I began going to Axia College of University of Phoenix in late August of this year (2008). I chose an online university because I would be able to essentially go to college with my fiance, whom also started at Axia at the same time. I had already spent two years at a local university in a major I did not continue pursuing; I had high expectations for this university.
My fiance had the first problem that we encountered with the university. He was told he would pay nothing for his education by our enrollment counselor (we had all of the same counselors), because of his financial situation. I questioned this because it sounded extremely fishy to me. I called our financial counselor and asked him time after time to please tell me whether or not my fiance would have to pay ANY money.
Only after I asked him, 'So, will he owe anything after he gets his degree?' did he admit that yes, he would have a six month period in which to pay off the loans. Until this point, our counselors had told us that my fiance would be covered under grants only. (I have never been sure how the financial aid system worked, but I had always heard that students would have to pay off loans after their degree at the very least. I have never used financial aid, so I am not familiar with it.)
My first problem was with an instructor in my first block of classes (a block is made up of two classes for a nine week period; it is comparable to a semester or quarter in other college terms). This instructor graded an assignment I turned in, and in the feedback, she told me that I did not include something within the assignment and that is was a requirement.
I replied to her feedback and asked where I could find this requirement, as I included everything that needed to be in the assignment that was mentioned by the syllabus. She admitted that it did not mention it in the syllabus, but began to question my position as a student because I did not have critical thinking skills. I was confused by this, and replied once again that I thought critically within the assignment, but whether I used critical thinking skills or not, I could not magically know to include this 'requirement' if it was not, indeed, a requirement in the syllabus. This went on and on, and I contacted my academic counselor to ask about the situation. To make a long story short, my counselor could not help me with the problem but told me that if my grade was more seriously affected by this, to let her know.
In the second block of classes, both of my instructors were very late getting back to me or any other students when we left questions or concerns. In one class, my instructor did not answer the questions of four different students (whom all had the same question) until the day after the assignment (that had sparked the question) was due.
In this case, the question was about a program the students had to use to take a math quiz, and I answered these student's questions the night of the assignment because I had used the same program at the other college I had been to. I cannot imagine what these other students would have went through if I would have left it up to the instructor to answer.
In my other class, a more extreme case happened. I left a question about that Sunday's assignment (critical for me to know in order to complete it correctly) on Tuesday. My instructor responded the next day (but over 24 hours later; Axia has a 'requirement' that instructors must respond within 24 hours or until their next office hours), saying that he would 'appreciate it' if I read the syllabus because it can answer many of my questions.
I responded, copying and pasting the syllabi's explanation of the assignment (that did not include the answer to my question), and asking him, 'Did I miss something here? I asked you this question because the answer is not stated in the syllabus.' That post was in the forum less than an hour after his original response.
I posted twice more on Thursday, before this instructor's office hours and after, reminding him that it was over 24 hours and I clearly needed help. I posted three times on Friday after no response, still; twice more to my instructor, and once to the other classmates, asking them if they knew something I did not. I posted again on Saturday, the day before the assignment was due and five days after my original question.
After no response from my instructor, I called him, although he did not have office hours on Saturday. When I told him that I could still not find the answer, he seemed surprised. 'Really? It's not in there?' I said, 'No, and I responded to your post multiple times. I copied and pasted the syllabus so you could see that it is not in there.' He responded, 'Oh, well, I'm very busy with my other job. I work with computers.' I respect that this man has another job, and that he gets paid little to do his at Axia. However, I was paying a lot of money to go there, and expected an education, as they promised.
After all this (I finally received my answer, five days late, over the phone), I asked another question of this instructor. After seven days with no response, I took it to my academic counselor. (I had emailed and called numerous times about this instructor.) Another long story short, she could not do anything more than submit a ticket into Academic Affairs; after no improvement, I researched the Academic Affairs department's phone number (it is not readily available anywhere on Axia's website, and it took me an hour to find it online. If anyone needs the number for whatever reason, the number to Cal Cohn, the current Director of Academic Affairs, is [protected] ext. 34132). Before I called it, I decided to withdraw from the University of Phoenix to end any further problems.
I am aware of everyone having problems with this university. I found their numerous reports on this very site within my first week of going there. However, many problems were with financial aid (which again, I do not receive) or with instructors not replying (which I had not had problems with yet), and I wanted to get this degree so badly that I hoped my experience would be different.
My main problems were with instructors that should not be instructors, period. I had one satisfactory instructor out of four; although this is not a long grace period for me to base this on, I think three less than satisfactory instructors out of four is enough to prove to me that I am not getting what I pay for here.
Thanks to another person's [redacted] on this site, I found the Official Withdrawal Form that I have already printed off tonight and am going to fax to my financial counselor tomorrow. The web address for this is axiafaw.phoenix.edu, and you must sign in (it is the financial aid website, so if you do not have financial aid, you have to register just for the site, as I found out tonight) and find the form.
Print it out, fill it out, and then send it to your financial counselor. I would highly recommend reading your state's official refund rules in the Academic Catalog. There is a refund called a pro rata refund that a student is eligible for if 60% or less of a course is completed.
I am sorry for the long report, but I want everyone to know, who reads this, that I am just another person whom is extremely dissatisfied with Axia's ability to exist.