TIPS FOR STUDENTS
TO CONSIDER BEFORE ENROLLING
AT A PRIVATE POSTSECONDARY SCHOOL
To get the most
out of your educational experience, do your homework and make an informed
decision before making a commitment. The following list of “enrollment
tips” is provided to assist students in determining what steps they may
want to take when considering enrollment at a private postsecondary
educational institution, or postsecondary “school.”
1. INVESTIGATE THE SCHOOL YOURSELF BEFORE ENROLLING.
Prior to enrolling, interview students in the program, or take a tour of
the school. Ask if the school will let you sit in or observe the class or
course that you are interested in before enrolling.
2. CONTACT THE BUREAU OR CHECK OUR WEB SITE TO SEE IF THE SCHOOL IS
APPROVED TO OPERATE IN CALIFORNIA, AND WHETHER THERE IS A RECORD OF
Watch out for schools that are not approved by the Bureau, schools that
have had an extreme number of complaints in a short amount of time, or
have a record of discipline (e.g., probation, suspension). If the school
is not approved, you could end up with a diploma or degree that is not
recognized and a lot of debt and little, or no education. A school with a
high number of complaints or a record of discipline may indicate that the
school is not meeting minimum standards for instructional quality or
3. GET A COPY OF THE STUDENT CATALOG.
A school’s catalog contains important information that you will need to
review prior to making a decision to enroll. Pay special attention to
school policies, such as attendance, leave-of-absence, cancellation and
4. GET A COPY OF AN ENROLLMENT AGREEMENT TO REVIEW ALL BINDING TERMS,
CONDITIONS, COSTS AND STUDENT DISCLOSURES.
An enrollment agreement should reflect information about the school’s
total costs for the contracted-for course of instruction, a list of the
charges that are non-refundable, the name and description of the program
of instruction, the total amount of classes or hours needed to complete
the program, payment schedules, cancellation and refund policies, and
other mandatory disclosures regarding your rights and responsibilities as
a student at the institution. (Education Code section 94810.)
5. CONTACT THE ACCREDITING AGENCY THAT THE SCHOOL CLAIMS TO HAVE
ACCREDITATION FROM AND VERIFY THE SCHOOL’S CLAIMS.
To qualify for some state licensing examinations or for your degree to be
recognized by certain employers, some educational programs and training
must be obtained from a school that maintains “accreditation” from a U.S.
Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Be sure to check
with the licensing agency or employer where you wish your educational
experience to be recognized and verify accreditation status with the
accrediting agency before enrolling. For more information about
accreditation and to obtain a list of Regional and National Accrediting
Agencies, visit the U.S. Department of Education Web site at:
6. REVIEW ALL ADVERTISING CAREFULLY AND
COMPARE WHAT IS BEING ADVERTISED WITH WHAT IS DISCLOSED IN THE SCHOOL’S
CATALOG AND COURSE SYLLABUS.
Make sure that the school is being truthful in what has been advertised.
Watch out for hidden costs and promises that seem too good to be true.
7. REQUEST TO SEE THE SCHOOL’S STUDENT COMPLETION AND JOB PLACEMENT
A “student performance fact sheet” enables you to check to see whether
students are staying in the class and finishing the course, and whether
the school is assisting students in finding jobs after they have completed
8. FIND OUT WHAT THE SCHOOL NEEDS FROM YOU.
If you are transferring from another school or enrolling for the first
time at a post-secondary school, make sure you inquire as to what
documents you will need to submit when you enroll.
9. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THE AMOUNT AND TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID YOU WILL
NEED BEFORE YOU ENROLL.
There are several options in obtaining financial aid to attend a school.
Make sure you know whether you are going to receive or need Federal
student loans, Pell grants, private loans or a combination of grants and
loans, and understand what the advantages and disadvantages are of
obtaining each type of loan or grant. Make sure you know the total amount
of loans you are to receive. Match the amount of the loans against the
total cost of tuition. For more information on financial aid, contact
EDFund at http://www.edfund.org/, or the California Student Aid Commission
10. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING.
Never accept a promise to deliver a service verbally. Make sure all
contracted-for services are in writing and signed by a school official
before you sign the enrollment agreement.
11. KEEP A COPY OF YOUR DOCUMENTS!
If you decide to enroll in a private postsecondary school, be sure to keep
a copy of all contracts, policies, catalogs, disciplinary actions,
attendance records, letters you’ve written to the school, etc. In the
future, you may need to verify your payment obligations, any refunds owed
to you by the school, or the educational services that you contracted to
receive from the school.
12. LASTLY – ENJOY YOUR EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE!
National Truck Driving School is accredited
from a U.S. Department of Education!
Visit the U.S. Department of Education Web