For-profit colleges, many of which advertise heavily for students, are coming under increased scrutiny for alleged predator student lending.
ITT Tech has been sued by the federal government for alleged predatory student lending. A lawsuit accuses the school of coercing students into high interest loans for its financial gain and misleading prospective students about the value of the education.
"That year was a waste for me," said Desiree Morgan, who owes $21,000 after attending ITT Tech for one year. Morgan said she left when she realized her credits would not transfer to another school.
"To find out I had $21,000 in debt was hard, extremely hard. And the quality of education was not there," said Morgan.
American InterContinental University, University of Phoenix and DeVry are also coming under fire for questionable tactics that left some students buried in insurmountable debt.
CBS46 has found cheaper alternatives for nontraditional students looking to continue their education.
Chattahoochee Technical College, a state-run school, teaches 49 different associate's degree and diploma programs, including criminal justice technology, automotive technology, practical nursing and early childhood education.
Tuition for the degrees runs about $5,000 but some students are able to cover the entire cost with government grants and the HOPE Scholarship, according to a college spokeswoman.
The $5,000 price tag is about a tenth of the cost of an associate's degree at ITT Tech.
Georgia Perimeter College offers an online school called GPC Online. It teaches 15 online associate's degrees including psychology, English, teacher education and a bachelor's degree in business administration.
GPC Online claims to be the largest online program in the University System of Georgia. With a recent tuition increase, a two-year program will cost $9,000 for tuition and fees.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, online school that offers associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees. The programs include accounting, advertising, business administration, finance, nursing, psychology, sociology.
President Barack Obama once praised SNHU for its innovation in online learning and relative low cost. A bachelor's degree costs about $44,000.
Bankrate.com, a comparison website, has developed a list of questions, prospective students should ask before enrolling in a for-profit school.
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