Review Averages: 4.4 out of 10 (55 reviews)Westwood College has campuses in six states and offers online degrees to students nationwide. All Westwood College students have access to academic advisors, career counselors, and tutors. Westwood offers programs in business, criminal justice, and subjects that are hard to find elsewhere online, such as game development and automotive technology.
Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Westwood College Reviews:
39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Ivy League Price for a Worthless Education
March 17, 2012
Question: Why are the positive reviews anonymous but the negatives are not? Having been in the Information Technology industry for over 15 years and working as an IT director, I looked forward to getting a degree in IT in order to join the ranks of management. With the birth of my son and having to work up to 10 hour days, few if any options were available for me back in late 2006. Browsing on-line and looking at various colleges and available options, I was set to attend night school at a local community college and work towards a bachelor’s degree by taking night classes. I received several calls from recruiters from a few IT colleges inquiring about my requests for information. Benjamin from Westwood won me over. Researching Westwood on-line, there weren’t many complaints as compared to the other colleges of this type at the time. After discussing with my wife, we decided that I would enroll in Westwood College Online which would allow me to be home with my newborn son and help my wife while obtaining a degree. Ideal isn’t it? Admission Promises During the admission process and in retrospect, Benjamin the Admission Counselor, whom I would discover after graduation was actually a sales rep, told me what I wanted to hear to gain my confidence and “make the sale”. I knew the differences between accreditations and he assured me that they were working hard and would not quit until they received Regional Accreditation (Westwood eventually voluntarily resigned this accreditation). Yes, the cost of the education ($60,000) is expensive but “you get what you pay for. Westwood College is well known throughout the IT industry and we send students to Microsoft, IBM, HP, … We have a high graduation rate and you can make serious money after graduation”. He emailed me the datasheet for the Information System Security bachelor’s degree. I was very impressed. Since I would probably like to continue my education and work towards a master’s degree, I was assured by Benjamin that the credits I earned from Westwood would transfer to any traditional brick and mortar college. Financing would be no problem through various loans and grants that they would help me sign up for as long as I had a high school diploma. Job placement assistance was another selling point with Benjamin. Being an older learner and with my vast experience, they would assist me in getting interviews with several of the larger IT companies in Southern California. After passing the admissions exam, getting transcripts to them etc., I received various emails in regards to loan applications and how to complete the FASFA. The rush to get me enrolled made my head spin. Looking back at it now, trying to keep up with the many demands that the admission process required kept me off my guard. But, I was enrolled and on my way to get a valued bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Security. Quality of Education Remember I get what I pay for? Not wanting to cheat myself, I took every class seriously. Studied during my work breaks and did not use the books for exams. I wanted to make sure I was getting everything I was going to pay for. Attended all of the discussions and did all of the lab work that was required. But there were doubts about what I was learning. I asked several of the instructors why we were reviewing outdated technology in some of the classes. I was told that the information in the class is on the certification exams that you can take after you successfully complete the course. Being gullible, I took that as a good explanation. Having several certifications under my belt already before starting Westwood, I did not remember seeing old tech questions on previous certification exams but this was a college and they wanted me to succeed!. A month after graduation, I attempted to take several certification exams using the books, notes and tests I was given at Westwood. Using that information, I was bewildered to find that I was ludicrously unprepared and failed. Went to a book store with an attached coffee shop and reviewed the books there, at no cost. Comparing the material given by Westwood to what was in the test prep book; I was an astonished to find that the material from Westwood was watered down. Chapters made out of footnotes? I did pass the exam after a retake but I used books from a book store and not the material I paid for from Westwood. I have all of the books that Westwood sent me. Comparing them to the technology exams and other material out there readily available for free, it is my opinion that I could have saved myself all of this trouble by visiting the book store and studying for free. Westwood gave me a weak, watered down education, which did not prepare me for the real world or did it have any relevance to real world issues. Value of Degree “Westwood College is well known throughout the IT industry and credits will transfer to other colleges”? After taking a break from graduation three years ago, I took my transcript to Cal Poly Pomona to start my tract for a master’s degree. Upon review by the admissions office, they stated that they could not transfer any credits from Westwood. I explained what Benjamin had told me and swiftly called Westwood upon arriving home. Upon reaching a representative, I was told that until they obtain Regional Accreditation, some credits may not transfer to some colleges. Not what I was told through the admission process and all during my experience at Westwood from the instructors, counselors and finance people. Not deterred, I traveled to several other colleges in my area and was told the exact same thing. Credits will not transfer. A Fullerton admission rep explained that I could test out on classes already taken at Westwood. DSST, CLEP and EST exams are routinely given for a fee and if you pass, most State and Private Colleges will give you college credit. So, books in hand from Westwood, I studied and as above, I failed. Same issue as previously stated; watered down books that had no related information that you would normally receive with a real college education. I went back to the book store for independent study. Yes, after studying the test prep guides and books related to the classes, I prepared to take standardized tests to get credit for classes I had already taken at Westwood. After several weeks of studying and prep using books from the bookstore, I passed. Cost of Education “Get what you pay for”? Well, if you have read my story so far, you would wonder if I did. So far, almost everything I was told by Westwood representatives was either a lie, or a twisting of the truth or a willful omission. The excitement over obtaining a Westwood degree soon diminished to disdain. Things in general regarding Westwood began to spiral downward. Time to pay the piper came quickly. Sallie Mae and Great Lakes started sending me bills. Not getting anywhere fast and the economy now heading downhill just as quick, getting raises and promotions with the degree I obtained was proving to be a little difficult. News was out about the fraud and deception tactics Westwood had performed at several campuses across the US. In fact, Westwood’s name kept pulling up in search engines under scam, fraud, degree mill…and my HR director was not stupid. She questioned the validity of the degree I obtained therefore denying me employee reimbursement for educational expenses. No chance in making management now either. According to my employer, Westwood still had not obtained Regional Accreditation and until they do, I was out of luck. Emails to Westwood asking for explanations were never responded to. Representatives would direct me to the website for answers. So, no extra money for me to help pay for this educational misadventure, no pay raise and no management position for me. Started paying my signature loan but Sallie Mae wanted almost $750 month for this education I received. Totaled to almost half my take home salary between the two loans. Not what I was told during the admission process. Low interest loans easy to pay back after you graduate because we will help you land a job. Try 18% interest over 30 years. WHAT?? I will be 70 years old before this loan is paid off. No retirement for me huh? Starting to cost me more than what I bargained for. So I pay what I can after taking a pay reduction to keep my job when people are losing their shirts. Credit score has dropped but I have a roof over my head and able to feed my family. I still have no answers or have been offered any help for this after 3 years of trying. Job Placement Assistance “We will help place you with a company after graduation, free resume review and posting services will definitely get you in the door at some of the largest IT companies so you can kick start your career”. Not exactly what I was offered during the admission process but that’s OK. I was not looking to start as a bottom feeder for minimal wage but if I could get in the door, I could show them what skills I had to offer. Westwood representative reviewed my resume, an instructor from one of the last classes I took walked us through posting it on-line and that is where the help ended. Asking for leads, I was told three separate times by two different Westwood employees that they could not help me. They do not have what I was looking for, no available work in Southern California, no large IT companies either. I could travel 60 miles and work desk support, apply for assistant manager at a fast food restaurant or apply for other entry positions not related to my field of study. Well, this is definitely not what I was told during my admission process by Benjamin. Panic and depression is now setting in. Reputation of Institution Several websites are warning potential students to stay clear of this college. Due to the fact that there are several litigations in process due to fraud and other informational websites have picked up the degrading fact that Westwood College students and graduates are “Jerry Springer’s”. Playing an active role in the IT community here in Southern California, I have queried many industry experts and IT companies and they do not recognize Westwood college degrees as being valid. SCE, Wells Fargo, Shuffler, NTT Data, Experian and many others have indicated that they would not hire a Westwood graduate. Independent on-line research reveals search engine results returning key words such as fraud, law suites, deceptive practices and diploma mill. Not looking real good for a graduate is it? Wikipedia definition of a diploma mill: A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an organization that awards academic degrees and diplomas with substandard or no academic study and without recognition by official educational accrediting bodies. The purchaser can then claim to hold an academic degree, and the organization is motivated by making a profit. These degrees are often awarded based on construed life experience. Some such organizations claim accreditation by non-recognized/unapproved accrediting bodies set up for the purposes of providing a veneer of authenticity. Wikipedia has also included a page to include for profit schools: Out of the fifteen sampled, all were found to have engaged in deceptive practices, improperly promising unrealistically high pay for graduating students, and four engaged in outright fraud, per a GAO report released at a hearing of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held on August 4, 2010. Examples of misconduct include: offering commissions to admissions officers, employing deceptive marketing tactics by refusing to disclose total tuition cost to prospective students before signing a binding agreement, lying about accreditation, encouraging outright fraud by enticing students to take out student loans even when the applicant had $250,000 in savings, promising extravagant, unlikely high pay to students, failing to disclose graduation rate, and offering tuition cost equivalent to 9 months of credit hours per year, when total program length was 12 months. One of the four for-profit colleges found to be engaging in fraudulent practices were: Guess who? Westwood College in Dallas, Texas: Admissions representative telling applicant to falsely add dependents to qualify for Pell Grants, assuring the applicant that the dependents would not be verified through previous income tax returns nor Social Security numbers, and financial aid representative encouraging applicant not to report the $250,000 in savings, stating that “it was not the government’s business how much money the undercover applicant had in a bank account.”, when the Department of Education requires students to report such assets, along with income, to determine how much and what type of financial aid will be awarded. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For-profit_school Further search engine inquiries reveal hundreds of complaints regarding Westwood College similar to mine. Summary Westwood College representatives lied to me, used deceitful practices and mislead me in regards to the quality and value of education I received. A Westwood education has left me with over $75,000 in college loan debt and with a degree that is not recognized, anywhere by anyone. The reputation of Westwood College is tarnished. I have done better studying independently using books free of charge and paying only for the test taking fees to obtain valid college credit. I have resigned myself to years of hard work and no hope of retirement due to Westwood’s false promises, lies and omissions and I foresee no bright future for myself or family.
19 of 28 people found the following review helpful
SHOUT DOWN THIS FAKE SO CALLED COLLEGE WESTHOOD OF O'HARE
May 26, 2012
To be honest with all of you I have no reason to lie or to invent false story its not part of my agenda. From my experience and many others, do not waste your money, thoughts, time and energy thinking about attending this FAKE school its garbage. The staffs show no concerns when student are having an issue. The Dean "Crow" is heartless and very rude has no interest hearing your issue. Now the instructors this is funny "not all" but 99.9% are a joke. Its like High school all over again. Also to add, if you want other employees to hire you than I suggest you attend NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY were many student from WESTHOOD OPPS WESTWOOD transferred too or any other colleges but this one (Westwood O'hare)it will look much better on your resume. Westwood is all over the media. I had one term left I was so fed up w/ the unprofessional staff I decided to transfer to NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY. They didn't even try to convince me to stay b/c they are all about Welcoming you at the beginning once your a student and maybe run in a small issue they wont even bother to help you there all about stealing your money and convincing you it's only a 3 year college bullshit. When N.Eastern heard my situation and surprisingly asked me about only haveing two class left at Westwood I explained why...I told them my story and the counselor stood there at starred at me and said "I know your telling the truth b/c theirs not only a few student we received from Westwood but many and they all had a similar issue" wow. I wasn't shocked. Bottom line is this school should be shout down. After all, its all over the media. I cant believe I wasted 3 years of my life in this garbage of school. I will not just walk away after what they did to me and many student. I will be taking action against them even if it takes me to sell my house, car and empty out my bank account just to pay for an Attorney and the help of many who fell victims. Nothing will stop me and the X students who attended Westwood also will stay by my side an fight. They picked on the wrong person. We will see how far they go specially the so called dean "CROW". I will not give up even if my life depended on it! Good Luck Westwood will see how far you'll go with your scams and unprofessional staffs.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
No help after college
November 18, 2011
I graduated a year and a half ago and still have not found a job. Westwood didn't help try to find me job placement, I'm eyeball deep in student loan debt and found it to be a big waste of my time and now money. Now they have a promise that they advertise that states that they will help you pay back your student loans if you don't find a job after graduation...what a joke! Now I have a degree, debt that I will never be able to pay off, and the same job I had before college. Nobody wants to hire me in the design field because of my lack of real world experience.
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
DO NOT GO HERE
February 21, 2012
I, like many other reviewers on this site, fell victim to Westwood's horrible lies. I attended Westwood Online in 2007 and then moved down to the anaheim Campus in 2008, where I lasted about 6 months. I opted to stay in the the housing that the Anaheim campus offered, which were offsite apartments. I had to sign a lease sight unseen. I won't go into the horrible problems I suffered during the 6 weeks I lasted in these apartments, but I had to pay $600 to share an apartment with three other girls, who stole my food, had parties, etc, all of which broke the rules. My housing coordinator and the dean didn't give a shit about me or my problems and just said "things like this happen in college." ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I had to pay something like $1500 to break the lease, which I regret and wish I would have taken them to court. But sometimes a 19 year old girl 400 miles away from home doesn't have a lot of options, and they will intimidate you as much as possible. I have a Chase Loan out for $27,000 from this FOR PROFIT, FAKE SCHOOL, and more in parent loans. I can't even transfer them into a JC because THEY AREN'T ACCREDITED! PLEASE don't buy into their bullshit. Your admissions reps are salesmen, trust me. Such a waste of time and money. Compared to other colleges, the price of tuition, supplies and books is extremely high, and the books CANNOT be found on any cheap textbook sites, I assure you.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Attend at your own risk!
August 3, 2011
Everyone who is seeking information about this college let me let you in on a little financial secret. When seeking information about this school, recruiters LOVE to make everything look nice and sweet. They don’t tell you the real truth behind it all. They love feeding innocent H.S. students a bunch of bullsh*t on how you get “hands on” experience. By the way, did they tell you they want more $$$ for that! On top of the $75,000 they want to charge you? OH not only that but those $76,000 doesn’t include all the interest there going to charge. They also like to tell you “OH there’s options! You can get financial help by getting FASFA” You don’t know for sure if you will qualify for FASFA until you’re enrolled. Let’s just say for example you don’t get any FASFA. Say hello to your new $900 something payment a month, 6 months after you graduate!!!! Doesn’t that sound GREAT!! By the way, did they also mention the school isn’t fully accredited! Remember College seekers, DON’T choose Westwood!!! Take it from someone who’s been there.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
not very happy
October 14, 2011
i went to westwood college to get a degree in medical assisting. when i applied there, i was told there was a job placement program where they would help you get your first interview. i did everything that was suggested for me to do expecting to have a job at the end, and nothing. I soon relized that the job placement was my extern which was not hiring. i know the economy is ruff, but i also know that MAs are in high demand. so why am i not getting a job? Maybe it is because i have westwood college on my resume... and to the person who sayed that westwood has been getting bad press for nothing, i guess they have a job. if they didn't, they whould feel the same way as everyone else who is displeased with this sham of a college. by the way they are closing all the schools in my state, and i don't think it has anything to do with the economy.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Review from online animation grad
September 5, 2011
Please, if you're reading this and thinking on looking for e-college, for the love of god, DO NOT enroll in a program that is meant for hands on training. For example, animation. I'm not sure about other online colleges out there, but they DO NOT provide the training and up to standard mentoring needed to excel in this field of work. (If you're a beginner). If you're ever stuck and need guidance, you need to do so by email, and it may take days for the instructor to get back to you.. This is NOT, I repeat NOT a good thing when all of the assignments have a deadline. The only exception I can think of where you may actually benefit, a little..., is if you have previous experience in this field and using the various software. The software is also VERY expensive, even with a so-called student discount, and to top things off so are the courses. I'm talking about several thousands of dollars per class. I graduated back in 09 from Westwood Online owing around 100k, and as of yet made only a few payments because I'm stuck working the same dead end jobs. To sum it up, you will be much better of doing your own self studying than to spend a ridiculously high amount of money on something that will give you the same level of education.. For that kind of money you could become a doctor.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Taken from an actual former student.
September 27, 2011
Let me start by saying I already have a B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems. I started with Westwood online to pursue my Game Software Development degree. Since I have already been to school, I know what to expect from a quality institution and unfortunately, Westwood is a college that cannot deliver. First, Westwood college is WAAAAAAY overpriced. You do not get the same experience in an online environment opposed to an in-classroom one so why do they feel the need to charge more than some on campus colleges? Secondly, the online delivery system is a joke. It looks like it was designed and developed by a junior admin. The features of the site are watered down and do not offer more than what a basic forum can offer. The resources they refer you to are many FREE online databases. Furthermore, I was told that many faculty members record live lectures so that students can view them many times if they are struggling with a particular subject. This is not the case! This is just a ploy used by recruiters to sucker prospective students into thinking Westwood can offer something with quality. Not only are the lectures not recorded, they are actually only about 2-3 paragraphs long explaining to the student what to read in the textbook. No instructor interaction just instructions on what to read. The ONLY time you will speak to an instructor is when you have to participate in a FORCED weekly discussion that has no real merit or educational value. Lastly, the experience that threw me over the edge and forced me to find a different college, is the fact that Westwood hires faculty members who work for several different colleges. In particular, I had one instructor who obviously had more than he could handle and would be late on EVERYTHING. Assignments, questions, discussions, and general inquiries were either not responded at all or at a time which the subject no longer mattered. I passed the course with a 100%! No joke, 100 PERCENT and did not deserve the grade nor did I learn anything. In fact, when I submitted an assignment and would attach comments like "I do not fully understand this concept, am I on the right track?" he would reply with ambiguous responses like "Great job, you did your research." and "This piece is very impressive.". I made a compliant with the department chair and of course nothing was being done about the situation. In fact, they would not tell me what they were going to do to resolve this problem from happening again. I wish I could recommend this college because the program in question is a booming industry and many students would have the opportunity to pursue their career in the video game industry. In reality however, I feel that it is my obligation to save students from the grossly incompetent and uncompetitive institution that Westwood is. Find a different college, save money and time, and get the quality educational experience you deserve. Good luck.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
October 9, 2012
I graduated from Westwood's Criminal Justice online program about two years ago. Upon graduating I found out I was having a baby. I was promised they would help me find a job upon graduating. They assigned me a career advisor who would email me job postings that I myself was finding online thru sites like monsterjob.com and careers.com. They did not do anything I wasn't doing myself. The job postings they sent me were also across the country which means I would have to move. I told them my brother was dieing and I was having a baby and buying a house so I could not move. I told them the area I needed to find work in and then never heard from them again. I tried to call and always got a voice mail and no return call. The emails stopped and I was no longer able to access my school email because the school updated their site and I lost access. I am now paying back about $85,000.00 and trying to raise my son on minimum wage not even working in my study field. This is not by my choice. I have been applying for jobs since the day I found out I was graduating and no one will accept my degree. I wish I could throw my degree in their face and demand they get rid of my loans and refund me for the money I have already payed. I strongly urge people to look into other schools for a degree.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Associate program in Multimedia and Design
June 9, 2011
Unaccredited degree program. Credits cannot be transferred and are not recognized by most or all other schools. Should not be called a College. I am now in major debt with a degree that is worthless - even with my GPA of 3.97, I never even got an interview through them.
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