American Public University System Reviews
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I am in my senior year of the BBA program at APU. The course materials used are the same you would have in a brick-and-mortar school. I did my research on that to make sure the level of coursework and depth of learning objectives were where they should be. Every class has a weekly discussion forum participation requirement and this consists of an initial posting of 250-300 words due Wednesday or Thursday, along with replies to at least two peers' threads (usually 100 words). You will take tests and quizzes here and those are usually multiple choice, though I did have some short answer style tests. If you are planning on attending APU, be prepared to do a LOT of writing. I was glad to see this because it makes it more difficult for students to cheat their way through.. After you submit a paper, it is sent to both your professor and processed through an anti-plagiarism website; TurnItIn.com. That website contains a huge database of student papers that were submitted at any time across the country, maybe the world,and its automated system checks for similarities against the database. In terms of tuition costs, APUS is very reasonable, but this figure begins to become unreasonable once you realize that the professors do not really do anything.. Instructors were generally nice and I believe they would have been there for me if I needed them., but I never really needed their help. Through the aforementioned essays you will get very proficient at doing research and delivering credible papers. Online learning really requires a great deal of resourcefulness. Grading is usually fair but in many cases not exactly prompt. Most of my professors held a Doctorate in their field(s), others had MBAs or other business master's degrees. I had a few that did not even discuss their education or credentials. I had one that had spelling or grammatical errors in almost every announcement or forum post he made. The financial aid process is HORRIBLE. Throughout my whole time at this school I believe my financial aid went through with no issues on two occasions. The good news is that a phone call to the university is almost always answered immediately and they were always able to fix issues eventually. My conclusion after reaching my senior year is that their programs could be very easy for those who are satisfied with simply going through the motions. I want to be able to master all the learning objectives from the ground up so I require of myself more than the minimum assignment requirements. I make it harder for myself. You kind of self-teach a lot here, but the help is there if you want it. The low/no admissions requirements become apparent as you participate in the weekly discussion forums. I have had some classmates who got me wondering how they even graduated high school. I do not discourage anyone from attempting to step up their education, but it definitely hurts my perception of an APUS degree. To the school's credit, though, they are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and most of their business programs are ACBSP accredited. I plan on attending somewhere else for my MBA, though.
This was easily the best choice I ever made education-wise. Obviously being active duty means I am going to be deployed a lot; so I needed an understanding online university that is flexible to our lifestyle. Over the course of five deployments I was able to successfully complete 21 classes and obtain my BA in General Studies. Because General Studies runs the gamut as far as classes go, I feel I have a pretty good cross-section of the types of classes and teachers APUS provides. Firstly, I had only ONE professor that I was less-than-thrilled with; all others were home runs. Each professor was engaging and responsive and kept the classes flowing logically and fairly. The assignments were varied and the papers required were graded fairly and the comments were constructive and helpful. The online interface was so-so as I was never fully satisfied with the forum posting box that would constantly reformat my comments in different fonts/sizes. But overall, intuitive and easy to use. Financial aid was always a breeze and not an issue. Overall, I'd recommend this school to anyone. They have all the accreditation you would ever need and they made learning fun.
I had a really awesome outreach guy here in Arizona. He was a big Marine guy who was extremely helpful and was always there when I called or emailed him. I think he covered Arizona and Nevada maybe Utah. But after he left the service was complete crap! The old guy they have working this area is useless and no one helped out like the big. Take your chances now I guess. But my thanks to Marty for being there for me.
AMU is a great school! I have been attending for four years now. I have an AA History, AA Criminal Justice, and graduate in May with a BA Criminal Justice. The classes are well paced, but do require self motivation and work. All this nonsense about "traditional schools" is a joke. Employers just want to know the answer to the magic question "are they accredited", and AMU is! I will be receiving a 10,000 dollar raise when I am finished with my bachelors. I am a post 9/11 student and have had no problems. I get paid for BAH on time every month from the VA.
I begin classes at APUS in Summer 2013. A 3 year program to complete my Masters Degree in Legal Studies and Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice. The classes were challenging and the professors overall were great and the classes were interesting especially the discussion forums with classmates. The format of the class was user friendly and that was a plus for me. After graduating this past August, I decided to pursue a second Masters Degree at APUS in Management and just completed my first class today. I was fortunate that 2 classes from my prior masters degree program was applied to my new masters program to fulfill an elective and concentration requirement so now I am 9 units completed. The classes require a lot of reading time, research, and self discipline to succeed.
The format of the program was excellent, and well established especially since I am an adult learner. The cost was among the lowest. In addition the university was very helpfully, and made consolidation of all the college credits I had seem almost effortless. You see I first started college in 1991, and over the years as life happened I started and stopped college several times. As a career firefighter/paramedic I had lots of training that had only been evaluated by ACE for college equivalent credit, and American Military University/American Public University Systems granted some amount of credit(s) for all that training I had taken over the years including for my National Registry Paramedic. Of course now nearly all these types of programs are conduct in conjugation with a college, or university and students receive credit upon completion of these type of field course work when it is done through an accredited public safety training academy for fire, rescue, and police. Although most of the credits I was granted, along with prior college credits I had did not fit into the degree I choose it has proved invaluable and helped me with in my interactions within a diverse community of people.
I completed my Master's degree at APUS and it was very challenging. I enjoyed the instructors and had no problem with financial aid. I would recommend this college to any one who has an extremely busy lifestyle but wants to complete a degree. Since everything is done online it is easy to complete your degree.
American Public University System is an online school with a very diverse group of instructors and students, a lot being associated with the military. Because of this, they are very understanding and work with you to ensure you can meet your goals. I was also challenged to think beyond my norms and work together with classmates to solve problems. I would recommend APUS to anyone who would prefer online schooling over traditional methods. It has allowed me to work full time, be a parent and a husband all while getting closer to my career goals.
I was completely satisfied with my experience with American Military University (part of the APUS), with exception of my final capstone thesis course. To start with, I point out that even brick & mortar schools now rely heavily on online courses, due to budget cuts. I have three college grad kids, all who attended major state universities, and all had to take up to 30% of their courses online. There was no other option, due to budget cuts. So, those shunning an online degree keep an open mind. Second, as with any school, you get out of it what you put in. AMU will not bottle feed you, but if you are a pro-active, engaged, and motivated participant student, you will do very well. All of the professors and instructors I had taught at other schools, many at big name universities (where the tuition was 2-5x as much). So, you are getting the same professors. You will also be doing A LOT of research and writing (especially at a grad level in an 8 week course). I attended undergrad brick and mortar schools, and found the online degree forum discussions were far more extensive and engaging than the physical classroom. There are sufficient tools to combat potential plagiarism, although a few cut and paste forums were obvious (and reported and dealt with). I had absolutely no problems with billing or handling my post-9/11 GI Bill payments. Books were sometimes an issue, but as I had two kids in college, I saw that is universal. Expect to utilize outside sources for grad texts. That said, three courses required no text books all the study material was research based or provided by the instructor. Several classes had lab exercises reinforcing concepts and theories and helping to break up the research paper drill. My ONLY complaint was the final thesis capstone course, due entirely to a bad luck draw of a horrible professor. Almost half the class nearly dropped the course, and all (including myself) started it with 4.0 GPAs. The first class grades were low Cs, ruing any hope of an A or final 4.0 from that point on. The prof was inconsistent, condescending, and retaliated against any student complaining or reporting her. It got so bad that the department chair had to become involved. I was ready to complete a second masters degree with AMU, but that final experience was so bad, I still cant bring myself to return. In fairness, the issue was the professor, although I believe the school could have intervened earlier to save many grades and motivate the students. Time may change my mind. Several cohorts who ended up in other capstone classes had no such problem, so I dont believe it was a school-wide issue. I question how this professor can still be employed (if she is) after so many bad student reviews. Finally, although this is a so-called for profit school (in reality, every school is), the tuition was very, very reasonable. Again, your value will be reflective of your effort.
APUS makes it easy to work towards your degree while working full time. The schedule was flexible and professors were knowleable in their field. I appreciated that the school understood not everyone has the ability to commit to normal school hours due to job / family related responsibilities.