Schools such as Phoenix also offer a level of flexibility that working adults need, Rauzon said. Most of the university's students have full-time jobs and many have families, he said, meaning a traditional college model doesn't fit their schedule. Many of those students find online courses or classes that meet one night a week more appealing, he said.
Rauzon said Phoenix's tuition levels, though higher, are more predictable than those at public schools. As colleges and universities in Oklahoma and across the country increased their tuition levels, Phoenix officials announced a tuition freeze earlier this month for new and current students.
Rauzon also said that, unlike public colleges and universities, Phoenix doesn't receive public subsidies.
State and federal higher education leaders have made boosting college graduation rates a priority in recent years. Many leaders, including Oklahoma higher education chancellor Glen Johnson, have made attracting adults with college credit but no degree a key component of those plans.
Education leaders have done a good job of promoting the value of returning to college after several years away to finish a college degree, Rauzon said. But traditional classes aren't always a viable option for those students, he said. In those cases, he said, schools like the University of Phoenix might be a better fit.
“We think our university provides a value,” he said.