15 Programs to Avoid

Below are all the programs we do not recommend and our explanations for many of them. We also do not recommend for-profit schools and explain this in our for-profit comparison page.

*Graduation and retention rate rankings are respective of our 107 program data set.

Franklin University

Franklin University had dismal academic performance and we also received no response to our professor questionnaire. We were unable to verify aspects of the curriculum and learn more about their faculty. The only revealing information about their faculty is a description of the program chair, Karen Miner-Romanoff, who is a public defender. Other than that, we know nothing else about this program, and cannot recommend it because of low performance, high cost, and lack of transparency.

What we disliked

  • They had the second worst graduation rate at 12%.
  • Fifth worst retention rate at 35%.
  • It lacked evidence of internship resources and did not have a chapter of the Alpha Phi Sigma honor society.
  • Higher than median tuition: $444/credit vs $365/credit hour for the median.
  • Franklin University’s online curriculum covers much of the same material as WSU.

Baker College

Baker is highly affordable at $225/credit, but we still cannot recommend the program. All of their campuses reported some of the worst academic statistics out of 130 schools. The program page only lists a curriculum. We didn’t feel strongly about their response to our questionnaire either. Program director Kevin Lindsey did not answer half of our questions and said their online faculty is from around the nation, so they are not necessarily the same professors that teach at Baker’s campuses. Kevin was not able to confirm any regional reputation with employers.

What we disliked

  • All of their campus statistics placed them in the bottom 10 schools for graduation rate and retention rate.
  • No information about the program on the website.
  • Although it did make a placement on the US News Online Bachelor’s list, it tied for last at 164.
  • Poor response to professor questionnaire.
  • Baker’s online curriculum is comparable to WSU’s, but it does not describe its courses in great detail.

Western New Mexico

Western New Mexico does not have much information about their program and when we contacted them to learn more, the response did not answer all our concerns.  Even more, when we try to access their faculty description page the link is broken, making us feel like there is a good chance quality is lacking at this school.

What we disliked

  • Bottom 20 graduation and retention rates.
  • Almost empty department page, very little information.
  • No faculty biographies.
  • No mention on any major rankings.
  • Poor response to our professor questionnaire.
  • Western New Mexico’s University’s curriculum is comparable to WSU’s in its completeness.

University of Great Falls

From academic statistics alone, this criminal justice program comes from a below average institution, but the reason we cannot fully recommend this degree is due to the incredibly high price of tuition. It is significantly higher than any of our top programs and by the data we have about it, not worth the price of admission.

What we disliked

  • Bottom 50 retention rate and bottom 20 for graduation rates
  • Radically high price of tuition: $647/credit
  • Only one faculty member description
  • No mention on any major rankings
  • No response to our professor questionnaire
  • The description of the curriculum at Great Falls is very lacking compared to WSU.

Union Institute and University

Union Institute and University has a decent faculty with real world expertise—police officers with over 20 years experience, captains, detectives, hostage negotiators, and master instructors of police training—but it is held back by very low graduation and retention rates, as well as no mentions from any rankings publication. Without any helpful data, such as examples of their local reputation with employers or insight into how the program is administered, we cannot recommend such an expensive program.

What we disliked

  • The lowest retention rate and bottom 20 graduation rate
  • High tuition rate: $544/credit
  • Not much information about program other than faculty biographies
  • Only one placement on a major ranking
  • No response to our professor questionnaire
  • The curriculum is as comprehensive as WSU’s program, though its description is very thorough.

Other programs we do not recommend

  • Ottawa University-Phoenix
  • Ottawa University
  • Remington College-Heathrow Campus
  • Mid-America Christian University
  • McNeese State University
  • Dallas Baptist University
  • Lincoln College
  • Kentucky Wesleyan College
  • University of the Southwest
  • Fort Valley State University