Walden University is a for-profit private university located in Minneapolis that offers programs in many fields. Walden has a history of being a mediocre school, and it still has a somewhat fickle reputation.
Walden is an accredited university. Its degrees are recognized by everyone, and people are supposed to take them seriously. I say supposed to, because Walden has a checkered past. There’s no denying it. But the school has worked hard to improve its offering in recent years. It’s just hard to fight past a stigma like this one. The 2020 investigation doesn’t help the situation.
In this article, we are going to debunk part of the stigma. We are also going to analyze if Walden is a good university to attend. We’ll also see if employers take the school seriously.
Is Walden University Legit?
Walden University is a legit school. It has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1990. Since accreditation is the number 1 thing to look for in a university to see if it’s legit, you are in excellent hands.
Degrees in schools without accreditation are worthless. Nobody takes them seriously. If you are serious about your education (as you should be), don’t even think about going to unaccredited schools.
But accreditation isn’t the only thing that makes a university legit. The primary reason people go to school is to learn more about their chosen field, and improve their chances to get employed in better jobs.
Advancing your career is always a good move, because with higher income you can be more financially stable.
Walden University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which means it follows rigorous education standards.
Regional accreditation is considered better than national accreditation if you strictly go by teaching requirements. It’s also harder to get and gives other perks to both students and schools, like the ability to access corporate tuition reimbursement plans. These schools also often have stricter admission requirements.
Do not go to schools that aren’t accredited. These are also called “diploma mills”, and they are places where you buy your degree. They aren’t worth it because nobody takes them seriously.
The University’s Ranking
Being a for-profit private university, Walden doesn’t provide enough information for official rankings. It doesn’t mean that the university is bad though. It just means you can’t really compare it to other universities.
You can still find information about how some of its faculties compare to others in the United States. According to this U.S. News report, Walden ranks 186th in Computer Science, 284th in Best Public Affairs Programs, 182th in Public Health, and 261th in Social Work.
These rankings aren’t very good, but they aren’t awful either. Walden is a middle of the pack university. You are getting a solid education, and that’s about it. It’s a solid choice if you are looking for a nice online university.
When there’s little data, the best way to find out if a university is good is through reviews. Walden’s reviews are mostly good, but there are some that lament a mismanagement of student loans. Others claim the university tries its best to pocket as much money from each student.
That’s worrisome. It seems like a common theme among private, for-profit universities. They try to extract as much money from unknowing student, and then pretend they didn’t do anything wrong. These episodes are the reason many people don’t trust private for-profit universities.
The Coursework and the Teachers
This is one aspect where Walden shines. It started off as an awful university. It then worked hard to improve its offering and get accredited. To this day, Walden invests a lot of money into providing the best possible education to its students.
As far as teachers go, it seems most of them are pretty good. Every college has poor teachers, even the top schools in the States, so that’s hardly a reason to be worried. Being online, you don’t even have to interact with your professors that often, so you can mostly avoid the bad ones.
The coursework is hard. As it should be in university. In fact, many people comment Walden is more demanding than typical brick-and-mortar colleges. That’s good, it means Walden actually cares about education.
Don’t expect to just coast along and get your degree. Show up and put in the required amount of effort to earn your certification.
Getting Accepted into Walden
It’s very easy. Everyone gets accepted into Walden. The school has a 100% acceptance rate, and doesn’t believe in standardized tests. Anyone with a high school diploma can enroll into Walden’s courses.
With high acceptance rates come low graduation rates. Though Walden university does a better job than other online universities. The graduation rate is 26.4%, which is still low, but better than expected. Most other online universities with 100% acceptance rate don’t have a higher graduation rate than 15%.
For perspective, Harvard ha a 97.3% graduation rate.
Why do online universities have such low graduation rates? The answer is selectivity.
Getting into Harvard is so hard only the brightest and most committed do it. Conversely, anyone who feels like they want to pursue higher education can enroll into Walden or other similar online universities. The result is that of the people who enroll don’t really have the motivation or the skills necessary to succeed.
Editor’s note: there are still minimum requirements to enroll in Walden’s courses. But as long as you meet them, you’ll get in with no issue. It’s not like other colleges with limited spots looking to attract the brightest students.
The School’s Reputation
While Walden has massively improved its offering in recent years, it has a somewhat tainted past. It doesn’t help that the university went under investigation in 2020 for misrepresenting aspects of a nursing program to both students and the accreditation institution.
That’s fishy. It’s why some people don’t take Walden seriously. It’s a shame, because the education offered is of top quality. But when a school pulls that moves, it’s hard to trust it.
We hope Walden can redeem itself, if anything because the level of education it offers is about as good as that of top universities across the country.
Unfortunately, until the school’s reputation doesn’t improve, many employers won’t trust degrees earned at Walden. It’s a risk you must take if you plan to enroll in it.
Will I Get a Job after Graduating from Walden University?
Because of its reputation, getting a job after graduating from Walden might be harder than with other universities. Still, you have completed a degree program in an accredited university, so your chances will be better than those of people without the degree.
The employment rate of students who graduate from Walden is 79%. You have decent chance of finding a job suited to your studies right out of college. This makes Walden a decent school choice to pursue your preferred career path.
Walden University is an excellent school. You will work hard to earn your degree. Unfortunately, because of past misconduct, you might face some resistance from employers.
Online universities carry a stigma. People think online degrees are easy to get and aren’t as valuable as “real” ones. That’s obviously false, as proven by the employment rates of people who graduate from online universities.
If you have the misfortune of meeting an employer who thinks online degrees are awful, ignore them. They don’t know better. Do not argue with them. They will change their mind, eventually. People are becoming progressively more accepting of online degrees.