For-profit learning institutions have some advantages over the typical brick-and-mortar colleges. As a faculty member for the University of Phoenix (UOP), I have seen these benefits first hand. The University of Phoenix conducts the majority of their classes through an online format. That enables them to offer higher education to anyone, anywhere, any time. When deciding whether or not for-profit degrees are worthwhile, it is important to understand what they have to offer.
Online learning is the most convenient form of education. At the University of Phoenix, classrooms are asynchronous. In other words, students attend classes at different times and at their leisure. Online discussions occur in a message board format. Students log in when it is convenient for them and participate in discussions. The asynchronous nature of the classroom makes it easier for working individuals to earn their degrees while balancing work, family, and life.
Believe it or not, costs can be lower at a for-profit university. The current tuition at the University of Phoenix is $550/credit. A bachelor’s degree takes about 63 credits at UOP. That is a total tuition cost of $34,540. For many ground colleges, that is tuition for just one year.
Some people avoid online classes, thinking they are impersonal. That is simply not true. In fact, interaction is required at UOP. Grades are dependent on participation in the online classroom. Students and faculty engage in discussions every day.
The faculty and the majority of students are working individuals. Students and teachers exchange stories, ideas, and experiences. It is an environment where friendships and business contacts are made. That is valuable in today’s job market.
With a faculty and student body comprised of working individuals, there is a wealth of real-world experience to be shared. Faculty members are not only required to have a Master’s degree in their field, but they are also required to be working in that industry. Many students also work in the field of their choice. Nothing can come close to the knowledge that is gained from real-world experience. This is why the learning experience at universities like UOP is so unique. This real-world experience isn’t as available at ground colleges.
For some people, it is simply not possible to attend a brick-and-mortar college. For-profit universities like UOP give these people an opportunity for higher education. This is why many U.S. military personnel around the world attend UOP. They have a chance to learn while being in a very challenging environment.
Legitimate for-profit universities, like UOP, are accredited. These universities strive to maintain their accreditation status. This gives them legitimacy and credibility. When deciding among the different for-profit universities, make sure they are accredited before enrolling.
Whether a for-profit degree is worth it or not depends on your situation and your goals. For-profit universities offer many benefits over brick-and-mortar colleges. See if these benefits suit you and apply today.
1. University of Phoenix, “University of Phoenix”, http://www.phoenix.edu/