BBB Business Review

BBB Accredited Business since 06/01/1934

American School

Phone: (708) 418-2800Fax: (708) 418-2831View Additional Phone Numbers2200 E. 170th St., LansingIL 60438-1002 Send email to American SchoolView Additional Web Addresses

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BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since 06/01/1934

BBB has determined that American School meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

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

Factors that raised American School's rating include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 2 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.

Customer Complaints SummaryRead complaint details

2 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Problems with Product / Service2
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints 2

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

2 Customer Reviews Customer Reviews on American School

Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 1
Negative Experience 1
Total Customer Reviews 2 Customer Reviews

Complaint Breakdown by Resolution

Complaint Resolution Log (2)BBB Closure Definitions
11/18/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
On August 26 I contacted their Guidance Counselor about college planning and what I find out is I was given Business Math which is invalid for colleges on the basis because they claim Algebra 2 would be to hard for me. And never in my entire enrollment with this company did they contact or call me about this and that is what they should have done which they did not. And when I ask can I switch to Algebra 2 they want me to pay extra which is not what I want to do because it is not my fault it is theirs for giving me Business Math in the first place without contacting me or my mother which they were free to do but chose not to. What I am looking for is to replace Business Math with Algebra 2 without charging me because it is not my fault in this. Also I have second course spelling that is useless to colleges. I told the guidance counselor that an employee named Meghan in student services at their office in person told me to take spelling since it would be a easy credit and listened to her thinking since she worked at student service I should listen to her since she would give me the right advice on what to do. And when I emailed that to American School they blame me for it. Also I would like an apology because I basically got insulted and indirectly called an unintelligent since my GPA is considered low to them, but they do not realize colleges also look at high ACT scores to which I am working on getting it is not just the GPA if you look into the college requirement sections they say to be accepted a student must have one of the following either top in their class, high GPA or high Act score which I am working on. I am still enrolled with this company so I hope by me complaining about them does not make them want to give me bad customer service after this. I have to do what I feel is right for my future on college.

Desired Settlement
What I am looking for is to change Business Math to Algebra 2 without charging me since it is not my fault at all. And I am looking to switch Spelling to a science course like Physical science. I would consider what would be the options for changing spelling to a different course.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title:*********
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: **********************************
Our records indicate ******* selected the General High School Program when she filled out her enrollment application. The GHS program is designed for students who plan on entering the workforce or attending a 2-year college after earning their diploma. Students are allowed to switch between the GHS program and our College Prep program one time without financial penalty. Both consist of 18 units of credit, but the CP program contains more rigorous courses and different amounts of courses because it is designed for students who wish to attend a 4-year college and therefore must meet college entrance requirements. Sometimes students who switch from one program to another late in their academic careers will have to take more than 18 courses with us. For example, a student *** have 14 units of credit done in the GHS program, but if he switches to CP and needs 5 CP program courses to graduate, he would have to take 19 total courses when in fact his contract only allowed him to take 18. In situations like these, we charge students for the additional course(s) just like we would charge students who remain in one program throughout their careers but wish to take more courses for enrichment purposes. In fairness to all students, we cannot have some students take more than 18 courses and others take 18 courses and charge the same price to both students.

Over the summer, ******* and our school counselor and student service department exchanged several emails which detailed *******'s academic progress and the likelihood of her being admitted to the schools of her choice. Based on *******'s academic record, our experienced school counselor suggested courses and college options that might be best for her. We felt that Business Math would be a more appropriate course for her since she is in the GHS program and Algebra 2 is often a challenge for students in our College Prep program. ******* did not pass * of her 5 exams in Business Math, which makes us believe she would not have had success in Algebra 2.

In the course of the emails, our school counselor stated an accurate fact: that *******'s 2.28 gpa would make it difficult for her to be accepted at colleges such as the University of ******** Loyola (Chicago), ******* State and **** When ******* expressed her opinion that our school counselor's suggestion made her feel stupid, our school counselor stated that she was simply trying to help her based on the information we have available, and GPA is the most accessible indicator of a student's performance. Our school counselor went on to say that while she didn't imply******** not attend a 4-year college, she thought it best that ******* attend a community college to get the assistance she needs to be accepted and thrive at a 4-year college.

On September 29, ******* decided to switch to the college prep program and understood that she would have to pay to make this switch because additional courses would be required, as was described earlier in this response. We also cannot switch Business Math for Algebra 2 because Business Math was completed. Had ******* not started Business Math, we would've been able to make that switch. The same is true with her Spelling course. We have pages of emails, including one in which ******* writes "I am keeping World Literature making it 13 1/2 credits so the amount would be $180. So I would like to be upgraded to the college prep program."

While we are always looking for ways to improve our student service and academic advising capabilities, we believe we treated ******* fairly in this matter.

Sincerely,
**** ***
American School Public Relations Coordinator



Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
In response to this it is not my fault you people did not contact me. I did business math before I found out it was not recognized by colleges and all this other informaton it is unfair you cannot change it to Algebra 2 since it is your fault and you know it. You people just want more money from me and that's all that's why you don't want to change it. And also I got an email to prove that upgrading to the college prep program would not cost me anything. And why did you mention that my reason for filing this complaint is that you people gave me business math instead of Algebra 2 without my consent how about you stay on topic and answer that shady practices of your company on what they did with me.

Final Business Response
We vehemently deny *******'s claims that we simply want more money from her. In order to switch to the college prep program as she desired and complete all of its requirements, she needed to take more than 18 units of credit from us. Because the contract she signed only called for her to take 18 units of credit, we had to charge her for the additional courses she needed to complete the college prep program.

Just today ******* contacted our student service department and was told the cost to switch programs (and add more courses) would be $180. There is no cost to switch programs under normal circumstances, but since ******* had gaps in her courses, meaning that she was missing courses that are required in the college prep program and had no more room to add them as elective, that is why we are charging her.

We attempted to advise her and recommend courses to her that we thought gave her the best chance of success based on her academic record, which includes a 2.28 gpa and many failing grades on examinations in a variety of subjects. Our counselor gave her specific suggestions for courses and schools which *** be the best fit for her based on this information. It is the student's responsibility to look into college entrance requirements and then tell us before taking a course if he or she does not want to take an elective. We allow for refunds and course changes without cost any time a student does not begin work in an elective subject.

Finally, the enrollment application clearly allows students to enroll in the general high school or college prep program. It is the student's responsibility to read about each program on our web site and in our printed literature and then select the appropriate program at the time of enrollment. We allow students to switch one time if priorities change, but again, if more than 18 courses are needed to complete the program a student switches to at a later time, we charge for additional courses, which was the case with *******.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
No you did not give me sound advice on college. This company made a mistake and they want to mask it by just telling me to go to community college to fit in with their own credits. And are you now trying to say you support the guidance counselor advice for indirectly calling me unintelligent. Why are you bringing this up again my last reply was about you are borderline bringing up my personal information on this BBB complaint and that is unacceptable that what I was trying to say on my last reply. And you know my email and number so why haven't you personally apologized yet to me?


Business Response
Once again, we were totally honest with the student when it came to college admissions advice. Based on her progress and academic records, which included a 2.2 gpa, it is totally unrealistic for her to be accepted at the University of Chicago, which has some of the highest academic standards in America. That does not mean we think ******* is unintelligent. Rather, we used the only available information we had to give her the best advice possible. It is not in anyone's best interest for us to give unrealistic advice to students and to tell them to pursue things which we feel would ultimately be a disappointment to them. Our counselor provided admissions information for Loyola, LSU and Arizona State and encouraged the student to attend community college first, where she can strengthen her academic profile and record, and then apply to a 4-year school of her choice when she has a better chance of being accepted.

Our student service department continues to serve the student as quickly as possible, and all of us have been as honest and efficient as possible when it comes to serving her. I personally spoke with the student's mother and explained the situation to her and she agreed with the services we provided and understood why we did the things we did.

After receiving this most recent rebuttal, I sent an email to the student asking for her most recent phone number so that I may contact her personally and express many of the same sentiments that I told her mother when she and I spoke last month.

Sincerely,
********
American School Public Relations Coordinator

Immediately after submitting the my most recent rebuttal to student's complaint, I called the student. Student answered the phone. I introduced myself and told her that I was here to listen to whatever she had to say. Student said she was busy right now and would call back to speak with me another time. That is where the situation stands as of 11-7-14 at 3:30 pm CST.



Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
First of all when I even briefly spoke to you for less then a minute over the phone I could tell you are a very rude person, how can you write this nonsense about me. You said it unrealistic for me to get accepted in University of Chicago but little do you know that school is not as prestigious as it use to be they have a high acceptance rate meaning they are accepting whoever they can get because of the economy and them wanting more money.I know people who got accepted with lower GPA then what I currently have. And second of all my mom told me about the conversation she had with you she did not agree with what you had to say, she also told you about how Robin Fisher acted with her over the phone. My mom does not agree with what your company has done with me either. And I told the counselor why my GPA is low but I would like to keep that information confidential for now, I will eventually tell when I am almost done with American School because you do not seem like a person I feel like sharing my personal information with right now because you might display my personal information on this BBB complaint which I do not want . And I do not know why you keep bringing up universities from Illinois I know I said I would apply to them but they are not my number one picks. I believe I told the counselor in an email that my number one college I want to go to is Arizona State University since I moved from Illinois to Arizona going there would make more sense to me then the schools in Illinois. I remember what I said about me being busy that is true I did say that, and I will call you and tell you about what my whole experience with American School has been like when I am almost finished with everything. Right now I would like to email you about certain things so if you can send me an email so that I can reply to it with whatever questions I have for you I tried emailing you before but it looks like you never got it because you did not respond to me, so it would be nice if you can send me an email so I can reply to it with my questions I have for you. I do not like using this BBB complaint to come in contact with you since this may be publicly posted. The only reason why I kept pressing no for accepting the business proposed solution is because if I press yes I cant write a response back to you, that is the only reason why I keep pressing no because by pressing no I can type a reply whereas if I press yes I can't write a reply back. So from now on I am not using this BBB complaint to come into contact with you anymore. You know my email address you can use that to come in contact with me and I will communicate thru that way with you. Thank you and I hope you email me because I am done using this BBB complaint to come into contact with you.

03/17/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
The purpose of this letter is to request a full refund for the tuition in order for our son to complete high school on time.
The classes were necessary because of a change in requirements for graduation moving from another state. Additional units (credits) were needed to complete his high school education so that he could graduate on schedule. American School classes were recommended by his ********* Senior High School counseling staff. We were given a brochure and registration form, and told that the school was accredited.
Our son was unable to complete the classes in order to graduate on time. This was not due to his inability to do the work, but due to American School's slow response and inaccurate grading.
Each time he completed a corrected lesson/module, I would send the corrected material back, stating that time was of the essence. I tried several times, even sending corrected papers back within a day, registered and certified, to expedite this process. Other times I mailed back the tests the following day after receipt, regular mail, hoping that would help. While I understand that you have many students, it is unacceptable that corrections would take up to a MONTH to be returned. Three weeks to a month was your average turnaround time. The school offered no alternate way to receive corrections (download lessons, correct on line, fax, scan, etc.) When I called and explained the issue to your representatives, I was told that "every student is important" and nothing could be done to expedite the process. His high school counselors also contacted the school to explain that time was of the essence. Even then American School was unwilling to accelerate the process.
In addition, I was appalled to discover that some of the corrections were inaccurate. Several simple math computations were marked as incorrect that were, in fact, correct. I included a copy of corrections in my letters to American School.
We were unable to complete the classes due to This company's lack of response, accuracy, and attention. We had to FIND AND COMPLETE OTHER CLASSES IN THE LAST MONTH OF SCHOOL realizing that American School was unable to fulfill their obligation in a timely manner. They failed.
It is important to be aware that college, careers, goals, life plans, and finances are all complexly integrated in their failure to complete their obligation in a timely manner. When a student is unable to graduate, based solely on your inept response to fulfill their "teaching" requirement, they have damaged a student, as well as their plans for their future.

Desired Settlement
I am requesting a full refund of the investment made to this company. While this does not make us "whole", it does at least reimburse us the monies out of pocket, not including postage and registered mail.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: **** ***, PR Coordinator
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: ***************@americanschool.org
I received word of the complaint on Friday, January 31 and was able to find the student's records in our record system. The student received photography materials in October 2012 and math materials in January 2013.

In an attempt to get as much information as possible about the situation, I called the student's school and tried to speak with his counselor. She had left the school and moved to another school. I called her new school and was told she was no longer employed there.

I also left a message for the student's mother, and she returned my call Friday afternoon. She indicated that she was most frustrated by the way exams were graded and gave me examples of questions that were marked wrong that she felt should have been marked correct. I asked her to scan and send me copies of those exams for review.

I asked the student's mother why we did not receive exams from the student until March when he had course materials for at least two months. She explained that she thought it would be best if he completed all of the exams and then send one package of work to us. I explained to her that sending exams this way is not prohibited but also does not allow the student the best chance for success. In the case of this student, he received failing grades on 3 of 6 math exams and 1 of 6 photography exams.

Our policy is such that if a student fails an exam, we send an alternate exam for the student to complete. His mother said he completed the alternate exams quickly and mailed them to us, but by this time it was April, which is one of our busiest months for students in credit recovery programs. It is not unusual for exams to have 3-week or more turnaround time, especially in math courses where exams take longer to grade. The student received passing ****** for 3 of the 4 alternate exams by late April but still had to pass * more in order to earn the math credit. He passed **** exam in ***, but by then he had enrolled in another program to get the credits he needed to graduate from high school.

In response to the mother's request for a refund, I pointed out the refund policy which is clearly stated on the online or print application a student submits to us. It reads "All requests for cancellation must be made in writing within
90 days of enrollment. If no exams have been submitted, we will retain the $30.00 enrollment fee and $50.00 per course for textbooks
and study guides. If any exams have been submitted in a course, full tuition will be charged and no refunds made." Exams were indeed submitted and graded in the case of this student, so therefore we are not able to offer a refund. I explained to the student's mother that she *** not be happy with the quality of grading or the timeliness of grading, but we did in fact provide grading services to every exam the student submitted.

At the end of our cordial conversation, I told the student's mother exactly what I planned to type to you in response and apologized once again for any hurt the American School has caused her family. At the same time I reiterated that I refund would not be possible because of the refund policy printed on the enrollment application which the student signed and submitted to us at the time of his enrollment.

Thank you.

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I have attached a response to this attempted resolution below

Final Business Response
Once again the American School adamantly refutes Mrs. *******'s claims. In our last reply, we included a copy of an enrollment application signed by Mrs. ******* which stated "If any exams have been submitted in a course, full tuition will be charged and no refunds made." Her signature is proof that she read the application and agreed with the terms. In her most recent reply, she herself says "we did indeed submit the first exam at the end of February," which is proof that she agrees that exams were submitted. Therefore, we are entitled to full tuition, and Mrs. ******* is not entitled to a refund.

Mrs. ******* remains upset with how exams were graded, but, as previously written, the American School did not receive any form of communication from her indicating her feelings until June 25, 2013, approximately one month after her son was scheduled to graduate. Since the BBB case was opened, I asked her to send me copies of every page of every exam with which she had issues, and I also asked her to send copies of the first page form which includes the exam grade, the date it was received and the signature of the instructor. To date, I have received one page of one exam and nothing else. In addition, as previously written, if she was upset with the way exams were being graded, Mrs. ******* should have contacted us immediately after receiving her son's graded exams in March 2013, and our Instruction Department and Principal's Office would have assisted her at that time.

Moreover, those exams should have been submitted to us one at a time, starting with exam 1 being sent within one month after her son received his study materials in the mail. We sent study materials for Photography on October 9, 2012, and Essential Math 1 on January 15, 2013. Our record system indicates that grades for Essential Math 1 exams 1, 2 and 5 were recorded on March 12, 2013, and grades for Essential Math 1 exams 3 and 4 were recorded on March 11, 2013. Our system also indicates that Essential Math exam 6 was returned ungraded. This is in keeping with our policy that if 2 or more exams in a set of exams are not passing, we return the remaining exams ungraded so that the student can review them and do better the next time he submits them. In this case, her son passed ***** 1, 3 and 4 but did not pass ***** 2 and 5, so exam 6 was returned ungraded. In addition, grades for all Photography exams 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 were all recorded on March 8, 2013.

As stated in our most recent reply, we cannot guarantee that students will pass ***** exams on the first attempt. Therefore, they must allow extra time in case they *** need to retake an exam. By deciding to wait until late February to send in all of the exams, the student was robbed of extra time that could have been used to review graded exams if requested or successfully pass *** alternate exams that were assigned the student because he did not pass ***** on the first attempt.

We work with hundreds of public and private high schools across the country and grade tens of thousands of exams so that thousands of students can graduate from high school every year. We fulfill our obligations to them, and we fulfilled our obligations to Mrs. ******* and her son. We request a swift resolution to this matter. Thank you.

Sincerely,
**** ***
American School Public Relations Coordinator

Industry Comparison| Chart

Schools-Online & Long Distance, Schools - Home Study, Schools - Private, Schools - Academic - College Preparatory, Schools - Academic - Elementary & Secondary, Correspondence Schools

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: 06/01/1934Business started: 01/01/1897
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

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

Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Gary Masterton (President)Customer Contact: Mr. Jeff Cox (PR Coordinator)Ms. Marie Limback (Vice President)
Business Category

Schools-Online & Long Distance, Schools - Home Study, Schools - Private, Schools - Academic - College Preparatory, Schools - Academic - Elementary & Secondary, Correspondence Schools

Alternate Business Names
American School of Correspondence
Industry Tips
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Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Summary

American School has received 4.55 out of 5 stars based on 2 Customer Reviews and a BBB Rating of A+.

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

Map & Directions

Map & Directions

Address for American School

2200 E. 170th St.

Lansing, IL 60438-1002

To | From

LocationsX

1 Locations

  • 2200 E. 170th St. 

    Lansing, IL 60438-1002(866) 260-7221

Industry Comparison ChartX

The information in the table below represents an industry comparison of businesses which are of the same relative size. This is based on BBB's database of businesses located in Chicago and Northern Illinois. Businesses may engage in more than one type of business. The percent of time the business engages in a type of business is not accounted for. There is no known industry standard for the number of complaints a business can expect. The volume of business and number of transactions may have a bearing on the number of complaints received by BBB.

*American School is in this range.

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  • (866) 260-7221
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A+ 5
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