higher education

July 3, 2008

An article at Reason.com details the argument both for and against for-profit universities like the University of Phoenix, currently the largest higher education institution in the country. Generally, the core of the article is that the UOP is charging less and requiring less of students with less time or funds on their hands. There is lots of assistance offered to their students, but most of their students drop out in the end anyway. Many students join the UOP to get degrees that can improve pay, and employers are looking to improve their employees with accredited higher education.

Ultimately, I think it comes down to what you want to spend your money on. We should be grateful that people out there are willing to work and learn in order to better their personal lives and their economic standing, if not just having a couple certificates to hang on the wall showing they learned something. Katherine Mangu-Ward, states, “Phoenix students know they’re not getting the best education money can buy. But they might be getting the best education their money can buy.” It’s education, at its root.

One downside I can see is that rising tides lift all ships. If more people are receiving degrees, than it will be more acceptable to see more degrees in industries not usually requiring them of entry level positions. That trickles up to areas are degrees are required, and thus raising the requirements. Of course, that is speculation given that current educational legislation requires master’s degrees and “highly qualified” status to entry level teachers.

What is more important: maintaining the traditional approach to higher education that is stalwarted by institutions around the country; or opening educational opportunities to people who normally can’t afford to participate?



  1. I think it all comes down to ethics, really.

    You said it here – the best education THEIR money can buy. Are these institutions in it for the purpose of educating their students or taking their students’ money? I’ve got some real ethical problems with TCC, for example. It’s a little community-based, for-profit school run by a large corporation that seems more interested in “retaining” the students than teaching them anything and, as a result, a degree from TCC doesn’t really mean anything because the reputation for lack of academic rigor is pretty well established.

    I considered getting another degree through one of the online schools, but decided against it for this very reason. I want my diplomas to have some credibility behind them. I want my potential employers to know that I EARNED my degree, not just that I PAID for it.

  2. Anyone read the Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Please do? Purty please?

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