Bear with me as I will have to spell out the full name of the college, Franklin University each time I refer to the college. Because using its initials, F.U might be insulting to some of my readers :)
I applied to Franklin University's online Computer Science program because they have a liaison with my local college here and it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to attend any classes because I worked 9 to 5. When I checked online, there were a lot of raving reviews about Franklin University's Computer Science program and the university was also accredited. The application fee was also free so I thought I had nothing to lose by applying. Boy was I wrong!
There are so many things wrong with Franklin University's admission process (i.e if a process actually exists). My main issue was the lack of communication and inconsistency of the people I dealt with. Below is a sort of timeline of my dealings with Franklin University. I put a ~ in front of approximate dates.
9/28/2013- I completed the application form online.
10/03/2013- I was contacted by by an Enrollment Coach who was "assigned" to me. We chatted about my education and career goals, where I am at now and why Franklin University. He then instructed me to apply to Franklin University because "we are a good fit". I told him, I had already sent in my application about 5 days ago. But he said, he could not find it in the system so he will go ahead and take my details any way. He took the names of the schools I went to and dates attended. I also inquired about the transfer of credit and he said he would send me an email with instructions on how to get an unofficial credit evaluation. Sweeeeet!! I thought!
10/03/2013- Same day. I sent my unofficial transcript to the email address for the unofficial evaluation as per the instructions. The instructions also indicated that it might take up to 48 hours to get a response.
10/04/2013- No response from Franklin University with my unofficial evaluation.
10/05/2013- No response.
10/06/2013- 72 hours later...Still waiting for a response....
10/10/2013- After 168 hours of waiting, I re-attached my transcripts, re-wrote the email and re-sent to the same email address for my unofficial credit evaluation at 1:06 pm. Alas! I finally got a response at 3:26 pm! The evaluation looked good. A lot of my classes were transferable.
~10/11/2013- I sent my transcripts out to Franklin University.
10/21/2013- 10 days after sending my transcripts, I still had not received any form of communication from my "assigned" Enrollment Coach acknowledging the receipt of my transcripts or from anyone at the university. Note that there is no online tracking system in place to check the status of my application.
10/26/2013- 15 days later, no word from the college.
10/29/2013- 18 days later, I decided to send my "assigned" Enrollment Coach a quick email to see where I was at and if I needed to provide any more documents. I do not get a reply back.
10/30/2013- 19 days after sending my transcripts to Franklin University, I decided to call the University to see if I might be lucky enough to catch my "assigned" Enrollment Coach on the phone. The person I spoke to told me my "assigned" coach was not available at that time and if there was anything she could help me with. I told her that I had called to inquire about my application. She offered to look me up in the system. She came back saying my application was incomplete because it was missing one transcript. I told her that I had sent transcripts of all the colleges I had attended. She informed me that I had indicated that I did A'Levels (Sixth Form) and they needed those transcripts in order for the application to be complete. I told her that the University website indicated that those transferring in a degree do not need to send high school transcripts and that A'Levels is just an extension of high school. She curtly said "Ma'm, if you want to proceed with applying to Franklin University, we need those transcripts". That's when I told her that the school I went to for A'Levels is all the way in The Gambia, West Africa and it would be difficult to request transcripts from them and have them mailed over here because there was no tool to send a request online and processing and shipping to the USA will take at least 4 months. The lady on the other line said, "We still need those transcripts!" and I replied, "that's going to be a long process and I might not be able to get all of this completed before Spring semester begins so maybe I need to cancel my application. She quickly said, "That's fine ma'm. Have a good day!" and hung up!
10/30/2013 - SAME DAY! I receive an email from my new "assigned" Enrollment Coach informing me that my old Enrollment Coach is no longer with them and that she is going to take me up but she would need my transcripts from the University of Wisconsin in order to proceed processing my application. I replied to her email thanking her and informing her that I had NEVER been to the UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN and I thought to myself; "where the hell do these people get these random information from?!". In true Franklin University fashion, she does not reply to my email.
11/08/2013- Nine days after she had ignored my email, I emailed my enrollment coach again (making sure to cross my fingers this time for a reply from her) telling her about the information I got from the lady on the phone the other day about needing my A'Level transcripts and asking her if photocopies of my transcripts will work since it is close to impossible to get my original sent from my high school, directly to Franklin University. I didn't get a reply..again... :-(
11/08/2013- I went to Franklin University's website and looked up all the email addresses related to admissions on the website cc'd all of them in an email asking about the status of my application. It had been over a month and I still did not know what the next step in the process was.
11/08/2013- And here comes two replies! First person to reply tells me that my test scores on my transcript (because I scored very high on the math placement test, I was exempted from taking any math for my previous degree) were transfer credits and I needed to send transcripts from that college too! I cannot believe how much new information I learn about my education that I didn't know previously existed! The second person that replied was more grounded, we will call her Ms International. Ms International asked me what school I went to and if I really attended the University of Wisconsin (??). But she called me "Mr" (ouch! I'm female!). I explained to her about the A'Levels scenario and she told me that if I still had the original certificate with me, I can send it to her and put in a note indicating that I would like it returned back to me. She was going to make a copy and send me back my original. Super! But after I thanked her, she replied informing me that another possibility was to buy a WAEC scratch card and send it to her to verify my results. Again, I didn't know where that information came from because we were talking about the A'Levels (Cambridge International Examinations Advanced Level) and she suddenly asks me for access to view my A'Levels at WAEC (West African Examination Council). These are two totally unrelated examining bodies!! I let it pass and patiently explained to her that she could not get my A'Levels results via WAEC but as previously arranged, I will send out my certificate in the mail so she can make a copy. She then said I should just scan and email it to her. I said I would do that as soon as I got home. She emails me back saying actually, they need to see the original so I need to mail it instead and I replied, "no problem".
11/11/2013- I sent out my A'Level certificate in the mail to Ms. International.
11/13/2013- My long lost Enrollment Coach decided it was a good time to call me today. She asked me if I was still interested in Franklin University and I caught her up on what had happened since the last time we spoke. She was obviously taking notes while we spoke. She told me that I would not get my certificate back because nothing sent to Franklin University by a student is returned back to the student and that I was misinformed by the Ms. International. I told my Enrollment Coach that I had written proof from the Ms. International stating that she was going to return my original certificate. My Enrollment Coach said that if she actually said that, then maybe its possible, and that she did not know that her university did that. *sighs* So much for standard university policies!
11/13/2013- I received an email from yet another person from Franklin University saying once they receive my A'Level certificate, I should schedule a registration appointment with an admissions advisor to schedule courses.
11/15/2013- Ms. International emailed saying she had received my A'Level certificate and it is not what she needed but this time she provided a link to a pdf form on the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) website which I could fill out and mail with a ~$60 check to have a certifying statement sent to Franklin University in ~28 days. I paid $57 at FedEx to have this mailed out to CIE in UK. I cc'd my Enrollment Coach in the reply so I could avoid a repeat of the other day's awkward q&a.
12/02/2013- I emailed the Ms. International reminding her that she had to mail my A'Level certificate back to me. No reply.
12/4/2013- Still haven't received my original certificate. Still no reply.
12/6/2013- Still no certificate and/or reply yet :(
12/8/2013- Nothing so far. I am almost getting used to being ignored.
12/13/2013- I emailed Ms. International again informing her that I will email her every seven days if I did not receive my A'level certificate back in the mail like she promised. I was afraid that she was not going to send it back. That did it! She replied saying she will have it out in the mail by Monday Morning!
1/03/2013- Apparently, it's been over 28 days since I sent the forms and payment out to CIE and they had sent a certifying statement to Franklin University. I received an email from Ms.International again with some text titled Transfer Equivalency Report with no explanation whatsoever.
1/03/2013- I receive this email from my Enrollment Coach:
I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to you today because you had shown interest in one of our previous terms and I wanted to let you know Winter Term registration is officially open! We have multiple options for start dates and would like to connect with you if you are still interested in enrolling.
If you are still considering Franklin, and would like to know what you need to complete for the enrollment process, please contact me at: (614) 321-2081. If you are no longer interested in Franklin University, please send me a quick email and I will update your file.
I hope to hear from you soon!
I replied that I was sorry but I was not interested anymore and in true Franklin fashion, I did not get a reply! :)
1/4/2013- I received yet another email from another person from Franklin University informing me that my application is still incomplete and that they are still waiting on my transcripts. This comes a day after I informally got my acceptance from Franklin University.
1/10/2013- I received a letter in the mail signed by yet another Franklin University admissions staff saying my application is still incomplete and that I need to send my A'Level transcripts in order to be accepted. She obviously did not get the memo- both memos!
Thankfully, during the roller coaster ride with Franklin University, I stumbled across another university with name recognition and very high rankings that offered online and evening classes and the enrollment process was relatively competitive but painless. Although I got to transfer a lot less credits than I wanted to, I believe I will get more out of that college than I went in with.
For me, Franklin University's inability to coordinate its admission process and foster communication between its staff and with the staff and (potential) students indicates what quality of education that college was going to deliver.
Franklin University has wasted a lot of my time and my money. I will definitely not recommend F.U.