Is University of Phoenix a Good School?

  • Last Post 02 August 2011
lonewolf posted this 18 July 2011 - Last edited 24 February 2016

So I'm at a bit of a crossroads right now and I wanted to get some opinions from you guys.

I'm not sure where to start. I started my academic career in 2006, when after highschool I went to a community college to get my associates degree. This wasn't really a "plan" at the time, more or less something to buy me more time because I hadn't really picked a major (or a university that struck my fancy) ... Needless to say I goofed off, got some D's but ended up graduating with an associates degree.

So at the direction of my parents, I transferred to a state cool, where between working 30-35 hours and trying to get my degree... I quickly realized that I was going nowhere. I've been in school for almost 3 years now, and I don't feel like I'm making significant progress on my academic goals. I feel like I'm treading water.

It was about this time that I actually moved out of state, and I had one of those "defining moments" I guess you could say. I realized that no matter where I go to school, the degree itself isn't really going to matter. No one is going to look at my state school degree and hire me outright. I kinda realized that this doctorine that my parents had been preaching to be all these years was kind of a sham. I appreciate the value of the degree. I appreciate the difference between an educated person and a clearly un-educated person. I know that even if I hadn't had all this parental pressure I would still be in some kind of school program simply due to the fact that I don't want to live life an ignorant boob. (No offense to ignorant boobs).

Anyway, thanks for bearing with me... here's where I need advice: I am looking at finishing my degree at the university of phoenix, in either one of their online programs or the campus which is 5 minutes away.

I didn't really know much about the school, or the program... or any of that. I had heard that it was accredited and heard that their online tools were top notch. Reading things about the school online is just disheartening. It's just pages and pages of pissed off people. Wading through all the overwhelmingly negative ccomments is just really hard. I don't know what to believe, or what to take away from this.

People are saying that University of Phoenix graduates don't get jobs, that the hiring folks just toss their resumes in the trash out of principle. Some people say it's too easy, some people say it's over priced, some people say it's a government loan scam and a "degree mill" and this and that and this... It's just overwhelming.

I guess I don't understand how the University of Phoenix can have all these campuses and all these students if it's all these things. The way some people describe it, you'd think satan himself created this school. I don't understand... are these people just drop-outs? are they just disgruntled? or is there some truth to all this negativity? Obviously it's got me worried. I know my degree isn't a guarantee of anything... that I will have to get a job on my own merits and I will probably need to start at the bottom and work my way up... but if getting a University of Phoenix degree is going to convey to employers that I'm some demon worshipping government loan scam artist then I'm not sure I want that drama in my life.

What do companies think? Just about everyone says that people with these degrees don't get jobs.... yet at two jobs I've worked at, they offered to reimburse and even pay my tuition to take classes at University of Phoenix. I just don't understand, and I'm ranting I'm gonna cut this short.

Can someone give it to me straight here?

What's the deal with University of Phoenix?

Am I making a huge mistake, or are there just a lot of haters out there?

VickyPhillips posted this 18 July 2011 - Last edited 21 October 2015

Hello LoneWolf,

Well, you're right that any discussion of the University of Phoenix Online brings up a lot of STRONG feelings. As the largest publicly traded for-profit online university system in the USA their name is a lightning rod for controversy.

There is no doubt that UoP has a bad reputation. So, if public and employer perception is important to you, you will want to consider this factor in your decision making.

First, Phoenix has paid record fines for bad student recruitment and marketing practices.

SEE: Phoenix Lawsuit for Bad Student Recruitment Practices

We have done studies on "public and employer perception" of online degrees -- SEE our great new video on the subject:


Also check out our related article on Should I Tell My Employer I Earned an Online Degrees for background on public and employer acceptance of online degrees, especially from large for-profit schools.

The student reviews people leave on our site for UoP tend to bear out a "public perception" problem or stigma issue. SEE: Online Student Reviews University of Phoenix Business School

On the dimension of PUBLIC and EMPLOYER PERCEPTION I'd have to say that this school has some perception/reputation issues. You will have to decide how important PUBLIC REPUTATION factors are for you or to what degree this factor will impact negatively on your career.


Issue TWO - Online College Affordability and Indebtedness / Graduation Rates

One factual thing we know from government data on the University of Phoenix online bachelor program is that only about 5% of students who enroll ever complete the degree. 5% is a very low figure and would give me cause to pause before enrolling. Even among large for profits the comparative rate is about 20% -- or 4 times higher.

I'd be worried that statistically my chances are poor that I'd ever earn a bachelors degree online at Phoenix -- whatever the reason might be.

SEE: Education Trusts Reports Low U Phoenix Online Bachelor Grad Rates

Another factual piece of data, gleaned from the Get Educated online college affordability rankings is that bachelor degrees from the U of P do tend to be pricey ...

You will see on the Undergraduate Business School Profile that objectively a bachelors in business from the UofP online is one of the MOST EXPENSIVE online bachelors programs for business majors.

This is reflected by the "D" grade. The average cost of an online business bachelors is about $43,000 -- BUT Phoenix charges about $66,000.

So, one the cost issue alone I'd have to say that the University of Phoenix is not a bargain. The exact opposite in fact.


Now I am curious why you like the University of Phoenix. What is attracting you to that school? You mentioned only negatives in your postings. What are the positives in your mind? In the end you can rate or rank a college on many-many factors.

You should choose your online college based on the factors that are most important to YOU.

What do you see that you like about Phoenix Online?

All the Best

Vicky Phillips

Founder -

lonewolf posted this 18 July 2011 - Last edited 06 August 2015

I have read that their psychology degrees are accredited. Other than that, I am also keen on online classes. At my state school I always did well in those classes. From what you're telling me it sounds like this university isn't a good idea. What online school have you heard the best things about?

VickyPhillips posted this 18 July 2011 - Last edited 21 October 2015

Hey LoneWolf,

The University of Phoenix Online and all its bachelor degrees are regionally accredited.

This is the highest type of college accreditation -- the same type as it held by schools like the University of Illinois and California State University. Their accreditation is solid.

SEE:Distance Learning College Accreditation

The University of Phoenix Online Bachelors in Psychology also gets a "D" for affordability.

SEE their report card for the psychology degree program.

To see the least expensive / most affordable online psychology degrees look at our Best Buy cost rankings table for online psychology degree

If you want an online bachelors psychology, our directory lists over 100 accredited online bachelors psychology Just search!

You have a lot of choice for an online psychology degree so look around to see what meets your criteria.

All the Best



Bessie11 posted this 20 July 2011 - Last edited 06 August 2015

Hello Everyone, University of Phoenix offers campus and online degree programs, certification courses, and individual online classes. You can go with this.

UWPlattville posted this 26 July 2011 - Last edited 21 October 2015


You must do your homework and trust yourself. Many many people hate a winner and do everything to bring down the winner.

That said, admittedly University of Phoenix Online has done some not so good things. But they are accredited and yes they are pricey.

My first hand experience with University of Phoenix is, as a recruited student, and now, the Manager of the Marketing and Recruitment department at the university where I work is a U of P graduate. He is bright, articulate, and very very knowledgeable. If he is at all an indication of what they teach, then they are a very good school.

As far as their recruiting practices, with me, they didn't do anything that I thought was unethical. They were pushy but nothing extreme. I'm a firm believer in personal responsibility, and therefore am not easily swayed into believing something that doesn't make sense to me. Frankly, if congress would have taken as hard a stance with the housing/mortgage lending industry as they are on the for profit schools recruiting practices, maybe the housing industry would be in better shape.

In the end, I did not choose U of Phoenix, however, it was not because of a bad reputation, no, my choice was guided by cost and tradition. I still prefer the old fashioned colleges and universities. Unfortunately, cost is becoming a factor even with them.

ckellawan posted this 02 August 2011 - Last edited 21 October 2015

Hello Lone Wolf,

I obtained an Associates (AA) in IT from UoP in 2009; this is my experience.

I felt like the curriculum was a bit watered down but I did learn. Their bar for students and staff is quite low in my opinion; I don't have any facts to base this on just exchanges of communication.

That said I had two Professors who were extraordinarily accomplished in their fields. Most of the criticisms I have for UoP are ones that could be made at a brick and mortar school as well.

I did run into very aggressive recruiting, when I told them I didn't want to pursue my Bachelor's there. I actually requested that all communication with one-person be via e-mail and told them that I would not accept their calls. My financial aid counselor was top-notch though, a real quality individual.

Besides the aggressive recruiting the biggest turn-off for me was that in the Upper Division classes, at least at the time I was attending, all work was collaborative, or so I was told. I have run into this in traditional classes and dislike it immensely.

The other issue is that, in my opinion, shareholders come first at UoP, at the expense of students. I do have a cousin who attained his MBA at UoP, and is quite satisfied.

Currently I'm enrolled at Western Governors University (WGU) and am very satisfied, the curriculum is challenging, the staff is accessible and there was absolutely no pressure to enroll.

Read their reviews, they are the bi-polar opposite of UoP reviews. But I don't know if they have the degree your looking for. Feel free to ask any thing specific and I'll try to answer if I can.