When Dawn Thompson went online a while back to research colleges that offered a degree in paralegal studies, a bunch of pop-up ads for Florida Metropolitan University (FMU) caught her eye.
“When you would click on an ad, it would bring you to an open chat thing where a representative would start chatting with you,” Thompson recalled. “And then the phone calls started and they made it sound really good and the next thing I’m enrolled in the school.”
That was back in 2004. Now, Thompson has a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from the old FMU, which has since changed its name to Everest University to reflect its affiliation with the Everest campuses once owned by the beleaguered Corinthian Colleges, Inc.
But she says her bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies, which she earned in 2011, is not worth anything in the job market.
“Every time I’ve applied for a paralegal job they’ll ask me where Everest University is and I tell them,” Thompson said in an interview with Diverse. “And they don’t really say anything but I never get hired.”
Thompson, 49, a bank teller who lives in Athens, Illinois, says her most recent job denial letter — this one for a legal secretary position with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office — came in the mail just the other day.
She is about $100,000 in debt for her bachelor’s degree — about $10,000 of it in high-interest private loans, but the bulk of it owed for federal student loans. And she doesn’t intend to pay it. <Read more.>