This Arizona School has Been Named the Worst College in Entire State

Arizona boasts several renowned colleges and universities, including Arizona State University, University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University. Nevertheless, not all schools in the state maintain the same level of reputation or achievement.

One school in Arizona has been identified as the lowest-ranking college by multiple sources, considering factors like net price, student debt, graduation rate, and academic quality. Western International University is a former for-profit private institution that was affiliated with the University of Phoenix.

Exploring the History of Western International University

Established in 1978, Western International University was created to cater to adult learners seeking to further their education while maintaining full-time jobs. The school provided online and on-campus programs in business, technology, and liberal arts, emphasizing a flexible and affordable education for its students. During its prime, the school had more than 10,000 students attending and multiple campuses in Arizona and other states.

Nevertheless, the school experienced a decrease in reputation and student numbers during the 2010s due to rising competition from other online and for-profit institutions, along with increased scrutiny from regulators and accreditors regarding its academic standards and financial health. The school faced legal issues, including a class-action lawsuit from former students who claimed they were misled about accreditation and credit transferability.

In 2017, the school made an announcement that new student enrollments would cease, and all remaining campuses would be closed by 2018. In February 2019, the school’s accreditation was revoked by the Higher Learning Commission, the regional accrediting agency for the North Central region of the United States.

Exploring the Criteria and Rankings of the Worst Colleges in America

Various publications and websites have gathered lists of the poorest colleges in America, using various criteria and data sources. Here are some key factors used to assess the quality and performance of colleges:

  • Net price is the total cost of attendance for a student minus any grants and scholarships received. This highlights how affordable and accessible colleges are for low-income and middle-class students.
  • Student debt: The typical debt accumulated by a student upon graduation. This illustrates the costs and benefits of a college education.
  • Default rate: The percentage of students who fail to repay their federal student loans within three years of graduating. This indicates how well graduates can pay back their loans and secure meaningful jobs.
  • Graduation rate: The percentage of students who finish their degree within 150% of the standard time. This indicates the academic excellence and student satisfaction of a college.

Washington Monthly, a bimonthly nonprofit magazine covering politics, government, culture, and the media, ranked Western International University as the worst college in Arizona. In 2014, the magazine released four distinct rankings of the poorest colleges in America, using various criteria and adjustments for the mentioned factors. Western International University was featured on two of these lists.

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The initial list gave the same weight to all four factors. Western International University is ranked 4th out of 20, with a net price of $18,241, an average student debt of $32,335, a default rate of 26.3%, and a graduation rate of 15%.
The second list emphasized the graduation rate more. Western International University is ranked second out of 20, with a net price of $18,241, an average student debt of $32,335, a default rate of 26.3%, and a graduation rate of 15%.
Academicful, a website that offers insights on schools, scholarships, and careers, also listed Western International University as the lowest-ranked college in Arizona. In 2023, the website released a list of the top 21 worst colleges in America, organized by state.

The website utilized the same four factors as Washington Monthly, while also taking into account additional factors like accreditation status, student reviews, and reputation. Western International University, based in Arizona, ranked fourth out of 21 schools on the list. The website provided information about the school being a for-profit private institution in Arizona and affiliated with the University of Phoenix. It mentioned that the school ceased enrolling students in 2017 and had its accreditation revoked in February 2019.

Concluding and discussing the impact of the lowest-ranked college in Arizona

According to various rankings of colleges in America, Western International University has been identified as the lowest-ranked college in Arizona by several sources. The school’s performance on measures of affordability, debt, default, and graduation has been subpar, leading to the loss of accreditation and closure of its campuses.

The school’s decline serves as a warning for potential students seeking a good and reasonably priced education, and as a prompt for regulators and accreditors to oversee and uphold the standards and accountability of higher education institutions. Arizona offers a variety of alternatives for students seeking to achieve their academic and career objectives, but Western International University is not among them.

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