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U.S. Career Institute

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10 User Reviews

4.0

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: April 30th, 2022

U.S. Career Institute was founded in 1981 in California. Amid name changes, ownership changes and headquarter relocations, the organization has remained solidly committed to providing certification options in a variety of fields for professionals seeking to further their careers and expand their opportunities. U.S. Career Institute offers distance education where course takers can go at their own speed and timing.

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The Good

  • Money-Back Commitment
  • Program Offerings
  • Access to a Career Coach
  • Accreditation
  • Military Discounts

Money-Back Commitment

Programs are reasonably priced and comparable to other distance certification programs. Costs do vary, but generally, certification tuition is between $500 and $1,500. Students have five days after receiving materials to determine if the USCI program in which they enrolled is a right fit. Those who are not satisfied can return their materials within the five days and receive a full refund with no questions asked. After five days, a full-cost refund is not available.

Program Offerings

One advantageous feature about USCI is that it offers both associate's degree- and certification courses.

USCI offers the following associate's degrees:

  • Accounting
  • Business Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Health Information Technology
  • Human Resources
  • Medical Specialties
  • Social Work

Each associate's degree program is four semesters long and costs $1,989 per semester. These costs include textbooks, supplements, graduate career support, and assistance from instructors. Students who pay in full or via automatic payments will end up saving more money than if they were to mail in payments.

USCI offers online certificates in the fields of healthcare, business, service, legal, wellness, and technology. Students who enroll in these online programs can receive their certificate in as little as four months.

Healthcare career certificates include:

  • Dental Assistant
  • Electronic Medical Records Specialist
  • Healthcare Office Manager
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Billing Specialist
  • Medical Coding Specialist
  • Medical Coding & Billing Specialist
  • Medical Transcriptionist
  • Patient Care Technician
  • Physical Therapy Aide

Business career certificates include:

  • Accounting Services Specialist
  • Bookkeeping Specialist
  • Computer Essentials
  • Insurance Claims Adjuster
  • Office Administrator

Service career certificates include:

  • Child Day Care Specialist
  • Home Inspector
  • Personal Care Assistant
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Wedding Consultant/Event Planner

Legal career certificates include:

  • Criminal Justice Specialist
  • Paralegal

Wellness career certificates include:

  • Certified Personal Fitness Trainer
  • Massage Therapist

Technology career certificates include:

  • CompTIA Network+ 

Access to a Career Coach

Students who complete a certificate course have up to two years to receive one-on-one access to a career coach specialist. In order to receive access, students must have graduated from USCI and be current in their payments. The career coach program teaches graduates how to prepare for the job search, showcase their skills on paper and in-person, as well as personalize their introductions to employers.

Accreditation

To certify its legitimacy, USCI is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. It also partners with numerous professional organizations and educational fields.

Military Discounts

U.S. Career Institute offers a 25% tuition discount to all active-duty military and their spouses. This discount also extends to retired and honorably discharged veterans and their spouses as well. The 25% tuition discount extends to any certificate or associate's degree program.

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The Bad

  • No Financial Aid
  • Credits are Non-Transferable
  • Hard Copy Books Cost Extra

No Financial Aid

U.S. Career Institute does not offer financial aid due to the low cost of tuition. In order to be more affordable to students, USCI offers a monthly payment plan and does not require students to pay tuition in full upon enrolling.

Credits are Non-Transferable

USCI credits for courses will not carry over into programs at different institutions unless there is a written agreement in place. Students should take the courses with the mindset that they are learning new information and gaining valuable skills, not necessarily with the intent that they are going to further their college ambitions. Likewise, USCI does not accept transfer credit from other institutions.

Hard Copy Books Cost Extra

Tuition typically includes online textbooks, supplements, graduate career support, and assistance from instructors. However, students who prefer to study hard copy books may be charged up to $30 more than tuition costs.

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The Bottom Line

U.S. Career Institute offers an impressive number of well-put-together courses that can benefit most students and employees. Program offerings are competitively priced, and if a student's employer desires a certification or a certain skill development, USCI courses fulfill this beautifully. However, students who choose to pursue an associate's degree should be aware that credits are non-transferable and financial aid is not available.

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Star Rating

3.4

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10 Reviews

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M Atlanta, GA

In reply to moujib ceesay, USCI is accredited by the DEAC and is approved/affiliated with industry associations. You did take out a loan with USCI when you registered for your program. If you defaulted on it, they have a right to put you in collections if you do not pay. Penn Foster put me in collections. It is what it is. We sign a contract when we enroll in any college, vocational school, etc. We are liable for any monies owed. As for me, I am about to enroll in one of its programs. I’ve taken two or three courses from USCI in the past (around 2008 or so) and I had a wonderful experience with the exception of the HOT for the Massage Therapy Program. I could not finish the program because they gave me the run around with attending the HOT. Although I learned a lot taking the course was a waste of time and money because I could not sit for certification/licensure without the HOT. If it were not for this I would have given a five star rating, but time and money are important.

1 month ago

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Margarett B Hoffhine ,

What I liked best about USCI is they are absolutely self-paced. They provide an instant grade to the exams if taken online. I recently completed their A.A.S. Medical Specialties degree and it has helped me while I became employed as an extern/trainee at CVS Health - Pharmacy Technician program. I took two other non-accredited - rather worthless - Pharmacy Tech online certificate courses that did not prepare me as well as the courses in pharmacy and pharmacy technology did. I want to thank them for all their assistance along the way to a degree that offers certifications in five different healthcare professions. Their advertisement does market their total package in a very honest manner, so they let the enrolling student understand what is expected once they begin classes. Like any other accredited or non-accredited set of educational classes, this degree fit my needs for future healthcare employment and has instantly jettisoned my job placement and enhanced several steps toward a better career.

1 year ago

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M L ,

In Reply to Gretchen US Career Institute tells you that they prepare you to take the AAPC exam and will reimburse you for the other CBCS exam. yes the other courses are similarly priced but you cannot pay them out. And you still have to pay for the AAPC membership and exam fee. ANIHIMA is not similarly priced as they are an associates degree through a college. You needed to read the material that the school sent you before enrolling. The course prepares you fully for what you can expect in the job market and field of medical coding and billing. The course does prepare you for your CPC and your CBC exam in order to get your certification. The best thing is they do this on an affordable payment plan of 80 a month. The certificate you receive from them is just an added bit of fluff to make you stand out. the 80 hours you clock taking their course also helps you to remove the A from your certification. so please dont bad mouth the school if you didn't read the brochure. (and no they didnt hide it in fine print. it is repeated many times we prepare you for the AAPC and NICH exams we reimburse you 117 dollars for NHA CBCS upon completion and payment in full of the course.) the CBCS from the NHA will not get you a job however combined with other certifications it can make you stand out and give you one foot up in the application process.

1 year ago

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Rcheatle Saint Marys, PA

Amazing school went for veterinary assistance and animal care in 2016 and graduated with high honors and on the Dean’s list I would recommend the school to anyone looking for an online education they are accredited. Their courses are easy to complete and learn from at your own pace as long as you motivate yourself also I was able to get a job after graduating at a local animal shelter now I am working in a nursing home as an RA and I am planning on going back for patient care tech degree and after I complete that and get certified I plan on going back for medical assistance and get certified.

1 year ago

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Michelle Mariposa, CA

My high school counselor and older sister, who started her career as a medical coder, helped me research an accredited program for getting my certification. We chose this school for several reasons that was beneficial for me. When I saw some reviews on here, I was surprised and had to write one. USCI is absolutely accredited for all of the mb&c certs and teaches us the accurate process for HCPCS Level II, ICD-10-CM, and CPT. Maybe it depends on your state, but most employers will want this level of education and if you didn't get hired it was most likely they had a better candidate. Sorry, it happened to me too but now I have a great gig thanks to this program.

2 years ago

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Review Source

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moujib ceesay Lexington, KY

Scam , they are Not accredited and the worst off all is anytime you default and can’t afford your tuition, they will send your payment to collection and put you into more debts even though you haven’t taken any loan from them . They are not helping student on their financial situation instead they will scammed you and put you into more debts and mess up your credit . Fellows don’t let yourself been fool cause you will regret. Scam Scammers

4 months ago

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Joseph B Yuba City, CA

I'm currently enrolled in the criminal justice program and I love it. Very easy to understand and I have a learning disability. Great school.

5 months ago

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Caitlin Lock Monroe, NC

Took me nearly 2 years to become certified in Nevada and I had to sit in front of NV massage therapy board to become approved because they distrusted USCI education I was certified in NV, NJ and SC. I moved to NC and the school refused to give reference despite the state requiring a reference from a “massage and bodywork instructor”. I was told that references were more like the relationship between a professor and college student - I said that is not the context it is literally asking for a previous bodywork / massage instructor. They then switched their argument to they had a policy against giving references and then refused to show me policy. Also to note I did their in person training course and lived in FT Collins during duration of it

1 year ago

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Gretchen Oregon City, OR

I took the Medical Coding and Billing Course offered through the U.S. Career Institute. Afterwards, as I was applying for jobs, I became aware that their accreditations are not the ones employers are looking for. Any Coding or Billing course through any institution that is not AAPC or AHIMA accredited is useless and will not help you get a job. The U.S. Career Institute has neither of these accreditations. Google search for online programs that are AAPC or AHIMA accredited, there are inexpensive online options with the appropriate credentials in a similar price range.

4 years ago

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Maryann Renteria (Mckrae) Riverton, UT

They have a certified medical assistant program that’s great. It’s quick and easy and it works out well while I’m trying to work full time.

2 years ago