Ashford University Reviews
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I started looking online universities Jan 2008 and I looked through quite a few I was nervous about this type of format but since I am living out of the country this was my only option. I started contacting Ashford about May of last year. From the moment I contacted an advisor she was so helpful. I was able to chat to her online ask her all of my questions and she helped me navigate through blackboard to see how the class format is. I was lost at first, but figured it would start to make sense when I started. Well I finally enrolled and started my first class August 2008. I started with 57 credits, so I was already half way done and they gave me a graduation date of Sept 2010.
What I really like about Ashford is the flexibilty, the fact you only take one class every 5 weeks, all the instructors have been really great and are quick to get back to you if youhave a question. You can email them, post a message on the blackboard, or even have their phone number to call them most of the time. The students are all in the same boat as you and everyone is willing to help you if you don't understand someone. There is one girl that I have taken almost every class with. We have become really close, as close as you can be I guess. We are constantly helping each other out and supporting one another. This is a typical week:
The Friday before the course starts, the class is available for review. So you can go through and become familiar with the class and what each weeks assignments will be.
Weeks start on a Tuesday and end on a Monday, so the typical assignments for a week are:
-2 discussion post, that are questions based on the reading. You will need to answer them and some require addition resources that you can access from the Ashford online library (challenging and interesting, but not overwhelming). These post are due by midnight Thursday.
-you then will have a multiple choice open book quiz, that you take online that is due by midnight Sunday night.
-you need to respond to 2 classmates discussion post for each post, for a total of 4 responses. you just have to add to what they have stated to show you understand and try to create a discussion. This is due by Monday night midnight.
-in addition, on the 2nd week you usually have a short 2 page paper due the Monday of the 2nd week.
-on the last day of the class, the Monday of the 5th week you have an 8 page research paper due. This is typical of all the classes and seems overwhelming at first, but the instructors outline everything they are looking for and they are not bad.
The first course you take at Ashford is Psy102, this is an introductory class and they take it really slow to help you get use to online courses and the papers are really easy, because they are more focused on making you feel comfortable.
I have had no problems with Ashford and I am extremely happy here. I will start taking 2 classes at once soon, so I can finish my degree in May 2010. I want to be able to walk in graduation. My degree will be a bachlors in Social Science with a concentration in education, and a minro in business administration.
All the other students I have been in class with have all liked Ashford and I can't think of one person who has been unhappy with it. These classes are challenging and you take something away from them.
My wife and I's experiences with Ashford have been a mix between good and bad. It all depends on which teacher and writing instructor you get. Some are really cool. Some are really Natzi. All in all Ashford is more flexable than regular classes and lets you work on your own time, just so long as you get everything turned in on time. Most teachers will let you turn in work late for a 10-20% deduction per day late.
Unlike many of the negative reviews I have been a student at Ashford for a little over two years so I feel I can make a qualified review. Let's be real, can you review a movie if you never watched it?
My enrollment advisor was excellent. He was always available to answer all questions and if I didn't understand something in the process he would help me through it. My academic advisor is amazing. We talk on the phone semi-regularly as do I have regular contact with my financial advisors. I heard someone complain about how there are due dates for the work. Well, duh. You have to have due dates or work would never get done and that would impede the serious students that want to do the work and gain their degree. This isn't facebook, this is school and it needs to be taken seriously. While we do have the flexability to do the work on our time you need to have disclipline to keep up with the fast pace.
I have had a few rough moments but in general my experience is a very positive one. I feel Ashford is an excellent school and I would highly recommend it for anyone that is serious about furthering their education. For those looking for a school to attend online do not shrug off this school due to reviews by people that have not even attended to school. The begining process is truly the hardest part (paper work always is) but once past it it is the best experience.
My advisor, was pushy and rude. He seemed to push financial aid at me more than he informed me about the school. He went into detail about subsidized and unsubsidized loans and free money from the government. He acted like Ashford was giving away government money like government cheese. He told me that my tuition would be lower the second year than my first year.
I never was told anything about a $990 fee until I was charged. I liked my class but feel I was tricked into enrolling. I felt like my adviser was trying to sell me a used car or something. I recommend attending Ashford but hang up if they call you.
Although I had a few bumps in the road on my journey to a degree, I'd have to say I made the right choice. The first two classes were a breeze, so when I started my actual classes I was a bit overloaded, since I hadn't gone to school in over five years. Since that I have gotten acustomed to the course requirments and find myself doing good. The proffesors are helpful, and if I have any problems I can ask them.
I have only had to contact my finincial advisor a few times, as my mom's parent plus loan was taking forever. We found out she wasn't accepted and I quickly was given independant status to gain more finincial aid to cover the rest of my tuition. This process did take about a month to resolve, but it is understandable since there is much relaying of information between parties. Then the finincial aid payment was not applied right away, that was cleared up in about two weeks.
To all those that are unsure, things take time to process and you cannot expect things to happen overnight, except your degree. The only current reacurring drawback is that I have to go elsewhere to find my books, and sometimes it is confusing the find the right edition. So far, I just look for the same publication year and have been right on with the books. The online bookstore has different isbn numbers than what is actually listed on the book, so you have to research it a bit to make sure you get the right one. I can usually find the books I need for half the price, and then sell them back for around the price I bought them. Thank God for ebay. Overall good experience so far, 5 classes in and loving it.
I graduated from Ashford University in 2008. My experience from beginning to end was great. I had the nicest enrollment counselor who helped me a great deal. I transfered and it only took me one year to finish because I had over three years of traditional college experience. I flew to Iowa to recieve my degree and the people at the on campus school were great. I had enrolled at another online school before Ashford and that particular school was the worst experience I had ever had. I ended up dropping and researching which caused me to find Ashford. I have recommmended this University to many people and I know a few people I recommmended are enrolled.
The Ashford experience was great for me. As far as the office in Los Angeles I know the story. The Ashford Co., owns the University they run the enrollment for online students in Los Angeles. The University is very small there is not way they would able to run the online school onsite. The online program is the biggest part of the school and 89 percent of the graduates are online students. So those who don't understand the University is not a big campus. It is small and the extentions of services are needed. Ashford is a great school and I can't say enough. I learned more online than I did sitting in a traditional classroom. The instructors are well educated about the subject matters they are teaching. Many are student themselves in school for their doctorial and masters degrees. Take the chance to research before you follow others.
I started the process of looking into Ashford in April 2008. I was still unsure if it was the place for me, so I took my time. The advisors were very pushy because that is their job. It is a business after all.
In September 2008, I decided it was the right place for me, and I initiated the proceedings again. They processed my financial aid immediately. I was enrolled when I requested, and my actual academic advisor (not enrollment advisor) has been incredibly helpful. Ashford accepted all of my prior college credits, which meant that I only had to complete the core curriculum. I will graduate in January 2010.
To the person complaining about classes "at your own time", what do you expect? Of course you have deadlines. It is in your own time when you decide to publish your posts, take your tests, and write your papers. BUT, there is always a deadline. Otherwise, students would turn in 5 weeks of course work in the fifth week. The courses are designed around student participation in forums. If there is no deadline to turn that in, how is student participation necessary? It is common sense.
The enrollment advisors are pushy. It is a business. When the process is completed though, your Ashford experience will be a good one as long as you are committed and disciplined. Five week classes are not for the weak. I like that I am the only one responsible for my learning. If I choose not to do the work, then I will get nothing from the course. It keeps me disciplined.
My wife began working on her BA in Organizational Management in January of 2008. It has gone so well that I decided to complete my Masters with Ashford. I am starting a MA in Learning with Technology in June 2009. The scheduling and week-to-week layout of the classes is perfect for those of us who have full-time jobs.
I will be able to get my Masters more quickly and at less cost through Ashford than if I went to my local University - PLUS I can do the work at my schedule.
A great experience.
I graduated a few months ago-so here is a review from someone who has recently completed the whole program. The coursework is weekly reading, weekly discussions (usually two), short papers (usually between 2-5 pages), and a final exam (usually between 8-10 pages). In addition, there were also weekly quizzes due in a couple of my classes.
Ashford offers ProQuest database, and EBSCOHOST in their online library. Classmate interaction was slow at times (I found most classmates did the bare minimum when it came to discussion boards). Yet, this was understandable, working adults attend this college. Professors were, more often than not, willing to assist students with questions. Some professors left phone numbers where they could be reached; however, most seemed to prefer emails, which they would respond to within 24 hours (I found they usually responded back within a few hours).
OKAY-So, now down to my overall experience: Ashford is a great college, and I do not regret earning my degree from this college. For those who are iffy about the fact that the college is in Iowa, and phone calls, etc. go to California-it is OKAY! They have offices in California, so not to worry (I already received my official transcripts and diploma). My advisor was always really good at calling me back (if she did not answer when I called). Financial aid was always helpful.
The only problem that I had was when I called Ashford, I would get a busy signal quite often (pretty annoying when you cannot get in your car and drive to the school to address your needs)! Blackboard was often down for "upgrades" (again, this was annoying, but apparently, it was needed). I just have to throw this in here-there was a student in my class who kept copying my discussions and posting them as her own, I emailed the instructor and no response, emailed her again, no response. I finally called my advisor, and she contacted my professor who stated she never received my emails. By then, the class was done and over with. Then, the same girl was in my next class, and did the same thing, I contacted the professor, and her name disappeared off the roster.
This showed me that they do not put up with students who cannot take the time to do their own work (but I was confused as to why the professor did not catch this).
My last two courses were a disappointment. I had quizzes in one of them and, for example, the answers could have been A or C. I, along with several other students were frustrated and contacted the professor, she said there was nothing that she could do, the answers were based off our readings. I contacted my advisor, and she said there was nothing she could do. That made a few of us upset, if there is going to be tests they should always be CLEAR. A student should not have to sit there and debate whether the answer is C or D after they read the weekly readings. Questions and answers should always be clear-cut. In my last class, I was disappointed because a "teacher's assistant" was grading our papers. It was funny how I was getting A's on the assignments the professor was grading, but was getting B's and C's on my written assignments (when I have always done well on my written assignments at Ashford). I finally got my paper proofread twice, and it just took a little more effort than all of my other courses. APA format was always expected to be done at the professors preferences, I wish they would have all been on the same page about this).
Other than that, my experience at Ashford was GREAT, and I highly recommend this college!!! I wish they would have a Masters degree in Social and Criminal Justice, and I wish that books had been included in the tuition; my credit card bill is killing me!!! :) Oh, I almost forgot, I was able to do 14 courses to graduate (the rest of the credits were transfer credits)!!! I was also able to continue taking classes while working, being a single-mother, moving four hours away from my hometown, going to court for custody, and a million other "crazy" life circumstances (like having my house broken into and having my computer taken, being sick with the flu the whole month of February, and the list can go on and on). Obtaining a degree is possible through this college, even if it seems as if it is far out of reach!!!
Ashford University is a great place for the non-traditional student. I went to two state schools in PA before finishing up my BA in Organizational Management. People argue that students do not learn as much, or that it is easier, or they do not get the same "feel" as a traditional school. Well, it really depends on what the student wants to do. If they want to get the "feel" then go to a traditional school of sitting in a lecture hall, and going to the over crowded student union center.
Ashford University has a different learning purpose. My purpose was to finish my degree and to also gain work experience, which I accomplished. I was able to work 40-70 hour weeks, which I chose to, and also go to school full time at AU. I believe that the school emphasizes more on learning concepts, and application rather than learning terms and definitions like a traditional university. Their courses are set up where the student learns the material in a course, and applies it in their every day work environment or lives.
To be honest, I believe an employer looks more for work experience over education. That doesn't mean that they will take someone without a college education. For example, if prospect A goes to a liberal arts student with a 4.0, while prospect b has the same degree from an online school, but with five years work experience, I think that they employer will choose prospect B. Guess, what they did. I was that prospect B. I believe that their material was essential enough to learn the concepts of the basic materials, and had enough application to relate it to life. I thought that it was a great experience, that I actually enrolled in their MBA program.
Just to criticize their program, there are a couple classes, maybe one or two that are redundant, they were similar in their BA program. So is Ashford University a good school? It depends what you want to do. If you want to go to an Ivy league school and gain that "college experience" go for it. If you already had that college experience, or you want to work and go to school, Ashford University is a great place.