Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Final Accounting for UoP

one of many logosI had another minor milestone on Tuesday.  I stopped by UoP after work and paid my diploma order fee.  Yes, it costs $55 to get that crucial piece of paper mailed to you, and no, that does not include a frame.  Diploma frames are sold separately through the University of Phoenix web sites, along with custom clothing, mugs, mousepads, organizers and other stuff with one or more of the UoP logos.

I got an email Monday from UoP congratulating me as an excuse for advertising such things. Today I ordered a gold T-shirt that says University of Phoenix - Accounting - Class of 2005.  Well, I deserve it! 

lobby, UoP Grant Rd campusNot only that, but I'll probably order Office 2003 tonight at a UoP discount rate, bundled with Peachtree or Quickbooks, I forget which.  It's frankly embarrassing that this newly minted accountant (albeit not yet a CPA) has never had even the tiniest glance at either Peachtree or Quickbooks.  I'm sure such accounting-for-the-masses software will be no problem to learn, but I don't want to go to job interviews and have to say I'm utterly unfamiliar with these programs.

But back to the diploma fee.  This was my third attempt to pay this.  Last Thursday or Friday I got a call from my third academic counselor in 27 months.  I don't know when he replaced the unhelpful lady who couldn't or wouldn't tell me whether I would have sufficient academic credits to sit for the CPA exam, as I'd been previously led to believe.  I hadn't had a call from either the new guy or the unhelpful lady in, oh, approximately a year and a half.  I mentioned on some survey recently that it would be nice to hear from an academic counselor at least once a year, especially at the end.  Well, son of a gun, after all the surveys I've filled out online with no indication whatever that anyone ever read them, this one got a response.  The new guy counselor called, mentioned my feedback and actually apologized to me!  He then went over a checklist of stuff I'm supposed to do at the end - register for Commencement, check; order cap and gown, check; take the COCA assessment (an ungraded online test to see what you remember of your coursework, so they know whether it's being taught effectively), check; no tuition owed, check; diploma order...

"Yes, I wanted to ask you how to do that," I said. 

Upstairs at UoPIt turned out he had to send me a form to fill out. I'd heard at my last class that there was supposed to be a place on it to mark whether you've earned "honors" with a GPA over 3.85 (mine is 3.93, with the last A still pending).  It wasn't there, but presumably they'll know.

The hard part, strangely enough, was getting the payment to someone at the school.  After all those mostly Thursday nights for class, and weekend afternoons for team meetings, if any, the UoP Grant Rd. campus seems different now, emptier somehow, part of the past.  I went over there Sunday afternoon after some office overtime.  It was 15 minutes before closing, but the resource center desk was already deserted, with a sign marking it closed. I took the pictures you see here, and came outside just as it started to rain.  Monday after work, I tried again, running on fumes because the low fuel light came on shortly after I passed my favorite gas station Monday morning.  There wasn't a single open space in the UoP lot Monday evening, so I babied the car for about six miles to get to my gas station, and then went home.

UoP in the rainTuesday night I paid the bill at the resource center (read: computer lab).  No problem.  Only, the checklist at the top of the form mentions getting an exit interview from the Financial Aid office, too.  I haven't heard from those people in many months, either.  I even suspect that I may have an uncashed check of student loan leftovers here... somewhere.  I've never seen it, but I have reason to believe it may exist.  I really should find out, don't you think?



plittle said...

Wait. You paid them thousands of dollars to take the courses, and now they want you to pay for the diploma? How much of a scam is that? Couldn't they have just built an extra $55 into the course fees? Or maybe you could have saved the thousands of dollars, and just bought the diploma at the beginning...

alphawoman1 said...

I am so excited for you. It was so cool the day my diploma arrived.  I spent a lot of money getting it framed ( double matted! in school colors!)! It is a huge "sheepskin",  twice the size of that scrawny UK's! HA!  

deabvt said...

I've never seen it, but I have reason to believe it may exist.  I really should find out, don't you think?

ryanagi said...

Pay for your own diploma...sheesh!