Online universities are becoming a more popular option for those who are looking to further their education. Taking classes online makes sense for many people, as it allows them to have a more flexible schedule, save on gas money, and earn a degree to further their career. Many of these online universities have excellent professors and programs built around the needs of their students, resulting in degrees that carry a lot of weight in their fields.
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is not all online universities are created equally. There are some schools that simply see online classes as an easy way to get more money from a broader range of students. This can lead to many problems, such as disorganized classes, less qualified professors, and an overall lack of support. The old saying that you only get out of it what you put in fits online universities perfectly, but these schools aren’t holding up their end of the bargain. These are the 5 worst online university rankings.
Western Governors University
Western Governors University has had quite a few unhappy students. In reviews of the school, one complaint is repeated ad nauseum, the lack of interaction with an actual professor. Students of Western Governors University often feel as if they are paying to teach themselves. There are “mentors” assigned to each student to help them get acclimated to online classes and assist them in any way they need, but the time between questions and answers is reported to be less than stellar.
Another big complaint about Western Governors University is the fact that all tests are graded by a third party and returned in around ten business days with either a pass or fail grade. This makes it very difficult for students to be able to ask questions about their tests, or to be able to try and explain why one of their answers was what it was, as there is no communication between students and this third party. All these factors add up to Western Governors University having a measly graduation rate of 22%.
University of Phoenix
The measure of a university’s worth is how much weight a degree from there carries with prospective employers. A degree from the University of Phoenix carries the weight of a feather. This is because this university has earned a reputation for ridiculously easy coursework, allowing them to pass out diplomas like napkins.
The University of Phoenix has classes with “learning teams”, essentially groups of students working together to finish assignments. This makes it all too easy for some students to breeze their way through coursework, relying on the work of others. This is added on to an accelerated education process where a class is crammed into a short amount of time. Even professors have complained that they are unable to teach everything they should in the amount of time they are given with a class. The University of Phoenix is not the place for somebody looking for an academic challenge.
Argosy University Online
Argosy University is a for-profit institution, which leads to some conflicts of interest that end up hurting students. As a for-profit university, Argosy does whatever they can to get as many students to enroll and give up those precious greenbacks. Most schools offer financial advisers to help students figure out how they can afford school, and even if now might not be the right time to further their education. Argosy ignores this tactic and goes for the hard sell right off the bat.
Perhaps the worst aspect of Argosy is their lack of accreditation in many fields which they still offer degree programs in. There was a scandal a few years back with Argosy promising students that their chosen fields would be accredited soon, which didn’t happen. A degree from an unaccredited school is worth about as much as the paper it is printed on to prospective employees.
Grantham University is actually a fairly well thought of online university. Their graduation rate of 41% isn’t stellar, but is certainly an improvement over many of the universities on this list. Grantham University is also accredited, meaning their degrees are actually worth something. The problem with Grantham is, once again, how for-profit schools operate.
The most common complaint amongst Grantham University students is how unreachable faculty and staff are when assistance is needed. All these complaints also mention that the staff becomes extremely available to talk to students once it is time to re-enroll in new classes. Grantham University is only a decent option for an online degree if you feel like teaching yourself everything you need to know.
Once again, a for-profit University makes the list. Kaplan has been accused of letting everyone in, whether they qualify for secondary education or not, and boosting their grades to keep them enrolled. It feel as though it is all a matter of money, which results in many students leaving the university with a degree that garners little respect and huge amounts of debt.
Still, there are some good things about Kaplan University. Professors are easily accessible, and are actually required to answer any student questions within 48 hours. Students are also able to use chat rooms like office hours, and even with each other to go over course materials. The problem that many students have reported is that the classes can be hard to navigate online. This is not a good problem for an online university to have. If you want to play it safe, it is best to enroll in an online university