Is Walden University legit? Yes, Walden University is 100% legit but some consider it a diploma mill because it is a private, for-profit school. Also, unlike brick-and-mortar schools, a degree from an online school like Walden is considered ‘not well respected’ by hiring managers and others. However, this is true, and typically up to the employer. Some employers will generally disrespect degrees from online schools with no physical presence while most others prioritize your ability and skills.
In this review, I’m keeping things honest by pointing out the pros and cons to help you make the decision yourself. In the end, the decision is up to you and not other people’s opinions since you understand your situation better than anyone. I have also avoided including those stats you’d find online concerning the percentage of employed Walden students, what employers, have to say, and blah, blah, blah. You can’t rely on such data, especially when it comes from Walden University itself—nobody is going to speak negatively of themselves—you know.
So, Walden University is an online and private, for-profit school based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can join from anywhere in the U.S. or from other countries. Also, about 83% of the students don’t study full-time; you study on your own schedule and pace.
Walden does offer a lot of different degrees—more than 100—and you can study all of them online. The degrees include business, health science, psychology, nursing, education, and many others.
Is Walden University Legit?
As I mentioned earlier, and will mention severally in this review, Walden University is very legit. The negatives you will find about this school are largely linked to it being a private, for-profit school. They need to make money, don’t they? This doesn’t make Walden a diploma mill either, which some people think, especially because they have a really high acceptance rate.
Another aspect that I’ve noticed questions the legitimacy of this school is that it is 100% online. So, the school has been caught up in people’s belief that online education is not as effective as traditional, brick and mortar universities. Well, currently, online degrees are gradually becoming respected as those from campus-based universities by employers. Moreover, if the school is regionally accredited like Walden University, then the degrees are reliable, at least to a greater extent.
Walden University does have many positives about it as an online school that you should consider it your go-to. However, I also like to advise applicants that online school is not for all, especially a recent high school graduate. If you are the busy type with family and work weighing down your time, then an online school is the flexible option you need. Now, that said, below are the best positives you can use to judge Walden University.
Walden University is Fully Online
If you need a 100% online school, then go for Walden University, especially if you are the working type. Walden University doesn’t have a campus or buildings where students go for classes.
Now, you can actually accelerate your education with the Accelerate Into Master’s (AIM) program in Walden University online. This program allows you to start working on your master’s degree while still on your bachelor’s.
Another cool feature is their All But Dissertation (ABD) program for those who have finished all the requirements for their doctoral degree except the dissertation. With this, you can transfer your credits already earned to Walden. The advantage here is that you will be able to focus on writing your doctoral dissertation and finally achieve your doctoral degree.
The Institution is Regionally Accredited
Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
High Acceptance Rate
To understand how difficult it is to get into Walden University, you should look at its acceptance rate. The acceptance rate is a percentage that shows how many applicants get accepted into a program. Now, this is another positive when it comes to enrolling at Walden. Walden University has an acceptance rate of 100%, so it is an open admissions college. The university accepts all students who apply, provided you meet the requirements.
However, this might not seem okay for some because many people believe that colleges with high acceptance rates are inherently bad. However, even the hardest colleges to get into are not necessarily the best.
Military Veteran Friendly
This one is something you might like, especially if you are military. Walden University is part of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium. The school will allow you to transfer credits from your military education and training, including credits from DANTES, your Joint Services Transcript, and the Community College of the Air Force. You can also get credit for military training and national testing programs completed during service. Meanwhile, another military-friendly university that I have reviewed is the American Public University.
Access to Webinars and Podcasts
Now, this might not mean so much, or say, it isn’t out of this world kind of thing. However, it still counts. If you find any part of your online education difficult, Walden University’s webinars and podcasts can really help you. They cover a wide range of topics that online students often face. These are videos and audio programs that are easy to download and can give you the extra support you need. The only problem here is that you still have to encourage yourself because there is no other form of encouragement, compared to what you will get when studying in a traditional university.
Financial Aid Support
The university is eligible for federal grants, including Pell, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity, and the TEACH aid. I recently made a list of online schools that pay you to attend—I should include Walden.
So, while Walden University has its positives that make it the go-to online school, there are also negatives that will make anyone have a second thought before enrolling.
They Have Been in the FTC’s Warning Book
In October 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent notices to 70 for profit schools making false claims about their education. Walden University was part of this warning list. Note that these notices were only a warning, and implying that the schools did anything wrong. The FTC did this in an attempt to stop schools from using unfair tactics that could leave students with a lot of debt and bad job prospects after graduation.
Walden University is a Private, For-profit School
Generally, for-profit schools are considered to make their investors rich, thus, focusing more on profit rather than quality of education. However, it is unfair to write off Walden University based on this generic reason, which most people tend to use as a yardstick for for-profit online schools. As a for-profit school, Walden is also automatically considered a diploma mill but it isn’t.
It is an Expensive Online School
Walden University is for-profit, and needs to make money, so they can end up being more expensive than some fairly well-respected public universities. If money is your problem, an option like Western Governor’s University is cheaper. Also, I wrote extensively on some really cheap regionally accredited online colleges that you can consider.
Walden Faced a Lawsuit in 2022
In 2022, Walden University was sued for allegedly targeting Black and female students, particularly in its Doctor of Business Administration program. Accusations included:
- Deceptive advertising
- Misleading program requirements, and
- Forcing students to take more courses than initially stated, which resulted in over $28 million in extra tuition.
The lawsuit, which claimed violations of consumer protection and civil rights laws, was filed by the Student Defense Network and Relman Colfax PLLC. It argued that Walden University made false promises to keep collecting tuition beyond promised completion dates. The case was settled out of court.【“】【“】【“】【“】【“】
Low Graduation Rate
The 4-year and 6-year graduation rates for students at Walden University is 32%.
Having considered these cons, this begs the question, is a degree from Walden University respected at all by employers and others?
Are Walden Degrees Respected?
Well, to a large extent, Walden Degrees are respected. It’s just that some hiring managers tend to automatically downgrade degrees from online-only universities.
What is Walden University Known for?
A significant portion of Walden’s students, about 78%, are women, and 34% identify as Black. The university supports various student organizations, including those for LGBTQ+ students, international students, veterans, women in technology fields, and indigenous students.
One of Walden University’s unique initiatives is the “Talks for Good” program. This program organizes events where experts and community leaders give talks and participate in online discussions with students about key topics related to diversity and social justice. Also, Walden University is recognized for awarding a considerable number of its graduate and doctoral degrees to African-American and Hispanic students.
Final Thoughts—Is Walden University Legit?
Walden University is not a diploma mill, but rather a legit institution accredited for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs online. They have had their share of the controversies, which, of course, is expected for an online-only university. Overall, Walden University has a good reputation and is regionally accredited.