It is open house season at for-profit colleges and some former students are taking it to the streets, sidewalks, and parking lots to warn others away from a predatory debt trap.
Holding signs and passing out fliers, defrauded students are encouraging open house attendees to explore other options for education.
Former students and student debt activists are also calling on the Department of Education to cancel fraudulent student loans once and for all.
At ITT-Tech, Craig and Christina Hammond picketed in front of the Wyoming, MI campus to warn potential enrollees of the pending lawsuits and to alert them to the large debt burden incurred by students who attend the school.
Christina wore a prison costume and handed out fliers. She said she wanted to “show how my debt makes me a prisoner for life."
Last week, the protests continued at Art Institutes campuses.
Back in September, Sanders and Jay Fabares got the protests started by taking to the sidewalks of Santa Monica, CA to distribute fliers and to talk to students as they arrived at the college's open house event. As students pulled into the parking lot, Sanders waved a sign that read “ART INSTITUTE For-Profit, NOT For-Student."
Enrollments are at an all-time low at Art Institutes. Fabares reported that the company is getting desperate. They are even hiring Youtube celebrities to endorse the school.
The promotional materials for the open houses were in the form of Tarot cards promisig a bright future. The college is also recruiting straight out of high schools. Many teens have no idea about the lawsuits against the school and are not aware that there are better, cheaper options than for-profit higher education.
"When you go to one of these open house events and you see the people that the school is gettings its hooks into," Fabares noted, "it makes you want to cry. As a former student, I don't want others to suffer like I did."
Fabares explained further that "these protests are about making it hard for the predatory schools to keep lying to prospective students."
There are more open house protests to come! You can plan an action in your city. Find out more by searching for-profit college open houses in your area and letting the Debt Collective know so we can support you and help spread the word.
This is only the beginning. Together, for-profit students are building a movement that can't be ignored by college executives or by our so-called leaders in Washington. Go team!