University of Phoenix, or UoPX for short, was established in 1976 as a private for-profit university. UoPX has five locations across two regions but it has its headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona.
It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has the authority to confer degrees such as bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. It is also authorized to confer certificates at the certificate and associate level.
University of Phoenix has an open enrollment/admission policy which is a type of uncompetitive college admission process whereby the only criterion for entrance
is a high school diploma, certificate of attendance or General Educational Development (GED) certificate. The university has both online and on-campus learning facilities.
Are University of Phoenix degrees worth anything?
University of Phoenix is a fully accredited university. Accreditation is a process carried out to determine whether a particular institution is fit to carry out a specific task.
It is a proof that the institution has met and is sustaining a general standard of quality.
Now, the accreditation process is carried out by independent agencies that the US Department of Education consider to be reliable.
Hence, accreditation is an undeniable proof of legitimacy and the University of Phoenix is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
Higher Learning Commission is a regional accreditation organization recognized by both the US Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
As such, all institutions accredited by the commission can issue degrees that are recognizable and acceptable to employers.
In other words, degrees from University of Phoenix are worth as much as degrees from any other university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
That includes institutions in Ohio, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Illinois, etc.
Is a degree from University of Phoenix taken seriously?
The question of whether degrees from University of Phoenix are taken seriously stems from two major factors.
One, UoPX is a for-profit university, which means the university is established for the sole purpose of maximizing profit. Two, the University of Phoenix started majorly as an online university.
These two factors combine to create the impression that the university is a degree mill. Degree mills are usually online colleges and universities willing to dish out degrees and certificates to anyone who can afford to pay for them.
But degree mills are not accredited by any of the bodies recognized by the US Department of Education.
As such, degrees and certificates from such institutions are not worth anything and neither are they taken seriously by employers or other accredited institutions.
University of Phoenix, on the other hand, is an institution fully accredited by Higher Learning Commission which is a recognized regional accreditation organization.
It’s the same organization that accredits other prestigious universities like the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago. That said, UoPX also has physical campuses across the two regions.
Hence, UoPX is definitely not in the same group as degree mills. It is an accredited university recognized by the US Department of Education. As such, credits from the University of Phoenix can be transferred to other accredited universities.
Degrees from the university are also acceptable by employers for both employment and promotion. Therefore, degrees from the University of Phoenix are taken seriously enough.
Is University of Phoenix a joke?
People mostly criticize the University of Phoenix because it is a for-profit university. They consider it a degree mill where you can simply buy degrees and certificates.
However, it has been established that the notion is untrue since it is an institution accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
Higher Learning Commission accredits institution based on five major criteria which include Mission, Ethics, Teaching and Learning:
Quality, Resources, and Support, Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement, and Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness.
Contents of the various study programs also meet the stipulated standards and students are equipped to tackle real world problems.
University of Phoenix is also often considered as a joke in the league of traditional universities because it primarily adopts an online, distance-learning approach.
That is an approach that a lot of institutions have also began to adopt, so it is no longer a basis for terming UoPX a joke.
That said, the answer to whether UoPX is a joke depends on who you ask. It definitely provides a convenient way to get a degree from an accredited institution.
Degrees from the university are equally acceptable for employment and promotion but if you are more concerned about prestige, then University of Phoenix will definitely look like a joke.
Why does University of Phoenix have a bad reputation?
Chief among the reasons University of Phoenix has such a bad reputation is the fact that it is a for-profit institution. In fact, it is the largest for-profit university in the United States.
As such, it is majorly concerned with maximizing profit. This is reflected in its liberal admission process that allows 100 percent acceptance rate for online programs.
Consequently, people perceive the university as a cash-grabbing institution that cares nothing about its students.
The fact that University of Phoenix accepts everyone who applies for its online programs is also a red flag. That means, no competitiveness in its admission process. It accepts all and sundry.
While universities like Harvard, Princeton and University of Chicago have an acceptance rate of 5%, 6% and 6% respectively, the University of Phoenix has an acceptance rate of 100 percent.
This coupled with the fact that the university has a 17 percent graduation rate gives it a terrible reputation.
Another reason for the bad reputation of University of Phoenix is the adoption of deceptive marketing tactics in its advertisement campaigns.
The university has been caught making false claims in its advertisements in order to attract more students. The most recent of such cases took place in 2019 when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued UoPX for its deceptive marketing campaign.
Specifically its “Let’s get to work” campaign featuring companies like Twitter, Yahoo!, Adobe and Microsoft. The campaign gave the impression that University of Phoenix was working together with these high profile employers to create jobs specifically for students of the university.
This was false and the campaign was deemed misleading. Consequently, the University of Phoenix was fined to the tune of $191M.
Along with its uncompetitive admission process and deceptive marketing tactics, the University of Phoenix also has one of the highest student loan default rate in the US. This also contributes to the bad reputation of the university.
What do people think of graduate of the University of Phoenix?
GradReports reported that 63 percent of students say that their degree from the University of Phoenix improved their career prospects, so the value of a degree from UoPX to graduate is apparent.
However, there are still some people who perceive the university as a diploma/degree mill. As such, these set of people perceive students as incompetent and unemployable.
But graduates who can demonstrate technical proficiency can easily correct the misconceptions.
What did the University of Phoenix do wrong?
Some people find the idea of a for-profit university repulsive. To them, UoPX did wrong for simply existing. However, more cogent reasons for the criticisms received by the university include the fact that UoPX has an uncompetitive admission process.
Accepting everyone into its online programs makes it seem like the university is more concerned with money than students. This is further compounded by the atrociously low graduation rate of the university.
Deceptive marketing practices that hurt its reputation is also another thing the University of Phoenix did wrong. This has resulted in bad press that does not seem to be going away anytime soon.
This article took a comprehensive look at the University of Phoenix with the intention to provide helpful insights that will be useful to you.
Some myths and misconceptions were disproved or corrected and facts were stated. We hope you have found the article enlightening and helpful.
Michael Larry is an instructor and an educationist, who like to bring out the best in other through his inspirational writeup.