Home News ‘They just saw me as a dollar sign’: How some certificate schools profit from vulnerable students – NBC News

‘They just saw me as a dollar sign’: How some certificate schools profit from vulnerable students – NBC News

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An investigation into Premier Education Group shows how for-profit schools with questionable track records are able to fly under the enforcement radar.

This article about certificate schools was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education, in partnership with NBC Nightly News and NBCNews.com.

OAKHAM, Mass. — The timing seemed fortuitous. The five people Jessica Evers lived with had left for work and school, leaving her alone to care for her infant daughter and browse the internet for schools. Back then, in 2010, she was 22 and her plan was to find a good job and move out of that small three-bedroom house in Hudson, Massachusetts.

And then, almost as if it were speaking directly to her, a television commercial caught her attention.

With upbeat music and promises of a new career, the advertisement introduced Evers to Salter College. The school had a campus a half hour away and offered certificate programs, which would get her into a career faster than an associate’s degree program.

She immediately visited the website, which described financial aid she could get and, crucially, promised career placement services to help “students and alumni in all aspects of their job search.”

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