Spring tales from the Trail

Mystery Shopping Tales from the Trail

Spring is starting to bud! As seasons go, the name ‘spring’ can be misleading when (depending on where you call home) spring days are sprinkled with rain, chances of snow or sleet and furnaces running. How deceiving!


Just as April showers bring mayflowers, misrepresentations bring misunderstandings.  In our trail travels, we find a wide variety of responses to seemingly simple questions like, “How much does this program cost?”  Or, “Is this an accredited school?”


Roberto began to state the programmatic accreditation while referring to the School Catalog, but only said that they were accredited by “the Accrediting Bureau of blah blah blah”. I asked Roberto what “accrediting” meant, and he explained accreditation as a governing body that made sure I would earn “college credits” that would allow me to transfer from one school to another, and that would make sure that I would receive an “actual associate’s degree”.

When I asked about upfront costs and fees, William said, “You don’t pay nothing to start school here.”


Our evaluators have asked about things like graduate employment and while many representatives discuss Career Services and direct attention to consumer disclosures, sometimes we get unexpected answers:


Chad, the campus president, said that most of the students who weren’t placed either didn’t have a driver’s license or couldn’t pass a drug test.

Jessie told me that I could land a job that provides a company car and added, “To me, that’s like the most grown-uppest thing possible, right?”


Any time we encounter these types of confusing responses, we scratch our heads wonder why school materials and websites are so often overlooked as points of reference in admissions interviews. If your representative doesn’t know the answer to a student’s question, how are they responding? Perhaps it’s worth taking a look at your admissions team from the perspective of a prospective student to make sure they’re on the right path this season!

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