Online Education

The University of Phoenix is located in phoenix, State of Arizona in the United States of America. It was founded in 1976 by Dr John Sperling. It is a world class university offering quality education to both the American residents and international students from other countries. One of its latest programs is online facilitated courses. One of the key areas that the university has excelled in is marketing its degree courses. The university’s four Ps of marketing mix include place, price, promotion and product.

On the first P, place, the university has spread its in 41 states in U.S.A making it accessible to a wide variety of potential and actual customers. The university is also able to reach international students through online course programs (Brown, 2007).  In product marketing, the university offers a wide range of products ranging from certificates, diplomas, associate degrees, masters and doctorate degrees among others.  The university programs cover a wide range of disciplines which include business, education, nursing, criminal justice and security, social sciences, information systems and technology, humanities, natural sciences and advanced studies (Books, 2010). Each of the above disciplines is given a different school or college in order to encourage specialization and also meet the needs of the students better. The university has improved its products by diversifying into online degree courses. This way, it is able to reach a bigger audience including those who cannot find time to attend the normal classes. Other programs also serving this cause include the part time and evening programs.  The university allows credit transfers to enable students having qualifications in a similar program advance their studies. It also partners with other bodies such as the U.S military to facilitate training of their personnel. These products give the university a competitive edge in the market.

The promotion of the university is facilitated by an official website that contains all the information regarding the university as pertains to degree courses, tuition fees location of satellite campuses and any other information that one may need to know about the university. The website also has an interactive forum through live chat where one can ask questions and expect answers directly. The website is well decorated with beautiful photographs taken from university functions making it very attractive and eye catching.

In price marketing, the university gives a variety of methods of tuition payment to enable the students undertake the courses effectively. Some of the methods that the university uses to enhance its financial friendliness include tuition freezing. Since tuition fees are known to keep on varying, tuition freeze ensures that the student pays a constant amount of tuition fee till he or she graduates. Federal financial aid plan allows students to apply for federal grants and loans to clear their tuition fees. The university also offers scholarships to needy students (Petersons, 2009). Scholarships are also available from government and non governmental bodies. Apart from payment of fees in cash, Tuition deferred plan gives a grace period of sixty days for those students whose school fees are reimbursed by the employer. In third party billing, the fee statement is forwarded directly to the employer or military whichever the case might be. Students also have the option of obtaining loans from financial institutions. All these services ensure that the student has fewer problems meeting his or her financial obligations. Using the four marketing mix strategies, the university is able to place itself at the forefront of higher education in the United States. This is evidenced by the high turnout of graduates each year and the huge number of alumni leading successful careers.

Impact of online universities on college/marketing experience

Online universities have increased the number of people who are able to pursue high education. This is because those who were not able to attend full time courses due to work or employment commitments can now be able to access the opportunities (Bender & Smith, 2008). Online education has also increased the level of computer literacy. This is because for one to access the education platform, he or she has to be computer literate. This has created more jobs for computer programmers and other computer technicians. Online learning has reduced the levels of socialization among students since most students do not meet in a formal classroom. Online learning also encourages laziness and laxity among students since they are not supervised. The online student may be illegally assisted in doing his exams or assignments. If the online program is not well implemented, the student may not be able to interact well with the facilitator which reduces levels of learning.

Despite the many challenges associated with online learning, I would consider taking an online degree since it would help me pursue my education dreams while still working to finance the degree program. Before making the decision, I would ensure that the online degree program is well implemented to ensure that I understand the course content well. I would ensure that the online program allows the user to ask questions, has computer simulations and is regularly updated.

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