I am a student at the University of Phoenix. I am also an online college tutor. I have seen the best and worst of both of these worlds because I exist within a blend of both of them. As a student I have learned what it is like to work within the university as a student. While learning and educating myself within the university I quickly learned how the university operated on an administrative level. While working as a college tutor I learned immediately that not many students take their college education seriously while attending an online university. This is confusing to me, but from my own personal experience it is true.
I received an email last night from the University of Phoenix defending their accreditation. I skimmed over it and then disregarded it. I assumed it was another email where the university simply touted their success and glory. I have no interest in these so they do not catch my attention.
I log into my email the next morning and as usual, before I go directly to my inbox, I skim through the news slides to see if anything odd catches my attention. By chance, I noticed a tagline of an article that stated something in the regards of an online university being rocked by allegations and their accreditation being at risk. The University of Phoenix is potentially going to be put on probation due to suspected deficiencies involving its administrative structure and governance. This is a problem because their accreditation is needed for the company to be able to obtain student loans. They are a for-profit institution and student loans are where they make their money.
“Shares of the for-profit education company dropped 4 percent to the lowest level in 12 months. Shares of Apollo Group fell 75 cents to close at $17.83, after sinking as low as $17.81, a new 52-week low. In after-hours trading, the stock lost 43 cents to $17.40. It has fallen more than 60 percent over the last 12 months.”
This is the problem with for-profit colleges. The universities are not about providing a solid education to their students. They are seeking students to enroll as many of them as possible because they are not an institution that is attempting to provide an education. They are an institution that is operating as a business. More students, means more student loans, which means more money for their shareholders. The University of Phoenix is not a traditional educational institution. They are a business in for the form of an educator. Student loan debt recently surpassed credit card debt within the United States. Business is apparently booming on the hopes and naivety of those trying to better themselves.
I was one of those that had been taught my entire life that in order to have a better future you needed to go to college. I was also one of those that didn’t have the opportunity to attend a traditional college. In order to try and make the life of my family better, I found a college online and began working to better our future. Several years later, student loan debt rising, nearly two degrees and no job opportunities, and now seemingly inevitable academic sanctions coming down on the University of Phoenix, this idea that college is meant to better your life is becoming less an idea and more a fallacy. I blame no one else for my decisions other than me. However I’d be remiss if I did not point out how annoyed I am at myself for those very decisions.
On the plus side, my degrees do look very nice on the bookshelf in my office. That’s something.
Internet Source, http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/02/26/university-phoenix-accreditation-apollo-group/, retrieved on February 26, 2013.