While some people seek education to get a better understanding of a given subject, others use acquired knowledge, skills and certification to rise in their careers. Open and distance learning has over the years become a popular and preferred education system for its convenience. Institutions such as the Stratford Career Institute (SCI) offer students a study-from-home option to gain vocational knowledge and skills. When looking for an educational institution it is important to do your due diligence to ensure that it meets your needs and it is credible.

Stratford Career Institute

Number of Reviews - 302

Rating* - 2.4⭐⭐

Claimed Losses - $46.6K

Issues Resolved - 1

As evidenced by the Stratford Career Institute reviews and Q&A pages on PissedConsumer, customers have questions that they would like answered about the open learning institute. We identified the following top Stratford Career Institute FAQs and then sought their answers from the Stratford’s website and other reputable platforms.

  1. How good is the Stratford Career Institute?
  2. How to cancel my program?
  3. What is the Stratford Career Institute refund policy?
  4. Is SCI an accredited school?
  5. Does Stratford Career Institute accept financial aid?
  6. Is it a real school?

1. How Good Is Stratford Career Institute?

We looked at the Stratford Career Institute website to see what they promise and then compared that against customer reviews across various platforms.

According to its website, SCI offers a wide range of home study career-focused education courses. Their courses enable students’ flexibility to study whenever and from wherever they want to obtain the knowledge and skills they need for the workforce. The courses are affordable and scitraining.com offers various payment plans. Students have access to online learning tools and instructor support throughout the course. The why choose Stratford page notes that the educational staff can be contacted through the Stratford Career Institute phone number or via email at any time during the study period.

According to Stratford Career Institute reviews across the various platforms, different students had different experiences with the learning institute. On PissedConsumer.com, Stratford Career Institute’s rating is 2.4 and most reviews are 1 or 2-star as well as on Best Company (rating 2.4) when on Best Business Bureau, Stratford Career Institute has a 3-star rating and most reviewers rated company as excellent. 

Stratford Career Institute rating

There are several Stratford Career Institute complaints across the various review platforms. The top SCI complaints are in regards to:

Poor customer service

While some customers reported having difficulty getting through to the Stratford Career Institute customer care, others managed to but found the representatives rude and unhelpful. For instance, in the Stratford Career Institute review #1463614,  the reviewer had called three different  Stratford Career Institute phone numbers from various locations and at 4 different times but the customer care representative apparently couldn’t hear him. The reviewer then emailed the SCI customer service and a representative called back. However, the representative could barely speak English, was unhelpful and rude.

I inquired about enrolling into 2 programs and when I called I tried 3 different phones, different locations and called 4 times I could hear them but they apparently couldn't hear me, when I emailed them they pretty much told me that the issue was on my end…

… they had some guy call me that could barely speak English and I had to repeat myself several times and answer the same question 3 times…

Wrongful billing

Wrongful billing is a common SCI complaint that came up on PissedConsumer, Best Business Bureau as well as Best Company. In one review (#1621540) on PissedConsumer.com, the reviewer complained that he was sent a contract valued at $200 which was above the amount given on inquiry. The reviewer refused to sign the contract, or to make any more payments and returned the institute’s books. After numerous conversations to resolve the issue, the reviewer was assured that the issue had been resolved. However, the reviewer received a letter from a collection agency on behalf of the institute seeking payment a month later.

...They started by sending me a contract for $200.00 more than the price they gave me. I refused to sign it…

…My last conversation with them was the beginning of July when I was assured that the nightmare was over yet yesterday August 12, I received a letter from a collection agency on their behalf…

False advertising

A number of students came forward to complain that the advertising for the Stratford Career Institute high school diploma led them to believe that it was similar to a traditional high school. However, students only discovered after they had finished their SCI diploma that they wouldn’t use it to get a job or access college.

It is worth noting that Stratford institute was sued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2017 for the misleading advertising on their high school diploma. According to the FTC, SCI is required to refund students who enrolled for the high school diploma on or after January 1, 2011.

As of the date of writing this article, Stratford enrolment agreement states that the Stratford High School Program is not intended to be a substitute for the state-sponsored high school and GED programs.

2. How to Cancel My Stratford Career Institute Membership?

According to the SCI Tuition Protection Agreement, you can cancel anytime. To make a cancellation request, write a letter and send it to the following address:

Stratford Career Institute
Shipping and Mailing Centre
1 Champlain Commons, Unit 3
P.O. Box 1560
Saint Albans, VT 05478-5560

Stratford Career Institute cancelation policy

3. What Is the Stratford Career Institute Refund Policy?

The Stratford Career Institute refund policy is stipulated in the Tuition Protection Agreement. The amount refundable varies depending on how many days have lapsed since you signed the enrolment agreement and how far along you are with your course. Below are terms of the refund policy:

  • If you make your cancelation request within 5 calendar days of signing your enrolment agreement, on condition that you have not submitted any lesson for evaluation, you will receive a full refund of the amount paid to Stratford.
  • If you notify Stratford of your cancellation after the first 5 days but before submitting any lesson for evaluation, you will be refunded the paid amount fewer registration fees (20% of the total course price, up to $150).
  • If you have completed up to 10% of your course, you will be refunded the amount paid less registration fees and 10% of refundable tuition charges.
  • Between 10%-25% of course completion, you will be charged 25% of the refundable tuition fees.
  • Between 26%-50% of course completion, you will be charged 50% of the refundable tuition fees.
  • If you have completed more than half of the course, you will incur the total course price.
  • Refunds are not eligible after 5 years from the date of enrolment.

4. Is Stratford Career Institute an Accredited School?

According to the Stratford Career Institute FAQs, the institute is not accredited. They also note that while their courses are designed to equip students with knowledge for vocational application, completion of Stratford’s programs does not necessarily fulfill the legal requirements for particular state certifications or licenses.

Is Stratford Career Institute an accredited school

On their About Us page, scitraining.com states that they are a member of various education associations including the United States Distance Learning Association, International Council for Open and Distance Education, and the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (ICDE). It is also academically affiliated to Travel Institute and Institutional Accountants.

5. Does Stratford Career Institute Accept Financial Aid?

According to the Stratford Career Institute FAQs, the open learning institute does not accept government-sponsored financial aid such as student loans. However, they do offer a monthly payment plan at 0% interest that ensures courses are affordable to students.

6. Is Stratford Career Institute a Real School?

According to their About Us page, SCI is a private correspondence school. It was started in 1991 to offer the busy adult study-from-home vocational training courses. Their open and distance learning style of education allows their students to get quality education from home.

For more information about the institute:

  • Call the Stratford Career Institute phone number.
  • Check Stratford Career Institute reviews on PissedConsumer.com and other reputable websites.
  • Visit www.scitraining.com.

Freelance Writer

By Winnie
Health and Beauty Expert

Winnie is a freelance writer and B2C content expert who specializes in health and beauty, cafes and restaurants, fitness products buyer guides and researches. She has been working with international clients since 2012.

*The company ratings on the PissedConsumer website are calculated using a mathematical algorithm that evaluates the information in the company’s profile. The algorithm parameters are: users’ rating, the number of resolved issues, the number of company responses and more. The PissedConsumer algorithm is also subject to change in the future.

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