When it was time for me to choose a college once I graduated from school, my list of options/pursuits looked like this:
- University of Maryland (where I went)
- California University (where I wanted to go, but it turns out it only existed on Saved By the Bell: The College Years)
- Seton Hall University (where I would’ve been shanked)
- Boston University (where I would’ve been shanked a la Paul Pierce and then lynched)
- Rutgers University (where I would’ve impregnated a Puerto Rican and then moved to Newark and then been shot. They will then shank the body.)
All of those schools had great taglines and inspirational quotes about achievement, your future and the promise of panty raids–well not BU, who only mentioned raids, but never specified which kinds there’d be during my “Potential Minority Affirmative Action to Keep Good White Folks Out of College Weekend” (formerly known as “Freaknik”).
Anyway, they all offered something thrilling about the college experience. It made it hard to narrow the list down between all these places that could/would potentially change my life forever.
But there was one that always stood out for me:
“Bring in 3 Frosted Flakes proofs of purchase and earn your 1st degree !”
Ladies and gentlemen, The University of Phoenix.
The University of Phoenix is a fascinating place that exists virtually which I think means it’s in the same zip code as The Shire.
I mean, really; I totally get that it’s sell is addressing the busy adult working world, but is education really the place you want to take short-cuts?
Where other institutions promise the rigor and challenge of an academic setting, the University of Phoenix offers, “free AOL start-up discs !”.
It seems like it’d be a tough sell to go anywhere else, doesn’t it? As preparation for this blog entry, I went undercover as a student at U-‘nix (my nickname for the school) and once I submitted my application (which consisted of questions like, “What’s your highest score on Windows ‘Solitaire’ (‘Las Vegas’ setting?)” and, “Describe the last three cartoons you watched”) I received a course catalogue for me to choose from.
The majors were as follows:
- House of Griffindor (our “Education” track)
- House of Ravenclaw (our fast-track to an MBA or PhD in a field of your choosing!)
- Electives (Stickball, Kickball and Dominos; “XBox” elective will be offered in Spring 2009)
And that was it, besides an envelope to mail in my Kellogg’s proofs of purchase clips and a “vial for a CLEAN urine sample to keep on file (note: does not need to be applicant’s urine.”).
Classes took place in the “Casual Encounters” section on Craigslist and after about a week, I’d had enough. On the premise that I wanted to transfer schools, I wrote to U-‘nix’s Admissions Department and requested a copy of my transcripts.
I recieved an official copy of my transcript via email with a note saying:
“Dear APPLICAN, Here is yuor report card. ofFicul. Please revuw before sending to new skool. if you fill any graydes are incorrec, change them. –Phoenix. P.S. per agreement, you wil only get 1 of 3 Frosted Flakes proofs back.”
As if this wasn’t bad enough, it turns out that my University of Phoenix credits didn’t transfer to other institutions quite so easily. As a matter of fact, the following were the only places that accepted my University credits:
- $10 store credit at Gap Outlet
- 20 pts on a Dave & Buster’s “Power Card”
- Parking Meters
So, I was f*cked. After making my way through 4/5 of their joint MBA-PhD program, I’d gambled that time away by trying to go somewhere else.
Worse 3 weeks of my life.