For-profit colleges cost more, leave students with greater debt than public institutions
A few years ago, Doris Ford was taking business courses through the University of Phoenix.
After spending about two years with Phoenix, she decided to leave the university and transfer to a community college. Today, she's glad she did.
Photoview all 6 photos
NewsOK Related Articles
For-profit colleges such as the University of Phoenix make up a large and growing share of the higher education offerings around the Oklahoma City area. Such institutions have heard criticism in recent years from policymakers and others, who say they leave students like Ford deeply in debt.
But officials with those institutions say they fill an important role, offering flexibility and support to working adults who might not otherwise be able to complete a degree.
Ford, a bus driver, decided to transfer after speaking with several co-workers who had gone through four years of classes at Phoenix. Each was tens of thousands of dollars in debt, she said, and their degrees didn't seem to be doing them much good.
Now a student at Rose State College, Ford said she's glad she transferred when she did. Although she's carrying some student debt from her time at Phoenix, she said, she would have had to take out more loans to finish there.
If she could start her college career over knowing what she knows now, Ford said, she would begin at a community college rather than a for-profit school.
“I wouldn't go near Phoenix,” she said.
Although he acknowledged the relatively high cost of for-profit colleges, University of Phoenix spokesman Ryan Rauzon said the university offers programs geared toward students for whom traditional institutions might not be an option.
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 15646Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 9491Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 8139Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 7458Oklahoma tornadoes: Plaza Towers Elementary School teacher shoved students into bathroom as wall collapsed
- 7219Oklahoma tornadoes: Cost, custom keep basements scarce
- 6377Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister
- 6374Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill to join Blake Shelton at "Healing in the Heartland" Oklahoma tornado benefit