Ashford University Reviews
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I have to agree with a lot of the comments made here, but if you are someone like me who really can't go back to a traditional campus, Ashford is a pretty good alternative. I've found a couple of people at the University who really seem to care about me and my goals and have found that I am really learning a lot in my classes. I also use Student Portal Buddy to get additional help with my assignments which has made a huge difference for me personally.
I did research before I signed up. I happen to have a personality that trusts someone the government decides is worth lending money to. I trust that A+ rating Ashford has on BBB.
I usually get exemplary grades. At Ashford I received all A's and enjoyed the online environment.
Halfway through my experience, I had a mini-anxiety attack as I faced what I tried not to let gnaw at me despite assurances from Ashford staff early on.
First of all, at least half of my fellow students in every class (BA level) had the reading comprehension and comprehensibility of my middle school class. By that point, I had already racked up 10k in loans. They were accredited, I decided to suck it up and finish.
But then...my diploma never came. I inquired and was told to fill out a grievance about $2k worth of outstanding charges. After an investigation, Ashford admitted that the fault lied with them. When they received my new MPN, they did not correctly file it and so my lender never got the notice and now it was too late.
As a "Customer service gesture" I was told, for the purposes of seeking a job or transferring for a master's in my major, I would receive one transcript after I made payment arrangements, complete with an initial payment.
For a college that espouses "accountability" in its mission statement, I was being held accountable for their mistake and my degree and transcripts held in some weird ransom-hostage set up.
I have been in grievance appeal for 3 months now. I cannot afford to focus especially on these extra charges that Ashford failed to get added to my loans where they would have disappeared into that one source of stress.
To make matters more fishy, I was offered an alumni grant (no shock) and told that if I picked a new major (one they actually had a masters for) the grant and loans I would get would be more than generous to take care of the outstanding charges and I could put off paying my loans longer as well.
At that point it started making me wonder if this wasn't some unethical marketing trick all along. After all, they might get even more loan dollars out of me and I can't prove it was a trick. Anyone can misfile paperwork.
I'm generally not the suspicious type. Which is likely why I was so easily talked out of my original hesitancy by the enrollment advisor. I specifically said that I needed to do some research because it felt odd that after hearing so long about people praying to get into a college, Ashford was falling over themselves to have me.
I was told that was because my transcript from my community college was exemplary and accredited.
There were lots of other little problems along the way. Including being assured that after my free books for my first class gift, my loans should kick in and I should get my first disbursements in time to only pay for one class out of pocket. Three classes later, I checked in and found out that those arrangements were never made and I had to specifically request for the rest of my loan money, otherwise it sat in their hands.
I definitely should have been a lot smarter about this. I thought checking their accreditation and BBB report was enough.
I got something out of my experience, but only because I was willing to do the work and research myself. Occasionally when pressed for time I wrote any old thing and got full credit (and sometimes even compliments from the instructor).
Some of the materials were good, others were a nightmare. This school is responsible for making me read the worst textbook I have ever read. When I sent feedback saying so, I was told it was good writing because it got discussions going. Yeah, good writing if you are writing an editorial or a clearly labeled opinion box in a text book. This author was among many faults, prone to exaggerative language and clear biases while purporting to be culturally unbiased. The chapter on Muslims felt like anti-Islam propaganda and I can't even imagine how a Muslim would feel reading it.
One direct quote from this Ashford edition text was that "All Russians steal" in context, he was describing how harsh their society has been for them to the point that they do it all the time without batting an eye. While it may or may not be true that they are culturally more accepting of theft due to their hardships...ALL Russians steal? Really? Even the babies? Someone needed to tell that author and the person who chose his book that he is supposed to be writing a factual textbook, not an editorial. Guess what class this book was for? Cross-cultural Perspectives. Wow. I have never been so angry while reading a textbook.
I am still in my grievance appeal based on the fact that it was their mistake and I should not face anything more than I would have had to face if they had correctly filed the paperwork.
This includes no extra stress cramping my freelance writing attempts, no scrounging for an extra, separate payment, no credit report from them negative or otherwise (only the lender has the right to do that at this point), no billings and collections harassments, and the free access to my transcripts and diploma I would have otherwise had.
Now, I am in touch with the Share Holders Foundation over investigations into Ashford. I suggest any former, current, or prospective students, investors, and employees give it a look. http://shareholdersfoundation.com/search/node/Ashford%20University
The first link is primarily for students/employees, the second, for investors.
I've heard this isn't the first time Bridgepoint has come under investigation either.
If you decide to go with this school anyway, I recommend constant vigilance. Do not get too comfortable, do not rely on follow-through. Know at all times what is going on at their end. If something is just a smidge late, be rigorous about pursuing it.
Communications between departments has been terrible for most of the time I attended, from promising me disbursements for my books only to find it was never enacted, to getting Final notices about my outstanding bill while I was in grievance (it was supposed to be put on hold).
Not to mention after crying on the phone to the Alumni grant guy over never being able to trust Ashford again to put in even more debt just to handle an outstanding balance incurred by their own error, they sent me another notification of qualifying for it last week.
If they do their jobs for you, great, but don't depend on it. If you do, with so many students you will slip through the cracks of being noticed and end up screwed.
This is all besides whether or not the actual degrees have any merit.
Oh, and one more thing, try to contact them exclusively through email. I learned the hard way that phone calls during a dispute qualify as "failure to prove"
The only reason they admitted the outstanding balance not being picked up by my lender was because I had documented proof that my new MPN had been sent to and signed as received by Ashford on X date. You will want at least email copies of things in case you should need them.
The coursework is challenging. The online environment is definitely different from a regular school, but the intelligence level of my fellow students is about the same. Some are smarter than others. Some treat the discussion boards like personal text messages and some cannot put together a cohesive sentence. It was the same at Metro State College of Denver when I was taking my Freshman core classes.
Ashford U. is a vetted, accredited learning institution that was rated as one of the most military friendly schools in the nation by military.com.
Yes it is a for-profit school. If you think that your prestigious Harvard (or any other ivy-league school) is any different, please ask your professor what their salary is.
I have taken over a dozen classes thus far and have enjoyed the challenges they have presented along the way. My professors and TAs have been a mixed bag. I had one prof who let her TAs handle every aspect of the class. I had another prof who responded to every single student in the discussion boards. I had a TA who offered every assistance for the research papers and another one who referred me to the already posted, extremely vague guidelines.
I have been extremely pleased with the flexibility that the online learning environment has provided to me and with the school overall.
I am about to complete me second class with Ashford University. Before deciding to enroll with them, I asked me family in Clinton, Iowa(where the campus is located) if they've heard of it. One of the responses i got was "I went there before they were called Ashford". So far, I am happy with this experience. The first two classes are easy, yes, but that's because they are designed to get you to become familiar with how the online classroom is set up, how discussion posts work, and how assignments and quizzes go. The third class in my Associates course is a communications class, and I tell you, Its much harder than anything I have taken at my local community college.
As far as the money side of Ashford? All universities have bills to pay. So yeah, they will find some way to get money to pay them. But why would Ashford have waived the application fee(they were doing that the month my husband and I signed up) if they were after your money? I have not paid a cent out of pocket except for the book for this next class, and it is outlined in the catalog that not all materials are provided in the electronic format. They even tell you that when you sign up. And as far as Financial Aid? I had no issues there either. My disbursments hit my Ashford account when they were supposed to, and my husband has already received a distribution check. For those of you who think Financial aid is money to spend on whatever you want when attending school, its not. Its money they send you to buy books and stuff with. You CAN use it to pay bills if you really have to.
Ashford University is not a scam school. They offer an online program as well as a campus. They are recognized in the Federal Student Aid program(the government wouldn't allow a "scam school" to be a part of it). Also, there are very rigid standards that schools have to meet for accreditation.
I am on my 3rd class at Ashford. The course work was interesting, I used the learning tools and had positive classmate interaction. I currently have at 3.85 gpa. My current professor (Prof Sarah) will not return any of my emails and ignores all request for help. The problem began when I asked her to explain a grade in week 2. Since I asked for help she started marking down my grades in points and if post anything in "ask your instructor" she deletes it. I finally called the school today to see if I could file a complaint. After this class I think I will withdraw and go to a college where I can get help when needed.
I have been attending Ashford University for 6 months. I researched other online schools before making my choice. I grilled my Financial Aid Advisor before deciding to enroll. I also price compared. Other online universities are not as forthcoming about their tuition and fees.
I have been more than impressed with my instructors and teaching assistants. The instructors are challenging and expect you to do your best. I have been in class with other students that have failed and are repeating it. I find the assignments challenging and just completed a 10 page research paper for my class. My husband graduated from a high-ranking university and was rather astonished at the level of work
Ashford University fits my needs. As a wife and mom, a "normal" college just wouldn't work for me. A prospective student should do their homework. College is not cheap. A local community college can be a lower cost choice. However, you have to worry about fitting the classes into your schedule. A co-worker of mine is paying more than I am to attend a public university. She is not able to take the classes whenever she'd like and has had to drastically change her schedule. You should always ask questions, and if you don't like the person you are speaking to ask for someone else. You should always be an educated consumer and know what you are paying for.
I have enjoyed reading all the responses i.e. the good, the bad, and the ugly. Ashford is a very good University that requires quality work from its students.
This forum it about those who did not make the grades or keep their jobs and, of course, they take no ownership in this failure. The online environment is for students who are working and trying to advance their careers. If you are coming out of high school and want to bypass the on-campus experience, I will recommend exploring other options and seeking help with re-taking SAT/ACT.
However, most adult-learners are returning to school school. We have attended ground schools, have credits to transfer, and the main objective is to complete a degree for job advancement or for admission into graduate school.
I think Ashford's curriculum has prepared me for the next level (grad school) and hope those who are complaining will not waste any more of their time. Now is the time to start searching the web, meeting with counselors, and pulling down some positive energy towards your future educational goals.
First off after reading only the first page of reviews most people that had something to say are pretty mean. They keep saying this is not a place to bash the school yet they are bashing everyone else who has an opinion. I signed up for this program and was NOT told about a $1200 platform fee and my card was charged and declined and I was stuck with a $30 fee. The response from anyone at this school is non-existent. I can get no one to call or email me back. No no is EVERY at their desk to answer their phones. I would NOT recommend this school. And to anyone else who is posting and thinks that the people who have good reviews are correct they are morons. DONT GO TO THIS SCHOOL
I will say this only one more time, as it is becoming more and more obvious this site is simply a bashing site for people that do not even have accurate information. You need to find the information for the school that is best for you for yourself. Do not go by what I say, or anyone else. Go by the facts to pick your school, do not incorporate the bashings of ANY school into your research of what school is the best or worst for you.
I have not had any problems with Ashford, but yes of course there are people that have. Even when I wanted to change the number of classes I was taking it was not a problem. Understand in your research, people come here to vent, so pay attention to the facts, and if you want to vent (AGAIN!) give sources, give facts.
Blurting inaccuracies that someone like me that hates B.S. can come along and correct your sheer ignorance does not help anyone looking for a school, and no I do not work for Ashford, which purchased Mt. St. Claire in 2002 NOT 2005. Who ever “Proofed” your information really needs to find a new job, because it is not accurate.
No one ever “Pressured” me to choose Ashford. And yes, rich CEO’s are grotesquely greedy- duh.
My 3 credit course: cost $1,116 – not including the $75 fee for electronic materials. And pay attention to your schedule – not all of the materials are electronic.
Books cost is the same book for book, if you rush it because you did not look at your schedule, you cant be mad at the school. Like any school there are fees other than just tuition. If I was to mentor you as a student pilot I would tell you this, read, read, read, and if you think you might forget something, write it down! And look in the FAR/AIM facts NOT people’s opinion, even mine. Yes Ashford is a “For Profit” school.
My wife: Western New England College – 3 credit course $ 864 + her 3-5 simultaneous classes $925 per credit hour extra. Books are the same; none were less than $90 because they were mostly original material written by each instructor and changed each class so she could not buy used books typically.
Ashford bought Mt. St Claire College in 2002 NOT 2005. http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/clinton-ia/ashford-university-1881
WNEC cost; http://www1.wnec.edu/admissions/index.cfm?selection=doc.4
Steven Aulisio Energy Conservation Specialist, Savage Arms. (not an employee of Ashford) Licensed Electrician Massachusetts – 11763-B Licensed Pilot U.S.A. – 3124384 – Owner N1660J Writer; Thomas Mind - My applicable quote, “That which others say is the truth is not the truth; but what is right before your own eyes? Truth.” – (Thomas Mind, 1987)
Student; Ashford University; Environmental Studies/Business Management Analysis
I am currently in my 5th class with Ashford and I love it. I have had my academic advisor switch at least 3 times, but I really don't need to contact this person anyway. I had one questionable teacher, but I still got the grade I wanted and deserved.
I am lucky, I do not really need to deal with financial aid since my tuition was paid in full.
My classes have really challenged me and I do not regret for one second going to this school. I do feel like I am getting my money's worth. I learn just as much from the other students as I have the teachers.
For those of you who hate this school, I'm sorry. I feel like I am getting a great education, and you deserve the same. Online classes and this school isn't for everyone.