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University of Phoenix Profile

By Tammy J. Oseid

University of Phoenix Basics:

Website: www.phoenix.edu
Phone: 866-766-0766
Address: 4615 E. Elwood St.
Phoenix, Ariz., 85040

University of Phoenix Academics:

University of Phoenix, founded in 1976, pioneered many conveniences now commonplace in higher education, such as classes at night, flexible course schedules, ongoing enrollment and online learning. It also made a name for itself by having working professionals teach many of its courses on a part-time basis. According the University of Phoenix website, it is the biggest private institution of higher education in North America, with campuses in more than 35 states and Washington DC, as well as in Canada and Puerto Rico. More than 100 degree programs are offered.

University of Phoenix Controversies:

Some 250,000 students are enrolled in more than 100 different programs, but the average online graduation rate is one of the lowest nationwide, according to the US Department of Education. The federal government fined the University of Phoenix $6 million in 2000 because its classes offered too little instructional time to meet federal financial aid guidelines.

In 2004, the University of Phoenix settled a lawsuit regarding its recruitment practices for $9.8 million. Three years later, university President William J. Pepicello declared the school's intention to reinvent itself. In 2008, however, a federal jury found that the school had withheld public information about that case from shareholders and ordered it to pay them $280 million in damages. 

University of Phoenix Accreditation:

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits the University of Phoenix. While the University of Phoenix is regionally accredited, several advanced programs are no longer recognized by specialized accrediting bodies. This includes the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which no longer recognizes the University of Phoenix's MBA programs.

University of Phoenix Degrees and Programs:

Nearly 20 associate degrees are available, more than 30 bachelor's degrees, about 50 master's degrees and eight doctoral programs. Degrees in business, criminal justice, education, health care, psychology and technology are available at most levels.

University of Phoenix Admissions:

Undergraduates must have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent, although only Nevada and South Carolina residents are required to submit documentation. Current employment is recommended and, in some cases, required. Students must be US citizens or permanent residents or hold visas allowing US education. Students who have attended other colleges should send official transcripts. Non-English speakers must pas the TOEFL or other test of English proficiency. Graduate admission requirements vary greatly by program. Online help is available to help prospective students answer questions.

University of Phoenix Costs:

The University of Phoenix does not disclose its tuition rates on its Web site, and instead asks prospective students to speak to admissions counselors before learning how much the program will cost. The University of Phoenix's fact book states that undergraduate tuition and fees generally are about $12,000 annually. The University of Phoenix offers several scholarships directly to its students as well as federal financial aid.

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