I quit the University of Phoenix today

So a few weeks back, in this very blog, I announced I would be attending the University of Phoenix this fall.

My first class was an Orientation classroom.  The intention is for people to know what they are getting into and be clear on how the school works. You can withdraw if it is not for you. I am glad they had this option.

The level of conversation in the classroom was so low that it just didn’t feel right. The people in my class were very well-meaning, good people and yet I felt like I just did not belong there. I realized for the $12,000 a year price tag – it was just not worth it. You can go to community college for 15 credits for the same price as one 3-credit class at the University of Phoenix, and I deduced it was the same quality (in fact the instructor said he teaches the exact same classes at the community college).

I also learned that the University of Phoenix- which has 3 billion is revenues annually- 90% of which is from federal loans and grants- is one of the largest contributors to Mitt Romney and the Republican party. They want President Obama out. He questions their enormous student loan default rate (21% of annual enrollment of 375,000 students) and their 12% graduate rate. Although I try not to be political, I will not participate in this. Our president is publicly standing for the end of legal discrimination of gay people and I will not go to a school that is aggressively lobbying for his defeat. Won’t do it.

After considering all of that I changed my mind and I am making a different choice.

Next week I start at the community college and I am thrilled, a bit humbled, and glad that I am fulfilling on this dream of mine to obtain a college degree (even if the community college did not give me a gorgeous folder!).


7 thoughts on “I quit the University of Phoenix today

  1. Wow! How many of us take the time to really dig into the facts like you have?? And to think I gave them a serious consideration for going back to school! Your journey is and has always been an inspiration to me, Brian! Blessed is any college teacher who gets you in their class!

    By the way–MORE posts please! Love, love LOVE your writing!

  2. Interesting, Brian. I heard a program on MPR last week about college education and enormous loans that graduates are faced with when they’re done. People on the program said if they had it to do over again, they’d go to a Community College for their first two years. Saves a lot of money and you get the requirements out of the way. Just need to make sure the credits are transferable to the next college. Smart choice on many levels. Proud of you.

  3. I love that you considered everything and powerfully made a different choice – so refreshing. And way to leap into community college and keep the momentum going. Cost is a huge thing that I considered in going back to school. I have never scrutinized finances so much in my life. I was so fortunate to get a graduate assistantship doing something I love (training) and that it covers my full tuition (which is out of state this year), my health insurance and plus gets me a bus pass (God had my back on this one). All I’m saying is in addition to being a smart move to align with your values, also a very smart move on the money thing. In the end – on a school application, a job application or a resume – the University of Phoenix and the local community college rank the same. Only difference is – you feel better about your choice and you got some extra *ching* in your pocket.
    (BTW – one of our mutual friends commented on your blog on facebook and since I’m back in school, too – I grabbed the RSS feed to get these reminders that going back to school can happen at any stage in life.)
    -Amy Ekberg

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