Thursday, September 12, 2019

College Meltdown Investigation: New Horizons Computer Learning Centers

Related article: Are Brand Name Coding Bootcamps the New Higher Education Scam?

Related article: 8 tips to help vets pick the right college

I am currently investigating New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, a system of franchises that provides certified Microsoft and Cisco training and testing. The centers cumulatively receive more than $20 million a year in GI Bill funds for military veterans and an unknown amount from the Department of Defense for military spouses. New Horizons also takes VA Vocational Rehabilitation funds for disabled veterans.

The for-profit schools are privately owned, unaccredited, and do not receive Pell Grants or federal student loans, making the parent company, New Horizons Worldwide, and its franchisees difficult to research. Facing declining revenues since the tech crash of 2001, the once publicly traded company went private in 2010, and slipped under the radar.

Claims about New Horizons' training and outcomes are impressive, but only if they are true. At this point, I am skeptical about these claims after reading repeated complaints about New Horizons Computer Centers and their business practices.

Several of the New Horizons Learning Computer Learning centers are based where service members and veterans live, including Killeen (163 veterans, $686K), Fort Worth (55 veterans, $445K), San Antonio (102 veterans, $641K), Richmond (111 veterans, $1.33M), Atlanta (44 veterans, $208K), Jacksonville, FL (219 veterans, $2.62M), Anaheim (254 veterans, $1.01M), Las Vegas (29 veterans, $15K), Miami (452 veterans, $6.06M), Colorado Springs (52 veterans, $356K), Orlando (236 veterans, $3.99M), Spokane (56 veterans, $968K), Tampa (171 veterans, $1.65M), and McClean, Virginia (94 veterans, $807K).

Recruiting thousands of military spouses, and veterans (including disabled vets), the New Horizons chain also claims to be "Military Friendly" and to adhere to VA's Principles of Excellence. New Horizons markets to veterans by selling their programs as "GI Bill Training." And they claim to offer top-notch instructors and career consultants. Credible information about gainful employment following the training programs, however, is non-existent.

Despite its claims, New Horizons Computer Centers have received a rash of complaints from veterans using their GI Bill benefits. The most common GI Bill complaints about the schools have been about finances, marketing and recruiting, and quality of education.

Complaints across the internet suggest that the learning centers are not worth the cost. New Horizon's recruiting practices also appear to be unethical, using bogus job offers to make their sales pitches.

While New Horizons courses cost $87 to $100 per hour, community colleges offer computer and IT training at lower costs. Lower priced online training can also be gotten for free or close to free, through One Stop unemployment offices and Groupon.

If you have any complaints about any New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, please email me at