My Debt is Really High From Tribeca Flashpoint College I Feel Like I Was Misled


Dear Steve,

I graduated with an Associate’s Degree from Tribeca Flashpoint College/Chicago in June of 2014. At the time I attended Flashpoint, they were just offering an Associate’s Degree with guaranteed employment after students graduated from their facility.

Shortly after I graduated I received information, from Tribeca, to continue on for a Bachelor’s Degree now that they were certified to offer a 4-year degree. I declined due to the fact that I was still not employed in the area of study with the Associates Degree I received from Tribeca.

Before registering with Tribeca, during one of their presentations to the possible incoming students, they informed us that their placement rate after their 2-year program was extremely high and that they could guarantee employment within the student’s area of study.

They also informed us, during this presentation, that they were the cutting-edge of education in the educational arena. Tribeca was not like the traditional colleges, in that they train their students to be completely ready for the corporate world and industry; where traditional colleges/universities are unable to give such an intense and sought after candidate.

Unfortunately, it has been over 2 years since I graduated from Tribeca without one possible interview or placement. I have sent out numerous resumes and requested help from Tribeca, but received no response to my resumes or support from Tribeca.

Therefore, since my education from Tribeca was not giving me employment in the area of study, I went back to school to become an EMT and then a Fireman. I am now employed part-time through a local fire department; however my debt from Tribeca is considerably large. I am not the only student from Tribeca who is currently facing this same situation. Tribeca guaranteed us that we were so well trained that the industry would be making employment offerings upon graduated from their facility.

I am looking for support in the area of College Fraud.

How can I find this support in the Chicagoland area?



Dear Andrew,

According to the Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy website, they did not become a Title IV recognized school until sometime around April 16, 2013, the date associated with this post. Cheni Vega from Flashpoint College confirmed this for me as well. Cheni said, “We have been eligible since April 2013.”

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So it is potentially likely that student loans originated before that date were not federal loans and would not be protected in bankruptcy. See this.

It appears any private loans you have from before April 2013 may be discharged in bankruptcy as unprotected by bankruptcy when the school was not Title IV recognized. You might want to contact a bankruptcy attorney who is licensed in your state or talk to one of these student loan attorneys.

According to the CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint Academy, in 2013, he is quoted as saying, “Since opening in 2007, we’ve helped over 70% of our graduates find gainful employment in their field of study.” I have no idea what you were sold.

At least one other person felt they had been given some assurance regarding employment, Chris Markey said, “Career services also mislead me upon first coming to tour the school promising a very high job placement rate in my field of study within 6 months of graduation. This statistic was the biggest factor that swayed me to pick TFA and it wasn’t upheld which is completely infuriating.” The school allegedly responded and said, “Like every college, we cannot guarantee employment for every student upon graduation. Many of our students find work in their desired field shortly after graduation, but none of our students are handed jobs.”

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As far as any federal loans you may have there are two options. One would be to file a Borrower Defense complaint if you feel you were defrauded by bait and switch promises and/or claims. But that approach has a big pothole to watch out for. Read The Borrower Defense Pothole That Will Swallow Many Trying to Forgive Student Loans. Keep in mind the Borrower Defense option does not apply to private student loans.

But since you are a firefighter, thank you, you might want to consider another option if the Borrower Defense option does not seem to apply. If you can work at least 30-hours-per-week as a public service employee you may be eligible to have your federal student loans forgiven after 120 on-time payments under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. You could consolidate any federal loans you have into a new Direct Loan and then opt for an income driven repayment program. Your payment would be dependent on income. You would then make the reduced payment and as long as you are public service eligible the monthly payment would count towards the 120 required. At the end of the reduced 120 payments the remaining balance would be forgiven tax-free.

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We both know that emergency service employees are not paid high salaries so the chances of you getting a reduced payment on your salary in a federal loan income driven repayment plan are very good.

Again, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness option does not apply to private student loans.

As far as you having a considerable amount of debt from Tribeca, the College Scorecard data shows the cost of attending is substantially higher than average annual cost of schools.

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