One of the risks of attending a private, for profit, college or university is that if it’s not very profitable, it can close its doors. And one of the biggest just closed all its doors in Canada. The Vancouver Sun carried the story here: University of Phoenix Ceases Canadian Operations.
I don’t have too many issues with for profit education, provided that it is regulated and publicly accredited. In the example of the University of Phoenix (and contrary to the comments posted for that story), it was fully approved by the Province of British Columbia. In the process of closing its doors I believe it operated as honourably as possible by staying open long enough to allow its students to complete the programs they started. (Full disclosure: I’m not a promoter of for profit schools and have no connections to University of Phoenix).
But of course, this story does illustrate the risk of attending a for profit institution. As a follow-up to my earlier blog post about what happens to student records when a school closes, I have explored what will happen to student records at the University of Phoenix. The University of Phoenix is not closing its US doors and so students can still access their records. Meritus University in New Brunswick is also closing its doors, and its website says that they will mail students copies of their transcripts free of charge. It’s clear that they’ve considered the long-term implications for students as well, as they have a detailed document for students explaining how to transition to another university and how to continue to be able to access student records posted on their site here.
It’s never a good thing for students when their school closes but at least for students at these two institutions it’s not a complete loss. If there are any students reading this blog, take this as your warning to choose the school you attend with care!