Knoxville students speak out against ITT Tech

Knoxville students speak out against ITT Tech

Posted:
Hundreds of people are speaking out on our 6 News Facebook page with concerns about ITT Technical Institute. Hundreds of people are speaking out on our 6 News Facebook page with concerns about ITT Technical Institute.
Shelby Stringer earned her associate degree in criminal justice from ITT Tech in Knoxville, but she says it's nothing more than a piece of paper. Shelby Stringer earned her associate degree in criminal justice from ITT Tech in Knoxville, but she says it's nothing more than a piece of paper.
"It is a joke. The 'I'll find you a job after you graduate' is a joke. The job I found now, I found completely through friends of mine on my own," Shelby Stringer said. "It is a joke. The 'I'll find you a job after you graduate' is a joke. The job I found now, I found completely through friends of mine on my own," Shelby Stringer said.

By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Hundreds of people are speaking out on our 6 News Facebook page with concerns about ITT Technical Institute.

This comes after the federal government filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the for-profit college. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau claims the school pushes students into high cost private loans, knowing they'll likely default.

It's the first of its kind against a for-profit college. It seeks restitution for victims, an injunction against the company and a civil fine.

6 News asked the school for comment. They say the lawsuit is without merit, but they can't comment on pending cases.

Shelby Stringer earned her associate degree in criminal justice from ITT Tech in Knoxville, but she says it's nothing more than a piece of paper.

"I guess the commercial got me, and I went to ITT Tech. I never went to any other school to check it out. I deeply regret that," Stringer said.

She says her instructors were great, but overall the school doesn't come through with its promises.

"It is a joke. The 'I'll find you a job after you graduate' is a joke. The job I found now, I found completely through friends of mine on my own," Stringer said.

Despite being unhappy with the school, she's now working toward a bachelor's degree through ITT Tech's online program. She says she had to continue going there because she couldn't afford to start paying back her loans. She says her education is costing her about $75,000.

"We want some kind of restitution, whether we get rid of the loans completely, or cap them. We don't care. We want something done for us since we got conned. Even if it completely nulls and voids our degrees, we're to the point we don't care," Stringer said.

6 News took these concerns to Jerry Tipton, the president of the Better Business Bureau of Greater East Tennessee. He says ITT Tech has been accredited in Knoxville since 1988, and they have never received any complaints about the school.

"They've been around a long time, so obviously they've served a purpose," Tipton said.

Tipton says he's surprised by the lawsuit, and he doesn't think it will get far. He says students should take some responsibility.

"Do your research. Know what you're getting into before you sign anything," Tipton said.

Tennessee's Higher Education Commission oversees Knoxville's ITT Tech. The group has no comment, but they tell 6 News they post annual performance reports online. The latest report states the school has a 47 percent completion rate, and about a 45 percent job placement rate.

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