You may be wondering about this Capella University.
Is it a way to get a jump-start on your education?
Is this some sort of Internet scam?
Am I going to get ahead, or am I going to get burned?

In the end, of course, you will have to answer these questions for yourself. The purpose for which I attended Capella is probably different than yours; my experience will be unique to me. My story, however, may shed some light on this institution.

The Story of a Former Student

My Purpose

Credits Declared Worthless

I am a certified public school teacher in the state of Michigan. The Department of Education in our state requires teachers to obtain 18 credit hours from a certified institution to keep our teacher's permit.
Capella's home page claims that they are certified. As I live in a remote area and could not attend a traditional college, it looked like a good proposition.

In the spring of 2001, after I had taken two classes, the Michigan Department of Education informed me that credits obtained from Capella were totally worthless. The insinuation was clear--they did not think that Capella was a "real" college.

Trouble Just Beginning

Capella's Lack of Procedure

In the early summer of 2001, Capella sent me a letter claiming that I had taken a third class, a class that was never taken. This was nearly a thousand dollars. Knowing this was an error, I contacted Capella via telephone at that time. While I waited on the phone, Capella looked into the matter by checking log-in records. When it was revealed that there was no record of me ever having even logged into this class, Capella assured me that this matter was settled. Capella was very friendly and helpful--but this was a false reassurance that did nothing but put me off my guard. A year later, in late May or early June of 2002, another bill arrived for the same class.

My complaint is not so much that they billed incorrectly--these errors can be made-- but Capella seemed to lack any process by which to resolve this hassle. Letters that I wrote were ignored completely or resulted in Capella merely issuing a photocopy of the bill. I was left feeling that no effort at all was taken to look into this matter.
I followed every instruction given to me
(such as contacting Connie Vanderhulst (135 S. LaSalle Dept. 4289, Chicago, IL 60674-4289). I requested that records be checked, such as log-in records, grades, the professor's own records. I believe that none of this was ever done.


Capella turned the affair over to bill collector. I contacted a lawyer who told me that it would cost three thousand dollars at least to fight this false billing.
By this time, I had been enrolled in another university and had only one class left to achieve the needed 18 hours. I, however, needed to pay for it on credit, and the dog that Capella had sicced on me was threatening to ruin my credit. My credit rating is very high, as I always pay my bills promptly. I did not feel that I could chance a ruined career with this, so I paid Capella just short of a thousand dollars -NOT A PENNY OF WHICH WAS OWED.