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Career Education Corporation

Phone: (847) 585-3625 231 N Martingale Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60173

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BBB Accreditation

This business is not BBB accredited.

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Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Career Education Corporation include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 4 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

4 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 2
Billing/Collection Issues 2
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 0
Total Closed Complaints 4

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on Career Education Corporation
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: October 29, 1999 Business started: 01/05/1994 Business started locally: 01/05/1994
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Illinois State Board of Education
100 W. Randolph Street, Ste 14-300, Chicago IL 60601
Phone Number: (312) 814-2220

Type of Entity


Business Management
Mr. Ronald McCray, Interim President Ms. Clantha Bates, Complaint Manager Mr. Jeffrey Cooper, Chief Compliance Off
Contact Information
Customer Contact: Ms. Clantha Bates, Complaint Manager
Principal: Mr. Ronald McCray, Interim President
Business Category

Schools - Academic - Colleges & Universities Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools (NAICS: 611310)

Additional Locations


    231 N Martingale Rd

    Schaumburg, IL 60173


BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

6/1/2016 Billing/Collection Issues | Complaint Details Unavailable
5/4/2015 Advertising/Sales Issues
9/5/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: I took BIM 108 over a year ago the term was 1202A 05/07/2012 - 06/09/2012. When I took this class the file used for this term is not the one currently being used? This also means the file used for BIM 202 uses the new file from the current BIM 108. I e-mailed her on 6/26/13 at 9:08 PM regarding the fact that I had the old BIM 108 file not the current one she was using for BIM 202 and did not get a response until 06/29/13 at 11:02 Pm. This is over 72 hours later. This response was only after I contacted*********. It clearly states on the virtual campus e-mails will be responded to in 24 hours or less. On July 3, 2013 I attended the workshop with************. **** stated at this point we shared screens. However, my understanding of screen sharing is the ability for me to draft in CAD and **** having the ability to see it. This would allow **** to see what I am doing wrong and correct it by him showing me on my computer. This did not happen. This would have allowed us to determine the file I had was corrupted. On July 5, 2013 I was sent the previous file used for BIM 108, which was not the one being used currently in BIM 202. I am not sure why I would not have been sent the current one that is being used in the live chats. ******** stated to me in an e-mail on July 9, 2013 she was more concerned at this point that I grasp the concepts from BIM 202. Should I not be given the same file that is currently being used in the class? Is this not a double standard? I am begin held to a higher standard than the rest of students in the class? As the other students had the same file as was used in the chats and I had to make adjustments to my file in effect making things more complicated and I feel putting me at a disadvantage. I requested a course extension on July 5, 2013 at 3:48 PM requesting 8 days... due to my corrupt file and other technical difficulties **** ******n was cc on this e-mail. ******** stated to me on July 09, 2013 at 7:20 PM she did not receive the course extension. I resent the course extension request on July 10, 2013 at 8:31 AM.********* and **** where include in this e-mail. Documentation can be provide. On July 13, 2013 my computer would not boot up. I was not able to get into the repair shop until Monday July 15, 2013 and get confirmation on exactly what was wrong. I then processed to notify **** via e-mail that I should have my computer by that Thursday July 18, 2013. On July 23, 2013 I sent an e-mail requesting the link to the chats to complete the work since the term ended on July 13, 2013. We went back and forth how many days without getting access to chats. Reference file and PDF was not completed (no example of annotations, no detail line created for a stack vent) however after she grade the project she provides a different PDF. Documentation can be provide. So I am being penalized because ******** is not being held accountable for her actions. ********* has stated to me numerous times that she has project deadlines, dates, or commitments for her other jobs. One commitment should not negate another. I submitted everything thing in a timely fashion, however, I cannot help the instructor is not doing her part in responding within the 24 hours and also initially sending the wrong file to start with. These delays become very critical when the term is only 5 weeks. Also when I did complete the work she did not even grade the work. This caused me to get kicked out of BIM 204, which BIM 202 was a requirement for. This required me to again be put in another BIM 202 class. During this class she continued to not grade work that was submitted and again I had to go through********* again to get my work graded. Now I am into my vacation that has been wasted again by ********'s ineffectiveness and her putting her other jobs ahead of your school and students. Working with her has been no less than a nightmare to say the least

Desired Settlement: DesiredSettlementID: Refund I am requesting a refund of thirty two hundred dollars.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 7, 2013/10/15) */ Final Consumer Response /* (4200, 19, 2013/12/09) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) I have now file a complaint with the United States Attorney General. Final Business Response /* (4000, 23, 2013/12/23) */

2/10/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: I was led to believe that I would be making $50,000 a year upon graduation. I was given little financial aid education, didn't need a co-signer for my loans, and was basically told to just sign on the line for high-interest predatory student loans that originally ranged in interest from about 12% to 18%. The degree was useless in any field except design and I had to go back to school to get a master's degree in a different field just to find solid employment. I am still not even making as much money as I was led to believe that I would and I have been gone from ********** for almost 8 years and I have a master's degree. Grades were often inflated, and I witnessed a student receive very little punishment for copying another student's work. The faculty are great, and you can have fun, but that gets you no where to actually secure gainful employment. I now work at a college in education (at a state institution) and see how truly predatory this college is. When I first contacted the corporation that owns Harrington (CEC) they had a business manager from ********** contact me. Though he listened a little, he was pretty accusatory towards me, which is interesting considering the nature of why I am contacting them about my grievance in the first place. I was frugal as an undergrad--I worked a part-time job to pay for my car (necessary in a rural area where I live) and other living expenses. I didn't even live in the city--I spent a total of 4 hours taking the train back and forth every day that I had class several days a week. That saved me thousands of dollars in rent and other expenses. I took out extra loan money to cover the train fare, the hundreds of dollars needed for expensive art supplies and books each semester (often the instructors didn't even end up using the books!!) and for a study abroad trip. This trip ended up horribly with a student having a mental breakdown and the other students not even getting ready on time in the morning to go to class. Overall, the college is a joke. I did not mess around and only took out the money needed to get through my education in one piece. I regret every minute. My life would be very different without this financial burden over my head. I can't even afford to move out of my parent's home--I am 31 years old!

Desired Settlement: I am seeking full restitution of the loans taken out to cover all expenses at ********** College.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 12, 2014/01/29) */ Contact Name and Title: ****** ******** President Contact Email: ********@**********.edu BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU OF CHICAGO Consumer: ******* ***** Business: Career Education Corporation *** N. ********** Road *********** IL XXXXX Case # XXXXXXXX Date: January 27, 2014 Dear Ms. ******** Career Education Corporation and ********** College of Design ("institution") recently received a letter dated January 7, 2014 from the Better Business Bureau ("BBB"). The letter served to notify ********** College of Design that a complaint had been filed against the institution by graduate, Ms. ******* *****. Upon receipt of the letter, the institution began a review of the allegations found in Ms. *****'s BBB complaint. Representatives from Career Education Corporation and ********** College of Design have discussed these complaints with Ms. ***** prior to and after the Bureau received the complaint, but were not able to come to a resolution. Pursuant to the findings of our review of this matter, we believe that Ms. *****'s allegations are unfounded and without merit. Ms. ***** enrolled in the Interior Design program at ********** College of Design on 11/25/2002 and started courses on 1/13/2003. Ms. ***** graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design on 4/22/2006. In response to Ms. *****'s complaints ********** College of Design has responded to each complaint below: * Complaint #1: ***e was led to believe she would be making $50,000 per year upon graduation Response: ********** College of Design does not suggest or make promises of any kind to students related to salary or employment. ***nce Ms. ***** enrolled into the institution more than 10 years ago, the individuals who assisted in enrolling her into school no longer work for the company and cannot attest to Ms. *****'s specific allegations. The ********** College of Design website, located at www.**********.edu, provides students with information such as graduation rates, employment rates, and existing job opportunities by program. ***udents seeking this information are referred to this website, as the most current data is provided . * Complaint #2: ***e was given a limited Financial Aid education while attending school; did not qualify for a co-signer for her loans; and was told to "sign on the line" for high-interest predatory student loans ranging in interest from 12% to 18% Response: ********** College of Design requires students complete a Free Application for Federal***udent Aid (FAFSA). After the FAFSA is processed by the U.S. Department of Education, a qualified campus Financial Aid representative meets with the student and discusses options available for the student to pay for their education. This resource is available throughout the students' tenure at school. Additionally, ********** College of Design consistently has personnel available to address student questions or concerns regarding their financing. In regards to Ms. ***** not qualifying for a co-signer, ********** College of Design does not make a determination regarding this matter. Rather, qualification for a co-signer is dependent upon students' personal financial circumstances during the time they are enrolled in school. Finally, in regards to Ms. *****'s claim that she was told to "sign on the line" for high-interest loans, to receive any type of loan, an individual must sign necessary documentation to receive funding. Again, ********** College of Design provides qualified Financial Aid personnel to students to address questions or concerns and Ms. ***** had access to these individuals while attending the institution. * Complaint #3: ***e believes the degree earned is useless in any field except design and had to go back to school to get a Master's Degree in a different field to find solid employment Response: Ms. ***** graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design in April 2006. The focus of this program is design. When students enroll into school, they receive school catalogs which provide specific details about each program offered at the college and the related courses that need to be taken in order to successfully complete the program. Additionally, an orientation was offered to Ms. ***** prior to her school start date on December 12, 2002. Orientation provides students with the opportunity to meet faculty and staff and to get questions answered. At this time, Ms. ***** would have been made aware of the primary program focus, which is interior design. * Complaint #4: Grades were often inflated and she witnessed another student receive little punishment for copying another student's work Response: ********** College of Design has a defined grading rubric that is used to evaluate student performance in all courses. The grading rubric is provided to students in course syllabi. Ms. ***** also claims she witnessed another student receive little punishment for copying another student's work. If this were to occur, the matter would have been addressed confidentially with the student in question and the institution. Ms. ***** would not be aware of the specific disciplinary actions taken by the institution regarding this matter. Ms. ***** has discussed these matters on several occasions prior to and after this notice to the BBB with representatives of Career Education Corporation and has indicated she wants Career Education Corporation to pay her outstanding loans. Career Education Corporation and ********** College of Design see no grounds upon which to refund Ms. *****'s student loans. If you have any additional questions about this situation, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned. We thank you for the opportunity to respond to Ms. *****'s complaint. Max***angle Campus President See attachment Final Consumer Response /* (3000, 14, 2014/01/29) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) In response to complaint #1: I find it irresponsible of ********** to say that they cannot be responsible for things that people said who no longer work there. You employed them, and whether they are there any more or not, you are responsible for their actions. Additionally, this website that they are saying I could have accessed to see employability information did not exist when I was a student.***ch information being added to for-profit colleges was a more recent requirement of the government to outline the gainful employment issues going on with for-profit colleges. I am quite familiar with the litigation surrounding gainful employment and the more recent requirements of the government, and I can tell you this information was certainly not readily available when I was a student there. In response to complaint #2: You are indicating that I "did not qualify" for a co-signer as if that was a negative. In reality, not NEEDING as opposed to be QUALIFIED for a co-signer are two different things. As a teenager with limited financial experience, I should have never been allowed to take out a loan without a co-signer. It is not a matter of not qualifying for one, because that is a scenario which cannot exist. You either qualify for loans without a co-signer (which I did) or you don't qualify UNLESS you have a co-signer. ********** chose to utilize***llie Mae predatory loans. There are plenty of colleges out there which do not allow it is an option. ********** could have better supported students by making that wise decision. However, that likely would have never happened because the college charges inordinate fees for their school. I spent way more to attend this "career" college to be less employable than I would have if I stayed at a state school with a real employable degree. In response to complain #3: Is the CEC corporation trying to be facetious here? I clearly understood that I was enrolling in a degree that focused on interior design. The issue at hand is not my understanding of the degree, but rather the fact that a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree should be much more useful in a job search. However, employers were quite turned off when they see you have a specialization in Interior Design from a for-profit college. I would have been much better off with any degree that was not from a for-profit college. Recent research readily supports that students who graduate from a for-profit college will not make as much money over a decade period of time as students who graduate from any other kind of college. The degree was not valuable because of the corporation that owns the school, plain and simple. In response to complaint #4: I realize you have indicated that there were syllabi in classes. That doesn't necessarily mean that instructors, who have kind hearts because they are just working professionals in the field rather than trained university professors, don't give out higher grades than they should. Grades were being inflated, plain and simple, syllabi or not. Further, it is quite obvious that any punishment would be private, however, a very non-public response or reminder of academic standards to the student body certainly doesn't make you feel very confident in the quality of the education that you are receiving. At other universities, such plagiarism would result in automatic failure of the course. My last response to the entire message: CEC is a predatory corporation, plain and simple. As an adult who can now look back on the experience with a much more educated standpoint, the tuition assessed is outrageous for the service provided. You can explain it away as much as you want, but the reality is not the little details that we can argue back and forth about all day about how we got here. The most important thing is what this degree has done to my life--financial instability is not a joke, and that is exactly what the debt from that degree has done. I have always been financially responsible in every other area of my life, and it is both maddening and sickening to know that I will never be able to live independently for a decision that I made when I was 19 years old. Does CEC deserve such punishment is fit? What if CEC was in financial trouble, similar to our domestic car makers in recent past, and wanted help from the government to fix their mistake and bail them out? I sure hope the government would tell you know, because that is exactly what you are telling me. ********** choose to use***llie Mae as a lender, and both companies combined together created a predatory situation that my 19 year old self was not wise enough to overcome at that time.***ame on me for being a first generation student, and trustful of those who appeared to be in an authority position. I certainly don't wish the same upon your own children. I am not satisfied with your response, nor will I ever be until my debt is resolved. Final note: Thank you for attaching my first enrollment paperwork. This paperwork clearly supports my own case regarding the little education that was done for me to understand what high interest loans (from every semester, not just this first enrollment paperwork) would be like when you graduate into the reality of a job that only pays $26,000 per year. Thank you for supporting my argument quite definitively. Final Business Response /* (4000, 16, 2014/02/07) */ Dear Ms.********* Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the rebuttal submitted by Ms. ******* ***** on January 29, 2014. After reviewing Ms. *****'s response, ********** College of Design and Career Education Corporation still do not see any grounds upon which to refund Ms. *****'s student loans. Ms. ***** does not raise any new issues in her rebuttal; therefore, our previous response dated January 27, 2014 will serve as our official answer to her complaint. Sincerely, *********** Campus President

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