Schools like the University of Phoenix, “Art Institutes”, ITT Tech, DeVry, Corinthian, Kaplan, etc. are "for profit" schools. Also known as “proprietary schools”. They tend to be very expensive, the qualifications of instructors range from very good to awful & their credits are seldom transferable. Most employers only consider grads from these schools if there are no good applicants from a traditional school.
A for-profit institution has one goal above all: to make money.
Recruiters are told to say anything to get you to enroll like misleading you on how much & what kind of financial aid you can get, that there is only 1 seat left in a class & saying their credits will transfer anywhere.
They offer a lot of online programs & I’m not saying online programs are bad. Some are very good. They can give you a decent education. Many people graduated from these schools & make a good living. My objection is the education they give is very expensive compared to traditional & non-profit schools (public & private), online or not. Grads from these schools tend to take a fair bit longer to find jobs & they have a lot more debt.
If you’ve no choice but getting your education online, there are non-profit on line schools like UCLA Extension or Athabasca University in Canada that are fully accredited. What you want is the online division of a traditional, regionally accredited university to get an online degree that counts for something.
As for classroom courses at for profit schools, the bachelors level courses are considered at best by employers to be on par with a community college. But often nowhere close. A community college will be far cheaper & most community college credits are transferable to a 4 year university. Credits from for profit schools seldom transfer anywhere. For profit schools even mention this in their TV ads, at least in California in the fine print.
For credits to be transferable in the US, a school must be accredited by one of:
•Middle States Association of Colleges & Schools
•New England Association of Schools & Colleges
•North Central Association of Colleges & Schools
•Northwest Association of Accredited Schools
•Western Association of Schools & Colleges
•Southern Association of Colleges & Schools
There are a few schools that accept credits from them. Point Park University in Pittsburgh say they may accept some credits from proprietary schools. See http://www.pointpark.edu/,http://www.pointpark.edu/Admissions/TransferStudents/TransferPolicy
Have a look at these links:
The links say for profit schools are mainly student loan mills where they get you to sign for big student loans & then do the minimum for your education. Just enough so you keep coming. That you get a job or default on the loan afterward is irrelevant to them.
They say at: http://www.scpr.org/news/2010/07/24/report-feds-downplaying-student-loan-defaults/
40?f students that took out loans to go to “for profit” schools end up in default. Remember that student loan debt is NOT discharged with a bankruptcy.
In 2010, the average tuition & fees at for-profits was $14,000, compared to $2,500 for an average community college & a bit more for a state university. I have heard it costs $550 per credit at UoP.
Before you sign, call the registrar’s office of your state university to see if they accept the credits for transfer. Unless they say absolutely for sure, the answer is that the credits do NOT transfer. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
If a state university will not accept the credits, do not sign with a “for profit” school. State universities are a great bargain, & you will likely get a better education.
Here is a non-profit accredited on-line university that is approved by many western states that you may want to check out.
Their annual tuition for a full course load is closer to $6,000