In my opinion Grand Canyon University is a ripoff. Don’t waste your money there.

ETA #2:  Well, their webspider is working, I already have a comment from their bot asking me to contact them for resolution.  PLUS:  I have a bill from the federal loan servicer in front of me.  It specifically states I received an UN subsidized loan.  Desiree from the school insists they sent me money from a subsidized loan in error.  In fact, the amount I received was nearly $2000 less than I was entitled to, and the amount I am being billed for by the loan servicer.  She says she can’t do print screen to give me proof, that I have to go into the website and get it myself.  I told her that obviously I was going to need a lawyer.


I called my education counselor today to ask for unofficial transcripts.  She began talking about how I owe the university money I must pay back because I was ‘overawarded’ money in my student loan.  It seems that because my company participated in a direct bill program (I never paid for it, my company did) that Grand Canyon considers that a ‘scholarship’ and therefore my maximum award was decreased.  The counselor said that Grand Canyon had to send that money back to the Education dept and that I was responsible for that money.  I said that in that case my student loan amount that I owe should have been decreased if they sent money back, yet it’s not, therefore I’m being double billed for the same money – I can’t owe the federal govt and the school for the same amount.  I was pretty upset by this time, as you can imagine.  She then said I needed to produce proof the school was double billing me and I replied that I would be in contact with the Education Dept directly.   She said that I would have to talk with the finance manager from now on as I am ‘escalating the situation’ … OK, whatever.  You can’t produce proof I owe anything but you are threatening my future by withholding transcripts…who is the aggressor here?

So anyway.  I contacted the Borrower Tracking Dept of the Dept of Education.  I did NOT receive an overpayment, there have been NO changes to my financial aid package for the 2010 school year made by the school, I have received no other aid,  and I have had only one federal loan disbursement which I was legally entitled to.  Note that while Grand Canyon calls the direct bill program a ‘scholarship’ the federal government does not.  They don’t care about private agreements apparently, which are not between the student and the school.

On to step two.  I contacted a representative from the loan servicer.  He kept talking about a re-affirmation letter which I asked him to explain to me – apparently if I was awarded too much money the school was supposed to send me a letter to that effect and say that I’m not eligible for any more financial aid (or to ask for some of the award back) at the time.  The key words in that letter were supposed to be to the effect that the ‘funds disbursed exceeds the maximum allowable’.  Well, that never happened.

Well, it gets curiouser and curiouser.  Apparently, there were THREE loans taken out in my name!  Two of which were paid back by the school in two payments each.  Only ONE of which I signed a master promissary note for, and only ONE of which I received a disbursement for.  So the school is apparently billing me for the money they accepted in my name, which I NEVER RECEIVED NOR SIGNED FOR, and they then paid back.  Yes, I am getting confirmation of this via snail mail.

The loan servicer recommended I write a letter agreeing to pay it back – before he understood that the money they are apparently billing me for is the money they took out in my name and paid back – which would essentially put me legally on the hook for the amount owed, but would allow me to get my transcripts.  NOT.  GONNA.  HAPPEN.  I am perfectly willing to pay back money I owe.  NOT money I don’t.

Why did I take out a loan for the schooling anyway if it was being paid for, you might ask.   Well, they only paid for the classes I completed, not the classes I withdrew from.  I had to take a class twice, and since I withdrew after the refund deadline I was responsible for the payment of the tuition for it.  Plus, the books were NOT cheap.  And when you’re taking a new class every five weeks, $200 a month (approximately) is a lot to drop on books for 14 months solid.  So now, for my trouble, I have a bachelor’s degree I can’t do anything with because I can’t go to any other schools because I can’t get my transcripts.

Plus I have to pay back my employer some of the cost as well, because I didn’t stay for a year after graduating.  This has turned into the nightmare that just won’t end.

ETA:  well, they will apparently send UN official transcripts, just not official ones.

14 responses

    • Yes I don’t think you have room enough for my story here but I’ll try bto condence it. I failed a class because of an e-mail an instructor did’nt like. My grade went from a 94.88 to a 43.00. I complained and I spoke to someone who just went through the motions, well my adivsor told me I had to repeat. I did and got the same grade as before the e-mail was sent. Now I get the congradulations e-mail that I am soon to graduate I have just 2 classes to go and then the practcums 2 of those, and then they say hey you owe us $1,600. I know I should have read the fine print but i didn’t, but I did ask the advisor would I be penalized and all I got was is that I would be under Academic reveiw. They waited untill I had completed two classes after thyat to inform that I owe? Had I known I would have challenged the grade before re-taking the class. I felt betrayed and now I can’t get my transcripts, and I need them. I tried to comperomise they refused. I was unemployed lost my job they did not care. Itried contacting admistration it all fell on death ears no one wanted to talk- So Hell Yeah I want in I’M 58 YEARS OLD AND i HAVE TO PAY THIS MONEY BACK

  1. I am searching the web for someone who had similar experiences as such with GCU. After I requested an unofficial transcript, my academic counselor e-mailed me today that she could not provide an unofficial transcript to me. I explained to her that I was referred to her by someone in the transcripts department who stated that the academic counselor is precisely the person who could help me. I have filed a complaint with the BBB and await their response. GCU obviously makes a practice of holding unofficial transcripts hostage.

    • If you contact the federal loan department, they can help you. I ended up taking out a loan to pay them what they said I owed just so I could get my damned transcripts and move on, but there is a class action lawsuit against them in the private sector, and I know the federal govt is not exactly happy when they get all these complaints against one school.

    • I am in the same situation!
      Whatever you need from me as testimonial I am with you!
      They have put a total stop to any further education for me at this point!
      Just want to get ahead in life and they hold all the power!!!

  2. I am about to finish from GCU.I registered for one of the graduate emphasis classes online and withdrew on the second day of class on the second week,in person.Nothing was said.I was a ground student(co-hort)they called us.
    Then weeks later,I got a bill for $2000 for that class and it had to be paid immediately.They hassled me about it and I have had endless arguments with them about this.They are saying that I owe the money because I did not withdraw on time and that the rules that govern online students and classes are different than those that govern ground students.I explained that I did not know that and they never listened.I talked to so may people for so long that I got a sore throat.I moved on to another university and gave up the fight temporarily and asked them not to call me about this.
    Months later,I got a letter offering me a settlement;they wanted me to pay around $900.They said this was Federal Government money.I don’t understand how they could settle a government debt at 50%.I saw that as fishy and told them I was paying nothing.
    They have since sent the debt to a few collection agencies.I will start dealing with it once I graduate.I just think that gcu is ripping me off and I don’t feel as good about them as when I went it.

    • I plan to, as soon as I get through my advanced pharmacology final tomorrow.

      I wouldn’t call it throwing my money into a big hole, exactly…after all I did do the work to get the degree, and I do have the degree, and it did allow me to take one more step on the path toward what I ultimately want to do. It really wasn’t worth the emotional or financial hassle however.

  3. Not sure how to join this if I have a case that falls into this but I attended Grand Canyon and they sent me an overpayment which then caused me to now owe them money that I cannot afford to pay them and they are withholding my transcripts from me but they were paid for my classes from my federal loan and pell grant payments

    • Hi Jaclyn it’s a sham that they rip people off and if you do find out there is a class action suite against them please let me know because I really want in

  4. My name is Chelsea Duran I attended Grand Canyon University from December 2014 until May 2016. My father passed away suddenly and I withdrew from the university. Now they are saying that I owe them $587.

    I have had issues even before this, with teachers and my adviser. I would talk to my adviser about these issues and nothing ever happened. I even talked to my advisers boss and nothing happened. This is a terrible college.

    Now because they say I owe money, I cannot get official transcripts. I am looking for help on how to go forward, as I am trying to finish my degree at a different school.

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