Location: Portland, Oregon
Portland is a super liberal hipster area that attracts artsy types from all over the place. Some of them come to attend the art schools in the area, including Pacific Northwest College of Art. Unfortunately, students who apply and make it in, which 94% do, wind up with a hefty load of student loan debt over $22,000.
When you couple that with the median earnings more than five years later around a measly $27,000, it hardly seems worth the time, trouble, and most of all, money. There are much better art schools in the area if you’re going to spend $35,000 or more on tuition, anyway.
New England Institute of Art
Location: Brookline, Massachusetts
This for-profit arts college in Massachusetts was so awful, that it’s been shut down for good. If you check out some of the old reviews on Yelp, you’ll see its measly 2-star rating – lower than any other school on this list thus far. For some reason, the school had an extremely low acceptance rate at just 31% in 2010, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a for-profit school to do.
Nevertheless, it was closed in 2017. The Art Institute corporation as a whole seems to be a pretty shady operation – which is probably why they were sued for $11 billion for fraud by the US Department of Justice.
Location: Claremont, California
Pitzer College actually has a lot of good things going for it, including a beautiful campus, and a strong sense of community, according to many of its former students and professors. But it’s made this list because it’s also known for its pretty pathetic return on investment (ROI.)
Students spend over $52,000 per year on average, and yet 10 years after entry the median salary of a graduate is less than $49,000.
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Le Cordon Bleu was once seen as the ultimate school for up-and-coming five-star chefs. Now, it’s shut down all of its campuses in the United States and dropped nearly $495 million in loans – a good thing for its former students, who were on the hook for all of that money after its closure.
The chain, which was run by a group known as Career Education, was once the nation’s largest for-profit education system.
Indiana University Northwest
Location: Gary, Indiana
Anyone that’s from the Midwestern united states is familiar with Gary – and not for anything good. The city, which is located on the border of Illinois and Indiana, is known for being an industrial town that can choke you with the thick smog from the factories – or, the noxious petroleum odors that they emit, to be exact.
But if you can fight the smell and want to stick around in Gary to go to school, it’s super affordable, with an average rate of less than $9,000/year.