Posts Tagged ‘Phoenix’
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
The University of Phoenix is one of the most unethical companies in corporate America, and that is saying something considering that ethics and business seem to be mutually incompatible these days. The University of Phoenix is an online university whose programs have been the subject of much ridicule over the past several years as the university has focused almost purely on enrollment numbers rather than educational delivery. This has led to the University of Phoenix being referred to as the McDonald’s of higher education and an internationally horrible reputation. Because the University of Phoenix is a for-profit institution, it is clear that the ultimate mandate is in generating profits rather than delivering quality education with lasting impact. That the university adheres to this mandate is evident by the number and type of lawsuits that have been filed by the university’s parent corporation, The Apollo Group, such as its recent settlement in which it paid 10s of millions of dollars in order to settle financial aid fraud issues with the Department of Education and the Justice Department. While the settlement allows the University of Phoenix to state that the settlement in no way implies that the company defrauded students and the government by compensating enrollment counselors on a performance basis, among other nefarious practices, no company pays millions of dollars just to placate a few disgruntled students and a government investigation. Simply put, while the University of Phoenix does allow students to obtain degrees, the quality of these degrees conferred by online universities that are purely for-profit enterprises begs the question, just where do students fit into the institutions’ profit equation? The Apollo Group derives the vast majority of its revenues from the U.S. Department of Education’s various financial aid programs and thus this is a company that depends on generating as much student churn as it can in order to constantly renew its revenue stream as students apply for and obtain financial aid and, conveniently enough, the majority of which is retained by the University of Phoenix as revenue. Even from an investment perspective, The Apollo Group is suspect because of the way it books these revenues and its ongoing business practices. The best advise if you have not yet succumbed to the University of Phoenix’ marketing efforts is to pursue your education with a local community college or university that offers a mix of online and on-ground classes. If you are a University of Phoenix student, the best advice is to withdraw and ensure that it does not attempt to bill you for unpaid tuition which it will most likely attempt to do.
Thursday, April 1st, 2010
One Student’s Account:
“In 2009, the U.S. Department of Education provided a preliminary report to the university that cited untimely return of unearned Title IV funds for more than 10 percent of sampled students. The report also expressed a concern that some students enroll and begin attending classes before completely understanding the implications of enrollment, including their eligibility for student financial aid. As a result, in January 2010, its parent company, Apollo Group Inc., was required to post a letter of credit for $125 million by January 30 of the same year” –BusinessWeek
Subject: University of Phoenix Business Practices
I enrolled in the University of Phoenix in November of 2009 in its Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership program. At the time, the intake counselor (let’s call him salesman) advised me that the program entailed residencies that were held at various points around the United States. Additionally, he stated that if I could not make one then I could schedule an alternate residency. I explained to him that this was important as I travel internationally quite often and, of course, this would be a logistical problem. Again, this was BEFORE I agreed to register in the program. I completed several courses in the program and my residency was coming up for March of 2010 and informed the salesman that I would need to reschedule my residency as I would be overseas at that time.
Suddenly, rescheduling the residency was a problem. Several parties told me that I could not do it. Finally, when I threatened to quit the program they said I could do it. This was after being brow-beaten by my academic and financial aid counselors on a conference call wanting to know why I could not cancel my travel plans and attend the original residency. At any rate, they finally said I could reschedule but that I would need to WITHDRAW from school and start up again with my regular schedule after the residency.
Let me re-emphasize that rather than simply letting me take another course on the curriculum which, I might add, not every course is a pre-requisite for the next, contrary to what these sales people say, they told me that I would need to withdraw. Any other graduate school worth the appellation would have just let me take another graduate level course however the University of Phoenix forced me to withdraw. The school was stating that I would need to withdraw (fall out of compliance with financial requirements regarding full-time attendance) because the school would not allow me to take another doctoral course instead.
Rather than go through this ordeal every time I might need to reschedule a residency I chose to withdraw. Thus, since the University of Phoenix was forced to return some of the financial aid monies that it received from the government it is now stating that I owe tuition for a course which was supposed to have been paid for and for which this entire ordeal started because the salesman told me that I could reschedule residencies “no problem.” Of course, he disputes this now as one would expect but I can tell you that this institution is driven purely by the amount of churn it can generate through billing the federal government for federal financial aid funds. The actual treatment and outcome of the students is purely secondary which is why the graduation rates are so pathetic.
While I am certain the University of Phoenix might be able to rationalize its billing me for $2,301 in tuition in spite of it being the reason I withdrew, I am just as certain that there are inconsistencies in its accounting of my financial aid application, dispensation, and adjudication through this process. Please look into this particular case and add my official complaint of this University’s practices to the long list I am sure that you have already compiled.
My chief complaints are the following:
The school required me to withdraw to change my residency date
The school “auto-withdrew” me from a course-whatever that is but I question the methodology because the school uses something it calls the “Course Exit Tracking Checklists” to determine attendance or withdrawal apparently which I neither signed, approved, or was made aware of in advance
The salesman than enrolled me in the program ensured me that I could change my residency dates yet never mentioned that I would need to withdraw in order to do so
These and other issues are why the University of Phoenix Sucks.
Tags: apollo group, apollo group inc, class action, course, department of education, financial aid, financial aid counselors, financial aid practices, fine, guilty, I, intake counselor, lawsuit, organizational leadership program, Phoenix, residency, school, settles, Taiwan, U.S. Department, United States, University, university of phoenix, university of phoenix settles, university of phoenix sucks, university of phoenix sued, uofp
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Saturday, January 2nd, 2010
The New York Times points out that college degrees and the schools that offer them are now attempting to make these degree more relevant to the workplace. Students are more concerned about their employment prospects now than at any time in the past and this is a critical shift in college student mindset. It also says something about the character of what a college education has become and what sector of society is defining what it means to be educated. This is why universities such as the University of Phoenix have been so successful because while most traditional universities tend to look askance at the University of Phoenix, almost all universities are now employing almost the same exact online format for some or all of their programs that the University of Phoenix has employed for years–don’t believe me, even Harvard now offers online degrees and online learning platforms and courses–see the Harvard Extension School. However, for those who are concerned about their employment prospects take a look at the University of Phoenix’s online programs that are targeting the workplace specifically:
Tags: College, college degree, critical shift, employment, employment prospects, harvard extension school, harvard university, job training, online, online programs, Phoenix, real world skills, traditional universities, University, university degree, university of phoenix, vocational degrees, workplace
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