I was fortunate enough to figure out that AIoP was a scam before I got too far into it, partially due to the reviews I read online, including this site, which is why I have returned to leave this review. Hopefully I can help the next person as I was helped.
Initially, I was completely unaware that this was more like a corporation and not really so much a school, and that the recruiter I was talking to over the phone was nothing more than a glorified telemarketer who receives commission based on how many sales (enrollments) he or she can shmooze people in to. I'm rather embarrassed to admit that I should have caught on to this early on, because during the sign-up process (which consumed 5 to 6 hours of my day, not kidding) I got ahead of my "recruiter's" direction while filling out the millions of online forms they make you fill out and he actually had me back up several pages to a space I had missed that asked the sucker (me) to put the name of the person that helped sign me up. Having worked as a telemarketer myself when I was a teenager, I should have recognized this a commission-based sale right off the bat, but I simply wasn't thinking that way, although my inner voice did note it as something odd. I didn't know school recruiters could actually be telemarketers in disguise. I grew up hearing what we all hear: that continued education of any kind is always a good thing.
At first I waltzed into this without a doubt in the world and completely believing that I was finally putting myself on the road to continuing my education. I answered all of my telemarketer's- oops, I mean "recruiter's"- questions honestly, which he later tried to turn against me and attempted to manipulate me with when I was starting to doubt the school's credibility ("Don't you want to continue your education for your kids you mentioned earlier?").
Although I read many negative reviews and horror stories about AIoP (including that even the other Art Institute schools refused to accept credits earned from AIoP), I decided I would still give the benefit of the doubt and confronted my "recruiter" with some questions that should have been easy for any credible university to answer, such as "is AIoP truly an accredited college?" (although their website claims they are, it's a gray area of 'regional accreditation', stating that they are only accredited in the middle states; MD, PA, NY, etc., you can see it on their site here: http://www.aionline.edu/accreditation/) But the big question for me was, "Can you give me examples of other universities that have been known to regularly accept credits from AIoP?"
My "recruiter" didn't have any answers, so he directed me to his manager (I forget exactly what he called her, but I think it was some kind of "counselor") who was far less polite than my "recruiter", in fact she sounded rather condescending and annoyed to have to speak with me at all. But it gets better. She gave me her scripted spiel about how I was probably just getting cold feet, and how she could totally relate because she went through that too when she was first attending the University of Arizona, which I also found to be manipulative.
When I started to ask my first question regarding AIoP's limited and questionable accreditation, she actually INTERRUPTED me mid-question to give me another (this time very obvious) scripted pitch about how I was wrong, that the university WAS accredited. Well, if she had let me finish my question, maybe I would have gotten a better answer, but I doubt it. I let that one go while she prattled on with her script about how great AIoP was.
I didn't get too many questions in during our very controlled conversation (she did a LOT of scripted talking), but I was able to at least get the big one out there: could she give me examples of universities that have been known to accept credits from AIoP? Her answer was that she was "not legally allowed to disclose that information" and cited some law I have never heard of before nor since, regarding student privacy. What? First off, I wasn't asking for student's names and addresses and work schedules. Most schools I have ever spoken to not only "disclose" this information, they brag about it because it's good for their school. In the end, I got the answers I was seeking whether she realized it or not. I was transferred back to my "recruiter", whom I then told I wanted to cancel. Cue the previously mentioned emotional manipulation.
She was the final nail in the coffin. Despite her snarky attitude, I should really be grateful to this snotty lady because if I had not talked to her, I would have probably gone through with enrollment and now be $60,000 in debt for a worthless degree.
I did cancel though, and I requested a letter stating I was cancelled (because I had also read horror stories of students being billed for entire semesters after only attending partially, or not even attending ever at all). It took a couple of weeks of hounding my suddenly unavailable "recruiter" to send me this e-mail, but I finally got it. Even better, I never inquired about getting the $50 "application fee" they make you pay up front just to fill out their 600 online forms refunded since I just figured it was gone. A couple of weeks after receiving my cancellation e-mail, my money was refunded back to my bank. I wasn't that far into the enrollment process, so maybe that is why I got it back. Maybe it was a fluke. Whatever. My advice to anyone thinking of enrolling at AIoP, DON'T. I was never able to get a straight-forward answer about any of my concerns, instead I got deterrents, lies, and manipulation. Shady practices and worthless degrees aren't worth $60,000.