National Student Clearinghouse
2.5 of 5 20 reviews
www.studentclearinghouse.org Herndon, VA 150 to 499 Employees

National Student Clearinghouse Reviews

Updated Mar 5, 2014

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2.5 20 reviews

                             

75% Approve of the CEO

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Ricardo D. Torres

(4 ratings)

24% of employees recommend this company to a friend
20 Employee Reviews
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  • Disapproves of CEO

 

Really great employees in the worst work environment

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at National Student Clearinghouse full-time for more than 3 years

ProsCoworkers below the management level are friendly and hardworking. They really believe in the cause. If you are new to the workforce this would be a good place to start. You will end up running for the nearest exit eventually, but you will get some good experience.

ConsAs others have stated here, the management team starting with the CEO and COO are among the worst leaders a company especially a supposed not for profit could have. They are jealous of each other, do not trust each other and wreak havoc on those in their way. The other leaders just hope not to get caught in the crossfire while they do the minimum to get by. That goes for employees too. Eggshells are apparent up and down the hallway. Employees are afraid to say what they think for fear of retaliation. The Human Resources Department is ineffective in dealing with this issue since they report to the COO. By the way, who has an HR Department where one of the employees hates people?

Advice to Senior ManagementThis advice is to the Board of Directors. Do your own anonymous survey and learn why the company only does so well. There is so much more that can be accomplished especially with such a great group of employees. If you don't care, ignore this and watch the employees either leave or stay just to collect a paycheck.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Good for a paycheck, horrible for building a career

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at National Student Clearinghouse full-time

ProsAbove average salary/pay and benefits, casual dress, company social events available

ConsChange is a dirty word here. There is a really strong culture fighting against modernizing and innovation, and it isn't going away any time soon! A tradition of poor mgt, where most common practices, such as business strategy, are not in practice. A very disappointing lack of transparency between leadership and staff, incl poor training for communicating these changes from mgr to employee. Mostly get reprimanded for exerting professional opinions for new ideas or asking too many questions. When it comes to major transitions and decisions, company poorly deals with communicating to staff, creating hardships for those who have to adjust their roles. There is little room for exercising decisionmaking, and management ensures that any role, no matter how big or small, will exercise creativity or change. More employees are being asked to absorb other roles, with working excessively becoming just "part of the job". Annual surveys and feedback is a joke, for most people have their jobs to fear for exerting opinions, and it is obvious the company does not take critical or constructive feedback very seriously. Executive management prefers to outsource, rather than keep internal talent. Firings and restructurings happen a lot, leaving staff to scramble. Depending on the dept, hard work and talent is often undervalued. Too political, too many committees cause projects or new ideas to either sit or just get dumped after weeks and months of time and ultimately prevent the organization from accomplishing more. Ageist work culture that dismisses younger employees. A very technically-minded and anti-social culture with cold, unfriendly working conditions, where it's fairly uncommon (and frowned upon) for workers to carry on conversations in the hallway or cubicles. Lack of professional respect for employees all around. Work life balance is really bad, many departments end up overstressed and overworked regularly. Good if you just need a paycheck but a really poor choice if you're looking to grow in a competitive career. Not a place that will challenge you or utilize your best skills.

Advice to Senior ManagementTransparency is crucial - but usually just a catch phrase used and not followed through. When the same feedback/complaints from staff is a constant, don't ignore or discount them as irrelevant. Use the annual survey as more than just a way to pat yourself on the back for the good things, while ignoring important things like the fact that the majority experience a very poor work-life balance here. Pull the wool off your eyes, and instead of chasing these awards, spend some time making it an actually good place to work by taking your employees and customers more seriously. And modernizing as a business is something that can't be ignored.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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2 people found this helpful  

Steady decline

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at National Student Clearinghouse full-time

ProsGood benefits (in theory - they are offered). Free coffee. 25 cent sodas. Free parking. New equipment. Fitness center on site. Deli on first floor. Some employees still care, and work very hard for the success of the company as a whole. Pay is good, depending on what department you are in.

ConsMany benefits only apply if you can actually take them, so they are very unfairly applied. Individuals cause extensive extra work for other employees and are not disciplined. Instead they are praised when on the rare occasion they do something good. The business is so concerned about rapid growth that they do not care that those building that growth have no personal life. There is no channel to escalate concerns as complaints to management are dispensed without cause. Thus far none of these complaints have had legal (i.e. sexual misconduct) or this company's attitude toward confidentiality and actual resolution of the issues could have far heavy consequences. Employees that extend themselves with countless unpaid overtime are simply told that they are "doing their job", and the attitude of those that fail to do this are considered bad apples to be pushed aside. Complaints about the company are viewed as attacks on the holy grail of employment.

Advice to Senior ManagementI cant believe you sent a Director to this site to spread pro-company propaganda. Try actually listening and fixing issues instead of assuming you know what is best. Long time employees in my view care far more about this company and its reputation than those that came in for a quick paycheck. Many of them worked countless hours here for far less money than they are paid now. Listening to them has educated me a great deal. They actually have some idea about what needs fixing. Having another cheer party does not fix things. Free food is not a fix to not getting a break in a 10+ hour work day. Nor does satisfaction reviews that do not address the root cause of problems here. If you truly want to be a "best place" to work, stop the incessant back patting about what a good job you are doing and listen for once in your lives. There is no "one" senior person (including the CEO/COO) that is to blame for the decline. It has been a consistent slide due to a failure to be reasonable in expectations.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

Don't make the same mistake others have made

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at National Student Clearinghouse full-time for more than 5 years

ProsNice people, good benefits, northern Va location

ConsManagement is purely political and not trustworthy.

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat employees the way you wanted to be treated early on in your career.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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5 people found this helpful  

Worst company you can work for

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at National Student Clearinghouse

ProsDecent pay (if you are in right department), summer flex (depending on your department and manager, not everyone gets it), cheap soda, 401K seems to be competitive, and you can wear jeans and flip flops

ConsThe COO runs this nonprofit like its her own Fortune 500 company that she built from the ground up. An astonishing amount of managers come from her old company or are old friends. Employees are reluctant to go to HR to resolve issues because they know HR will not keep things confidential. The President is nice but never there, knows little about and doesn't influence the company, and turns his head away from any issue. Communication needs to be improved internally and externally. The IT and Commercial Business Directors made numerous mistakes when "enhancing" the company website that caused numerous customer headaches, delays, and tremendous income loss. They were not reprimanded. But don't lock your computer when you walk to the bathroom and you can be fired. Lower level employees are never recognized for their efforts and will never be promoted. Things never get done here because the decision makers drag their feet and more worried about CYA than anything else.

Advice to Senior ManagementThe board or whomever the COO and President report to really need to look at the leadership they have in place. All it would take would be an independent survey not administered by HR and the COO and a lot of truth would come out. Morale is at an all time low here. COO has too much freedom to come and go as she pleases, hire friends from her old company as executives, and this has put her out of touch with the business and the employee morale.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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2 people found this helpful  

Employees were not treated with respect by upper management.

Customer Service Representative I (Former Employee)
Herndon, VA

I worked at National Student Clearinghouse full-time for more than 5 years

ProsI enjoyed assisting schools with issues on reporting status & students with problems on the deferment process of their loans.

ConsThe Human Resource department worked mainly to assist upper management and not the employees. There were limited employment opportunities for advancement within the company.

Advice to Senior ManagementManagement should be more receptive to their employees since they can provide suggestions on how to solve particular issues, and work together as a team in order to make the company grow.

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1 person found this helpful  

Terrible management

Java Developer (Former Employee)
Herndon, VA

I worked at National Student Clearinghouse full-time for less than a year

ProsGood benefits and nice facilities with a gym
Some of the people there were nice?
This 20 word minimum is difficult for the "Pros" section...

ConsWorking as a software developer, the management when I was there (2009) was terrible. They hired me as a Java developer, but I was stuck doing development on their legacy systems. The management didn't really care that I wasn't doing the type of work I wanted to do, and would micromanage everything that I did. I left the company within 6 months.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Laid back environment, but unnecessarily strict.

Customer Service Representative I (Former Employee)
Herndon, VA

I worked at National Student Clearinghouse full-time for less than a year

Proscasual dress, nice facility, many of the coworkers were friendly and nice, plenty of parking, good benefits

Consonly had two 5 minute breaks + lunch, was supposed to sit and type in numbers the rest of the day, very little feedback, got in trouble for walking around more than 3x per day

Advice to Senior Managementif the workers are doing their job, let them get up from their desks once and a while

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Management is completely disorganized and inept

Manager (Former Employee)
Herndon, VA

I worked at National Student Clearinghouse full-time for more than a year

Prosdecent salary and benefits
not much else

Consunrealistic expectations and work load
poor planning
poor leadership
company direction changes with the wind

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Management needs a wake up call

An Employee Who Interacted With Senior Management Daily (Current Employee)
Herndon, VA

I have been working at National Student Clearinghouse full-time for more than a year

Pros- Friendly employees (non-management)
- Small company
- Great product(s) and cause

Cons- Poor senior level management
- Little to no development
- Gossip
- Power hungry COO who will stop at nothing to get what she wants, despite the impact on others
- No HR department that truly cares

Advice to Senior ManagementGrow up. Your company is great in the services it provides to higher education, however senior level managers, particularly the COO, has caused the morale of the company to slide down a never ending hill. You cannot manage employees with an iron fist. You cannot have employees constantly looking over their shoulder in fear of doing something wrong. This company can achieve greatness from an employee standpoint, but as long as certain senior leaders are still there and the CEO turns a blind eye to it, nothing will change. The Board of Directors and CEO should be ashamed of themselves for letting certain leaders in place.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at National Student Clearinghouse reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for National Student Clearinghouse CEO Ricardo D. Torres. All 20 reviews posted anonymously by National Student Clearinghouse employees.