It’s Time for ITT Tech to Go

If you have cable television, you’ve probably heard of ITT Tech. The for-profit college produces commercial advertisements showing happy students achieving their dreams. The ads are hard to avoid, which makes sense given that in one year ITT Tech spent $252 million on marketing (that’s more than they spent on instructing their students).

The truth is, ITT Tech is selling out students to make a profit. They lure in students with promising commercials and aggressive recruiting tactics, charge massive tuition rates, and offer substandard education that employers don’t value. Students graduate with high debt, and struggle to find jobs. It turns out that real students aren’t nearly as satisfied as the actors in the commercials. Here are a few reasons why:

Recruiting Techniques

Once a student shows the slightest interest in attending ITT Tech, they are hounded by recruiters. They call students multiple times a day trying to convince them to sign up. Once the recruiter gets ahold of a potential student, they do whatever they can to convince them to attend. ITT recruiters are literally instructed to “manipulate a prospective student’s emotions”. An ITT Educational Services internal training document displays a “pain funnel” and instructs recruiters to “get to the pain of each and every prospective student” by asking probing questions with aggressive techniques. Students have reported feeling “forced” or “duped” into enrolling, and that’s only the beginning.

Unfair Loan Terms

The cost to attend ITT Tech is astronomical. A two-year associate’s degree can cost upwards of $44,000, and $88,000 for a bachelor’s degree program. “That is significantly higher than the cost of similar degrees at a community college or a public four-year institution,” according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). What’s more is that many students at ITT need to take out high-interest private loans in addition to federal student loans to pay the cost of tuition. In a lawsuit filed by the CFPB last year, Director Richard Cordray stated, “We believe ITT used high-pressure tactics to push many consumers into expensive loans destined to default.”

Students Can’t Afford Their Loans

A disproportionate number of ITT Tech students are in default on their loans. To default means you fail to make payments on your student loan as scheduled. If a student defaults, their school, the financial institution that owns their loan, the loan guarantor, and the federal government all can take action to recover the money they owe. In 2011, 22% of student loan borrowers from ITT Tech defaulted on their federal student loans. In contrast, the average default rate for 4-year public institutions was 8.9%. For private student loan borrowers, ITT’s projected default rate is a whopping 64%. This is primarily because of the high tuition, low graduation rates, and low job placement. According to the CFPB, ITT Tech provides misleading job prospects and “exploited student expectations while it knew that a majority of students would default.” That’s because unfortunately, many students who acquire debt from ITT Tech don’t even graduate. Of the 64,921 students who enrolled at ITT in 2008-9, 52% withdrew by mid-2010. Students are accumulating debt and not even graduating or finding jobs, so it’s impossible for them to pay back their loans.

Students at ITT Tech are not getting the education they pay so much to receive. Instead they are being manipulated into taking on an insurmountable amount of debt. That’s why it’s time for ITT Tech to go.

If you’re a current or former student of ITT Tech or another for-profit college, sign our petition and share your student debt story.

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