needs of local employers. Therefore, if you decide to transfer to another school within The Art Institutes system, not all of the credits you’ve earned at your current or prior location may transfer.” – Source

So here is what I do know for certain:

1. It’s a smart idea to question the information you were given.

2. It appears the Art Institute in Colorado was federally approved, thus accredited, at least in 2009-2010.

3. You may have paid too much for the degree when compared to similar programs at other schools.

4. When it comes to the acceptance of transfer credits there are a number of factors to consider. One point to explore is what your State transfer policy or process might be. Another point would be to confirm with any school you may be considering transferring to if they have previously accepted transfer credits from The Art Institute of Colorado.

5. You did not mention if your student loans were public or private loans or how much you owed in each category. For federal loans you do have the option of getting those on an income driven repayment options.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

One Comment

  1. Bethany

    December 11, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Art Institute question asked.

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