WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) - University of Phoenix plans to close 25 main campuses and 90 smaller satellite learning centers nationwide, as part of a broader effort to phase them out, the Associated Press reports.
Eight of Michigan's 10 locations are affected, with two staying open -- Detroit and Southfield. Following the closures, University of Phoenix will be left with 112 locations in 36 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, according to MLive. The closures will save the company $300 million.
Students at the West Michigan University of Phoenix campus got the news via email and are now left wondering what to do next. The email stated the campus, 318 River Ridge Dr. NW in Walker, will be shutting down beginning in 2014.
Some students say they felt cheated when they learned their school would be shutting its doors for good.
A University of Phoenix representative confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 via email Wednesday night the campus will no longer be accepting new students. The about 270 students that currently attend classes there will be able to complete their degree on campus, the representative said.
The exact timing of the campus closure, the representative said, hasn't yet been specified and will depend upon the needs of students, and federal and state regulations.
Now students are left wondering whether to finish their courses at the West Michigan campus and what their degrees will be worth after the campus closes.
"I was shocked, I was mad. I was scared for what my future would be," said student Shawn Stoll.
Students say they were promised one thing but fear they will get another.
"We were promised that we were going to have an on-campus environment," said Stoll. "The group interaction that we have here that's necessary for education, for us to develop to move on."
Some wonder how the change will impact classes that once had an in-class focus, which will now be sending students online.
"With human services, which I'm going into, if we're not going to school, how are we going to work with people if we're working online?" questioned Stoll.
The newly-remodeled University of Phoenix building is just off Alpine Avenue overlooking I-96. For some students, this educational choice was one made out of convenience. They put their hope, trust and money into the expectation it would stick around.
"I'm concerned that I'm going to be $60,000 in debt and my school's not even going to hold up," said Stoll. "I'll be in debt for something that I'm not even going to be able to use."
The other frustrating element for the students is cost. Online courses, they say, cost significantly more than the courses they were taking at the Walker campus.
The University of Phoenix representative also said students can call the toll-free student hotline at 866.992.3302 for more information.
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