In July of 2012, after a two-year investigation, the Senate HELP Committee released a scathing report on the for-profit college industry. The investigation found that many of these schools charge a much higher tuition, have lower graduation rates, saddle more students in debt and often have higher student loan default rates than at traditional colleges. The Senate report also revealed that for profit colleges often employ large numbers of recruiters with sales experience and are forced to meet enrollment quotas to keep their jobs.
Though none of the Globe Education Network schools were examined in the HELP committee report, Globe schools have engaged in similar predatory and unethical behavior, valuing profit over the students the school is supposed to be serving. Much like with the schools in the report, Globe executives focus on enrolling as many students as possible. To do this, large numbers of sales employees are employed as "admissions representatives," who are subject to a high-stress, boiler room atmosphere, focused on enrollment quotas. The more students enrolled, means the more money flowing to the schools to cover their inflated tuition prices.
As detailed in this Globe University director of admissions job posting, employees have to meet specific enrollment quotas, make a certain amount of phone calls to prospective students, and use a canned PowerPoint presentation when meeting with prospective students.
I recently spoke with several former Globe University employees who reiterated that there is intense pressure from executives to enroll as many students as possible. One former admissions representative, who wishes to remain anonymous, was in attendance at Globe University's "Admissions Fall Kickoff Event" in 2012. Along with between 150 and 200 other admissions representatives, this employee attended a speech aimed at motivating Globe University admissions representatives. According to the employee, after the speech, the owner of Globe University and Minnesota School of Business, Terry Myhre grabbed the microphone and yelled to the audience, "Sell! Sell! Sell!" This, of course seems to conflict with what Globe executives claim, that "the sole reason our schools exist is to educate, graduate and help the students we serve improve their careers."
Another area where Globe schools parallel schools from the report, is with their high cost and poor results. For instance, students that do graduate, graduate with much higher average student debt than the national average. As shown in the graph below, the graduation rates at Broadview University, Minnesota School of Business, and Globe University are far below the national average.
Data from globe.silk.co:
At Globe University, 96 percent of students borrow take out student loans and graduate with an average of $44,824 in student debt. At Minnesota School of Business, another Globe Education Network school, the results are almost identical where 92 percent of students take out student loans and graduate with an average of $45,244 in student debt. More easy to understand Silk Site graphs and charts detailing the Globe Education Network schools' abysmal graduation rates, student loan cohort default rate, and more can be found at Globe.Silk.co.
Claims Against Globe University:
This past fall, Globe University/ Minnesota School of Business was ordered to pay nearly $400,000 to former dean, Heidi Weber in a whistleblower lawsuit. Last month, the school was also ordered to pay an additional $500,000 in attorney fees to Weber and Globe's motion for a new trial was denied.
Many of Weber"s claims uncovered a culture fostered by Globe executives that seems to place more importance on profit, rather than educating, graduating, and improving the lives of the students they serve. Weber blew the whistle on unethical behavior such as questionable advertising, violations of Title IV federal aid programs, bribing of students with free textbooks to keep them quiet, misrepresenting the school's accreditation status to the public, and violations of recruiting methods and the ban on commissions for admissions representatives based on enrollment numbers.
This is not the only legal trouble Globe has faced. Other claims include:
- In 2003, 18 former students of the Minnesota School of Business's (MSB) alleged that MSB made false, misleading and confusing statements about its sports medicine program.
- In 2012, former dean of Globe University's business school, Jeane St. Claire filed a claim alleging that she had been fired after blowing the whistle on the school engaging in fraudulent activities.
- In 2013, current and former students filed a class action complaint alleging false advertising, deceptive trade practices, and consumer fraud.
Globe Education Network's Admission Representative Training Manual:
One of the documents that was made public after the trial is the Globe Education Network's Admission Representative Training Manual, which I have uploaded at StudentDebtCrisis.org/Globe. Information in the training manual only strengthens claims that executives at these schools place a greater importance on profit, rather than the students they are supposed to be serving.
The manual focuses heavily on the huge profits that can be made "selling education," while educating, graduating and helping improve the careers of the students Globe serves takes a far back seat. New representatives begin by taking a four week-long training program covering "qualitative" sales philosophy, memorizing a 60-75 minute admissions presentation, learning how to "overcome objections" from prospective students, learning to close sales (enroll students) and the psychology of convincing prospective students to enroll. According to the manual, "The most successful representative is a psychologist first, a salesperson second."
Admissions representatives must memorize word-for-word the 60-75 minute powerpoint presentation so they can then deliver the canned presentation to prospective students. According to the training manual, the "Contents of a Good Presentation" include the following:
1.) It must catch the prospect's instant and undivided ATTENTION by aiming at his/her self-interest by promising them a benefit, appealing to their curiosity, or rendering a service.
2.) It must AROUSE HIS/HER INTEREST by describing benefits and pointing out the advantages of them.
3.) It must STIMULATE HIS/HER DESIRE for the benefits, and their advantages by offering factual proof and evidence.
4.) It must MOTIVATE HIM to take action to ENROLL.
Representatives are taught to use the "Questioning Technique" when selling a Globe education. While showing prospective students the presentation, representatives are instructed to "get continuous agreement by asking questions."
The theory here is the more the prospect is in agreement throughout your presentation, the easier it will be to close. We call these types of questions "trial closes." A trial close is asking for an opinion. The difference between a close and a trial close is asking for a decision, and asking for an opinion.
According to former Globe University admissions representative, Hannah Von Bank, admissions representatives are trained to use emotionally manipulative language when recruiting students, and to "find their pain." In an affidavit submitted by Von Bank, she says that admissions representatives are instructed to sign up prospective students for financial aid as quickly as possible so the prospective student does not have time to think it over.
When "closing a sale," (convincing a prospective student to enroll), representatives are taught to use a series of "trial closes." These, according to the manual are designed to help eliminate any objections and enhance the representative's chances of enrolling the prospective student. Representatives are also taught to find problems a prospective student may have, and use education as the solution to that problem.
You are a PROBLEM SOLVER. You are there to help them overcome their problem. One problem is that they need specialized training. You are there to help them. If you do not think they have a problem, UNCOVER ONE and help them solve it. One point to remember - there are no arguments against education.
Executives at the Globe Education Network have been downplaying the negative news surrounding their schools. They claim that "the sole reason our schools exist is to educate, graduate, and help the students we serve improve their careers." However, it is becoming more and more apparent that prospective students are merely viewed as dollar signs and an opportunity to "Sell! Sell! Sell!"