Alyse Zachary – Cleveland, OH

I have been overcharged and undereducated. Since we are forced to take on student loans as if education were a consumer good, I demand a refund for poor service. If I can return a defective item to the manufacture, get discounts or free items for poor service I should be able to do this with my education.

I am a 32-year-old Cleveland Ohio native who attended ITT Tech online and in Strongsville Ohio from 2008 to 2010. In 2008, I was wondering how could I get back into school. I wanted to work with computer networking systems. When I saw ITT’s commercials, it seemed promising and easy enough. I didn’t have a guidance counselor or social networks to help me navigate. Although in my first few days I saw what seemed like red flags, I didn’t know what to think or how to go about addressing them. I thought it would be unlikely that the US Department of Education would pay for me to go to a scam school.

ITT charged the most they could for everything, not just the education. They made me buy books I already had at a markup; they made me buy a harddrive at four times its value. They made me take basic classes although I already knew the material. And they made me pay them for loans.

My financial aid did not cover my entire cost so apparently private financing was needed. I had poor credit. Going to college was supposed to be a way to pull myself up. I was not able to obtain student loans from traditional banks. ITT filled the gap with $14,000 of high-interest-rate “temporary credits”. They literally pulled me out of class to sign the loan papers, telling me I would not be able to continue unless I did. I was already in class and excited about finishing school, but I was also experiencing depression due to other turmoil in my life. It seemed like this was my only hope. It seemed like I would be able to pay it back.

My education was worthless. My debt is unpayable.

I do not understand why I am on the hook for shady practices of this business while these schools are protected under bankruptcy law. This system is corrupt and needs to change. It keeps the poor, minorities and women enslaved for the rest of natural lives. I demand justice. I will fight until something is done about this. I am a tax paying citizen and I see that my money has been misused. This has got to be corrected.