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  1. #1
    catlin0915 is offline Registered User
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    University of the People

    I'm new, but had a question. Has anyone heard of this school? It's DETC accredited and just started an MBA program. I think undergraduate classes are $100 each, and for the MBA the classes are something like $200 each and done entirely online with a $50 application fee. I'm already working on an MBA from a RA university, but would a school like this be good enough to send my kids too or am I just being too cheap?
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  2. #2
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by catlin0915 View Post
    I'm new, but had a question. Has anyone heard of this school? It's DETC accredited and just started an MBA program. I think undergraduate classes are $100 each, and for the MBA the classes are something like $200 each and done entirely online with a $50 application fee. I'm already working on an MBA from a RA university, but would a school like this be good enough to send my kids too or am I just being too cheap?
    First off, welcome to the site!

    Your question all depends on what your definition is of "good enough".

    UotP is certainly legitimate, it has recognized accreditation, and the cost is unbeatable. However, the usual warning applies that a degree from a NA school is going to be less useful in many situations, compared to a degree from a RA school. Many RA schools will not accept NA transfer credits, or accept a NA Bachelor's degree for admission to graduate study, and a RA graduate degree is the standard admission ticket for teaching . Of course, exceptions exist for all of those situations, but they are the exceptions, not the rule or even the majority.

    In a less practical vein, and this is entirely subjective, is the name of the school. Some people have no problem with it, while others (me included) hate it, thinking it sounds like a North Korean indoctrination camp.
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  3. #3
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    The NA vs RA debate is an interesting one. I believe the current cease fire is basically built around "Well, it kind of depends."

    Credit transfer and graduate admission are both considerations, as Bruce notes. But for an MBA these become far less of an issue unless you intend to continue your studies toward a doctorate. Even then having an NA MBA is unlikely to meaningfully impede you (though it may cost you more in terms of time and money).

    For many employers NA is "fine." For many government positions NA is "fine."

    Would I encourage my kids to enroll? Well, a lot of that depends upon what my kids wanted to do. If my son wanted to get into investment banking I'd encourage him to get into the highest ranked business school he could both be admitted to and pay for. I'd encourage him to focus on the schools that have the most graduates in the sector he was interested in.

    If my daughter really just wants some business training because she wants to open her own store then schools like UPeople can offer a lot of advantages provided that the curriculum offers the option of pursuing some small business relevant coursework. I have a BSBA and an MSM. Neither included the sort of coursework that would enable me to effectively manage my own small business. I might have the theoretical foundation for it, mind you. But I don't have the practical skills of doing things like withholding payroll taxes.

    In general, though, in either of those cases I would probably recommend that they go RA. While NA might be fine and good for 85% of the situations they might find themselves I want my kids to thrive. That 15% would loom heavily in my conscience. What if my daughter sold her business and then wanted to work for the State of New York (RA or state registered required)?

    That said I'd be very encouraging of them to explore programs at any of the Big 3 (TESU, COSC and Excelsior), community college for the first two years then transferring to a 4 year school, even a handful of for-profits that are cost effective for the consumer.

    In short, thinking outside the "traditional" box can be really interesting. I enjoy a life hack as much as the next guy. But there is also a point where the life hack is needlessly more complicated than the straight forward path and delivers only a "chance" where the traditional path leads to a more certain outcome.
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  4. #4
    RFValve is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by catlin0915 View Post
    I'm new, but had a question. Has anyone heard of this school? It's DETC accredited and just started an MBA program. I think undergraduate classes are $100 each, and for the MBA the classes are something like $200 each and done entirely online with a $50 application fee. I'm already working on an MBA from a RA university, but would a school like this be good enough to send my kids too or am I just being too cheap?
    I compare University of the People with NationsUniversity, both tuition free and NA. I always wanted to learn theology but was not willing to pay 20K or to go to a local school 3 to 4 years to earn one Masters degree in Theology. I found NationsUniversity and was happy to enroll and am taking their courses at a very slow pace.

    Can I be naive enough to think that a NationsUniversity degree would give me a shot to teach Theology at the University level? Can I really think that a NationsUniversity degree could give me a shot to become a priest at a prestigious christian denomination? Most likely not, there are people that complete PhDs from prestigious Universities in Theology and yet cannot even find adjunct work. However, I am happy with this option because I learn something that I always wanted to learn at no cost.

    I know few people with doctorate degrees in theology from local prestigious schools, when I tell them about NationsUniversity they just laugh and don't think is serious education . This just tells me that if I decide to start applying for adjunct careers with a NationsUniversity degree, most chairs would just laugh at my resume and go to the next one available.

    In few words, the University of the People is an excellent choice for those that are curious about business and not willing to spend money in a prestigious MBA because most likely are not interested in a corporate career at a large corporation but yet want to learn the business language so they can understand the business lingo when reading business week or watching the financial news. They might be interested in investing some money in the stock market or some other investment opportunities so they want to learn more about the financial markets.

    However, it is not very realistic that you get a degree from there and you start getting phone calls from big investment firms and banks for a financial career, most likely it will not change your career but might just give you a bit of advantage for a more business orientation of what you already do (e.g. engineer going into sales engineering ).

    I would put University of the People in the same basket as any other non prestigious NA school such as Aspen, Penn foster , etc. Some people do great with these options but they don't really need to the degree but just round education to fill gaps of knowledge.

    I would not recommend University of the People or any online school to my child, I work at a University and I see the importance of social interaction and networking that a prestigious school has. Young people need to build self confidence and network with other students in order to build solid careers, the internet is a great tool for continuing education but not for those that want to start a career. I see internet great for a teacher to get a masters degree or for a engineer to get an MBA .
    Last edited by RFValve; 06-30-2016 at 10:24 PM.

  5. #5
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFValve View Post
    I would put University of the People in the same basket as any other non prestigious NA school such as Aspen, Penn foster, etc. Some people do great with these options but they don't really need to the degree but just round education to fill gaps of knowledge.
    I think this about sums it up. NA degrees are fine for "checking the box." You aren't going to knock the socks off of someone. The limited utility is an informed choice that a working professional can make much more effectively than a traditional college age student. The 55 year old who needs a degree to be able ti ride out until retirement can probably say, with much more certainty, that they don't intend to go to law school than the 20 year old who doesn't know where life will lead.

    I would not recommend University of the People or any online school to my child, I work at a University and I see the importance of social interaction and networking that a prestigious school has. Young people need to build self confidence and network with other students in order to build solid careers, the internet is a great tool for continuing education but not for those that want to start a career. I see internet great for a teacher to get a masters degree or for a engineer to get an MBA.
    One thing I just want to throw out there is that I hear this a lot and I think it is a bit misplaced. The self-confidence building and social elements of college are important. But society has, to its detriment in my opinion, tied those elements to education too tightly.

    I can tell you that the military provides many of the same experiences that you have in college. Many of those fond memories, lifelong friendships, self-discoveries etc are very similar. I'm not talking about combat. I'm talking about a bunch of 18-21 year olds (typically) hanging out, drinking beer and learning who they are. The experience in the Navy and, from what I gather, the Air Force resembles college quite a bit. From other accounts it doesn't sound like the Marines and the Army are quite the same but I wasn't there so I cannot say for sure.

    I've also met people who came of age as merchant mariners, americorps volunteers, missionaries, people who resided on a commune etc. There are a lot of ways to get that social and confidence building experience that college provides beyond the campus.

    If my kids want to go to a traditional college that's fine. But if they decided they wanted to volunteer full time at a Camphill Village, for individuals with developmental disabilities, and flip their training (NCCRS evaluated) over to a degree at ESC, Excelsior (where they have agreements) or TESU or COSC , that's a solid plan as well. And I don't think they would be lacking in social interaction or confidence if they chose the latter.

    Ultimately, I care more about my kids becoming confident and independent young people who are happy with their lives. If they can do that as investment bankers with Ivy League degrees that's great. But I also know that they can do it as plumbers, truck drivers, artists, firefighters, sailors, airmen, soldiers or police officers.
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  6. #6
    RFValve is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neuhaus View Post

    Ultimately, I care more about my kids becoming confident and independent young people who are happy with their lives. If they can do that as investment bankers with Ivy League degrees that's great. But I also know that they can do it as plumbers, truck drivers, artists, firefighters, sailors, airmen, soldiers or police officers.
    I agree, my issue is that if my kid comes to me and tells me that he has decided to do a penn foster degree so he can stay home and play video games with his friends, then I think we have a problem.
    I have seen many people taking online PhDs, MBAs, etc from online schools while doing a low profile jobs such as clerk, tech support, etc and expect that the online MBA or PhD that they are doing is going to change their lives. If someone thinks that you can work at a gas station and all of the sudden your life will change and start getting phone calls from banks and investment firms because you completed an online MBA from a low profile school, you will be waiting for long time for that phone call.
    There is nothing wrong about taking an MBA or PhD from an online school but the person should expect that this education would just be some icing on a resume and would need to build their careers by networking with people, attending career events, taking more challenges at work, getting results, etc.

  7. #7
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFValve View Post
    I agree, my issue is that if my kid comes to me and tells me that he has decided to do a penn foster degree so he can stay home and play video games with his friends, then I think we have a problem.
    I definitely agree. An acquaintance from high school took a year off of college to try his hand at film making. He wasn't totally idling. And that year, while it delayed his graduation slightly, gave him a better handle on where he wanted to go and what he wanted to do in life.

    I have seen many people taking online PhDs, MBAs, etc from online schools while doing a low profile jobs such as clerk, tech support, etc and expect that the online MBA or PhD that they are doing is going to change their lives. If someone thinks that you can work at a gas station and all of the sudden your life will change and start getting phone calls from banks and investment firms because you completed an online MBA from a low profile school, you will be waiting for long time for that phone call.
    There is nothing wrong about taking an MBA or PhD from an online school but the person should expect that this education would just be some icing on a resume and would need to build their careers by networking with people, attending career events, taking more challenges at work, getting results, etc.
    The opposite problem I've seen is traditional college students who have absolutely nothing to put on a resume besides the low level part time job they maintained. No attempts to work, even as an intern, in their chosen field.

    Accounting major whose only job is working at Taco Bell. Engineering major who only ever worked summers at an ice cream place. Then hit the market and whine about how your contemporaries landed jobs just because they spent their summers interning rather than scooping ice cream.
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  9. #8
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFValve View Post
    I would not recommend University of the People or any online school to my child, I work at a University and I see the importance of social interaction and networking that a prestigious school has. Young people need to build self confidence and network with other students in order to build solid careers, the internet is a great tool for continuing education but not for those that want to start a career.
    You've built in an assumption that doesn't necessarily belong. Just because a kid goes off to some B&M college doesn't mean they're "building confidence" or "networking with other students to build great careers." There's actually a high likelihood that they're goofing off, skipping classes, smoking weed, going to parties and hanging with slackers. After all 50% of the students are below average. Residential college is not a guarantee of anything in the areas you've mentioned just as online learning is not a guarantee of any of the negatives you've mentioned.

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  10. #9
    msganti is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    There's actually a high likelihood that they're goofing off, skipping classes, smoking weed, going to parties and hanging with slackers.
    Few years back, I admitted my daughter in a virtual school (A charter school). I was asked to attend an parent orientation session. To my shock, about 80% of the parents I met there were pulling out their kids from B&M schools for the very exact reasons mentioned above.

  11. #10
    Abner is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFValve View Post
    I compare University of the People with NationsUniversity, both tuition free and NA. I always wanted to learn theology but was not willing to pay 20K or to go to a local school 3 to 4 years to earn one Masters degree in Theology. I found NationsUniversity and was happy to enroll and am taking their courses at a very slow pace.

    Can I be naive enough to think that a NationsUniversity degree would give me a shot to teach Theology at the University level? Can I really think that a NationsUniversity degree could give me a shot to become a priest at a prestigious christian denomination? Most likely not, there are people that complete PhDs from prestigious Universities in Theology and yet cannot even find adjunct work. However, I am happy with this option because I learn something that I always wanted to learn at no cost.

    I know few people with doctorate degrees in theology from local prestigious schools, when I tell them about NationsUniversity they just laugh and don't think is serious education . This just tells me that if I decide to start applying for adjunct careers with a NationsUniversity degree, most chairs would just laugh at my resume and go to the next one available.

    In few words, the University of the People is an excellent choice for those that are curious about business and not willing to spend money in a prestigious MBA because most likely are not interested in a corporate career at a large corporation but yet want to learn the business language so they can understand the business lingo when reading business week or watching the financial news. They might be interested in investing some money in the stock market or some other investment opportunities so they want to learn more about the financial markets.

    However, it is not very realistic that you get a degree from there and you start getting phone calls from big investment firms and banks for a financial career, most likely it will not change your career but might just give you a bit of advantage for a more business orientation of what you already do (e.g. engineer going into sales engineering ).

    I would put University of the People in the same basket as any other non prestigious NA school such as Aspen, Penn foster , etc. Some people do great with these options but they don't really need to the degree but just round education to fill gaps of knowledge.

    I would not recommend University of the People or any online school to my child, I work at a University and I see the importance of social interaction and networking that a prestigious school has. Young people need to build self confidence and network with other students in order to build solid careers, the internet is a great tool for continuing education but not for those that want to start a career. I see internet great for a teacher to get a masters degree or for a engineer to get an MBA.





    "I would put University of the People in the same basket as any other non prestigious NA school such as Aspen, Penn foster , etc. Some people do great with these options but they don't really need to the degree but just round education to fill gaps of knowledge."


    That was the case for me. My parents had initially signed me up for ITT . I decided that wasn't for me, and I did not want me parents to have to pay for my tuition like they did for my sister and brother, so I cancelled during the "cooling off" period. I then enrolled in CC. I went there for something like 9 or 10 years. The tuition was so low, I took every subject matter under the sun. I just loved the college B&M experience. I started off doing temp warehouse jobs to pay for books and tution. Then finally, one day, a friend of my mother's had a job opening at an Insurance company. I was sort of "office gopher" position/stock clerk. It started at minimum wage, but I jumped on it because i though of it as paid training, and i would get me away from back breaking work. Anyway, i eventually moved my way up the chain of command, went to work for a couple of government agencies, and the rest is history .

    Later, I found this place, and I read about NA RA and UA. I decided Cal Coast and Aspen would work just fine for me. And boy, did they. I achieved what I needed to achieve, with no student debt. I paid for it as I went, my proudest accomplishment. I was in the UOI correspondence degree program for a long time, but then there tuition costs kept going up and up after they started low, so I dropped out. I also took a course at Brigham Young, and I think 1 or 2 courses at the University of Nebraska. But I digress, there are many I won't bother listing, just too long of a story.
    Last edited by Abner; 07-01-2016 at 04:49 PM.
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  12. #11
    makana793 is offline Registered User
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    I'm curious myself about University of the People. I think it might be okay for those interested in taking some courses to build some new skills or learn something on the side.

  13. #12
    ITJD is offline Registered User
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    Been a while since I've posted, but as I've some experience with UoP , I'll offer a bit of critique and direction.

    1. If you're a self-starter as most distance learners are, you'll be ok with getting through the programs.
    2. Expect that the volunteer faculty will on occasion treat UoP like a volunteer job. You will be frustrated when the occasional instructor doesn't get back to an issue you have before the grading deadline passes.
    3. Expect that if you are a US student and fluent in English, you will have your disputes with a good amount of the student base that is foreign, especially at the AS program level.
    4. My only gripe with their process is that a good amount of your final grade has to do with your responses to online prompts that other students have to grade you on. Sometimes a perfectly crafted reply will be graded poorly by another student and the instructors (at the time) could not/would not change the grade.

    Clearly, a student who is learning the material is not the best-qualified to formally grade responses, and in many cases a popularity contest may ensue. What you'll get is sympathy from the instructor in return but that doesn't necessarily improve your GPA any in the long run.

    When the school first attained their DETC, there was talk of RA, that talk had diminished significantly by the time I stopped following progress. My opinion of the place is that it has its mission and the curriculum is good, but that mission is not to focus on first-world learners, so should you enroll, lower your expectations for satisfaction and be able to roll with the punches in order to get through the hoops. Otherwise, they've got all the right connections and I expect good things from the place over time.

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