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University of Phoenix has high student satisfaction with online learners

By Sharla Hooper

National Benchmark survey found high student satisfaction scores across all items

Recent University of Phoenix findings from Ruffalo Noel Levitz Priorities Survey for Online Learners (PSOL) revealed high satisfaction scores among currently matriculating online students.  When measured against a national online learner group that included students from public and private institutions, University of Phoenix students indicated a higher level of satisfaction with their University experience by as much as 12 percentage points across all 26 survey items exploring Academic Services, Enrollment Services, Institutional Perceptions, Instructional Services, and Student Services.

The University’s Assessment & Institutional Research (AIR) unit administered the Priorities Survey for Online Learners (PSOL) to University of Phoenix students. The PSOL instrument by Ruffalo Noel Levitz measures the satisfaction and priorities of students specifically in online undergraduate and graduate programs at two-year and four-year institutions. The survey, which is administered to 89,261 online students from over 150 participating institutions, identifies what is important to students and examines their satisfaction with these items.

“The University of Phoenix strives to meet student expectations and needs as they advance through their academic journey,” states John Woods, Ph.D., chief academic officer and provost. “We are pleased with the findings. Our areas of strength highlight our commitment to students around accessibility, convenience, and alignment with career pathways.”

Over 2,400 students participated in the survey. High priorities for students included: “Career alignment with my academic program” (90% student satisfaction); “Open communication channels with my faculty and other students” (88% student satisfaction); “Online course experience that fits into my busy life” (86% student satisfaction); and “Online registration is convenient” (92% student satisfaction). Survey findings showed high student satisfaction with the areas they indicated as very important to their online learning experience.

The survey also identified three areas of opportunity for further exploration for the University involving student engagement with instruction. Students rated high importance of 93% to the items “quality of online instruction is excellent”, faculty “responsive to student needs”, and faculty feedback “advances my learning.” Each of these items had a satisfaction score of 79%, 81% and 82% respectively.

When compared with the aggregated national online learner group, University of Phoenix students indicated between two and 12 percentage points higher satisfaction across all 26 comparable survey items. Additionally, University of Phoenix students indicated higher “overall satisfaction” (satisfied or very satisfied) with their online college experience, at 81%, than the national online learner group, at 72%.

“As an institution focused on our working adult students, we used this survey to help us assess where we are performing best, as well as what we might improve. Like every institution of higher learning, we are always seeking to discover from our learners what they experience us doing well, where we can do better, and then take steps to improve,” Dr. Woods shared. “We want to continue to enhance the academic experience as well as career alignment for our students, as they continue along their academic and career pathway.”

This is the first time AIR has conducted the survey of University students on behalf of University of Phoenix.

For a more detailed overview of survey findings, please contact

Survey Methodology
The PSOL instrument by Ruffalo Noel Levitz was administered by the University of Phoenix Assessment & Institutional Research team, and was open for student submissions beginning August 16, 2021 through September 7, 2021. There were 20,000 actively enrolled associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, including representative samples of each college and degree level, invited to participate. The survey closed with 2,433 respondents for an overall completion rate of 12.2%.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit