The advertisements sound so great. They show smiling, successful workers with great jobs and happy families. They can seem like the answer to all your problems, especially if you’re at home watching television because you are out of work, really unhappy with your current job, or just not sure what to do next with your life. They say if you go to this school, and complete the program, you’ll get a job that pays well and offers great benefits. You’ll be able to work in the medical profession, or other acclaimed and in-demand field. They show people who have attended the school extolling the benefits of the program –talking about their enviable promotion or new position and how it changed their lives. They are so glad they went to this program.
What they don’t always say is that these results are not typical. They also might leave out the fact that the school is a for-profit institution, and that their students are borrowing thousands upon thousands of dollars, and investing months of precious time for a degree or certificate that won’t guarantee them anything.
Such schools can be sued for false advertising, misrepresentation of job placement rates, or even fraud. In some cases, schools have been targeted by the attorney general’s office for preying on veterans, many of whom served in hopes of getting money for schooling they could not otherwise afford. Even when the victims involved are not veterans, they often involve the most sympathetic of victims, in that the students just want to pursue the American dream of doing better by improving themselves through hard work.
Buyers should definitely be aware of the fine print when choosing a vocational school or college. They should keep copies of anything they sign, and ask for written material regarding placement rates, average wages achieved in placement, and exactly what services are available to help those graduates get jobs. Bringing a private fraud case, or even a class action, is a possibility if sufficient evidence exists that promises were made but not kept. It is not uncommon for some schools too simply close their doors, leaving students without what they paid for.