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Attending a for-profit university, good decision or bad decision?


I’ll admit it, when I first learned about the University of Phoenix, my first thought was “there’s a University of Phoenix in Arizona”??  All skepticism aside, of the for-profit university, the organization (for lack of a better term) is trying to re-brand the public’s perception.

While University of Phoenix is one of the internet’s biggest advertisers, it is first and foremost an educator.  Now, the Fortune 1000 company has tasked itself with re-branding American education, transforming it from an expensive and exclusive club to a high-quality, affordable, and scalable academic experience.

I would like to call your attention, dear reader, to the 2nd sentence in the quote above.  Specifically – a high-quality, affordable, and scalable academic experience. In a random coincidence, I read an interesting (and depressing) article today about how student loan defaults are on the rise.

The default rate on loans for for-profit schools rose from 11 percent in 2007 to 11.6 percent in 2008, while the rate for public institutions went from 5.9 percent to 6 percent and the rate for private schools went from 3.7 percent to 4 percent.

Right, so for-profit schools have the highest default rate.  And…

“While for-profit schools have profited, some of their students have not. Far too many for-profit schools are saddling students with debt they cannot afford in exchange for degrees and certificates they cannot use. This is a disservice to students and taxpayers, and undermines the valuable work being done by the for-profit education industry as a whole.”

The article doesn’t specify which for-profit school the defaulted students have attended, BUT I think it’s safe to say that it will probably behoove the powers to be at University of Phoenix, and other similar schools, to focus on their current students.

Just like companies, in this economy, are focusing on retaining and pleasing their current clients, I think that ensuring that their most recent graduates can use their certificates and degrees to secure jobs in this marketplace, should rank first on their agendas.

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