American Public University
Review Averages: 8.0 out of 10 (468 reviews)American Public University is a regionally accredited institution offering more than 100 flexible degree programs online. The school, which is affiliated with American Military University, offers traditional liberal arts courses as well as classes especially of interest to military personnel (e.g., Air Warfare, Land Warfare, and Emergency and Disaster Management).
Accreditation: RA (NCA), DETC
American Public University Reviews:
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Take Responsibility for your Education
January 28, 2012
(AMU) I find it interesting in the reviews here, as they are quite the opposite from every experience I have had with this university. At this time, I have completed 18 undergraduate courses with them and can comment intelligently about various encounters. For those using federal financial aid, the process is all fairly automated – get it right the first time when apply and stop blaming AMU for your lack of oversight and ill preparedness. Additionally, the comment which said the university is making their family pay prior to receiving financial aid is completely false – once your package is in, AMU actually fronts the registration in anticipation of receiving federal funding. Tuition assistance is the same, there is about a two-day turn around for class-registration. As far as the instructors…there are some extremely qualified and who are attentive, and there are others that are not – this is typical with every university, even traditional ones. This university is not for those who need their hand held – attending AMU requires a great amount of initiative and time management. Furthermore, this university requires a significant amount of writing. I have taken courses at UMUC and Embry Riddle and they by far have nowhere near the amount of workload that AMU requires. I hope this provides a little insight into my degree program. Lastly, I have put in for three of the top 12 MBA programs (traditional) and none of them have questioned my degree from AMU.
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
APU not for those needing to learn vs those in the field just needing a degree
October 26, 2012
It boils down to this - especially in IT - if you are already IN the field, already IN the workforce, especially as a network administrator or along those lines - fine, this school can give you the paper that says you have a degree. But if you are wanting to actually LEARN, go elsewhere. Spend a little more, and go somewhere that the teachers TEACH and dont just babysit the classroom (hint, they do NOT make up their own lesson plans and 90% do not engage and of the bazillion papers you have to write here, be prepared to get NO feedback) while working their "real" jobs. You cannot learn what you need to know about networking, security, IT support in an all theoretical manner. You may have the degree, but you still wont be worth much in the workforce. - I had a 3.94 GPA, so its not that I "failed" the class - what I failed was learning actual SKILLS you can use to get and keep a job, what I got was alot of theory and teaching myself.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Great School, Affordable Tuition, Wonderful Staff.
August 17, 2012
Honestly, I am really surprised at some of the bitter reviews on here. I have been with the school for over 3 years now, about to complete my Bachelors, and my experience has been very positive. Here's a little insight ... 1) Transferring credits: I had no problem transferring my community college credits to APU. After I completed my Associates at APU, I transferred to Arizona State. I was accepted into the program with my APU degree, many of my credits transferred, but I didn't go through because tuition was much higher (had an issue with my state residency). I went back to APU, and will be completing my Bachelors there. This says a lot about their accreditation, but always check with any school FIRST before you consider transferring to make sure they will accept the credits. 2) Easy A's myth: It really depends on the course. I'm not going to lie and say every course is challenging, rigorous, and mentally stimulating. Most are, some are not. I have had courses where I would have to invest a minimum of 12 hours a week working on assignments and hoping to pull a 'B', and I have also had a course where I turned in crap, and got an 'A'. Here's the thing. This is the same at most brick & mortar campuses. At Jeff State CC in Birmingham AL, and another class I took at Arizona State, both instructors had us watch videos, write some crap, and submit it ... for easy A's. Then there are harder professors who you despise because their classes are so tough. No different at APU. 3) Staff issues. This one is unbelievable to me. I have had to speak with financial aid before as well as other departments and have never had any problems whatsoever. One tip about calling most financial aid departments: most of their financial aid staff is off site and ran by a 3rd party (big schools like Ole Miss and Jackson State do this, too) so if your representative isn't helpful, either call back, request a supervisor, or email the school directly. Again, this is the same experience you will most likely encounter at a major university, if not worse. 4) Is the degree as good as any other school? In my experience, absolutely. After completing an AA with APU, I finally qualified for better paying jobs, and got many more interviews and offers than ever before simple because I had a degree. Whenever I have had to submit transcripts, there have never been any issues. I went from $11/hourly to 42K annually. Hoping finishing my Bachelors will help even more. I really enjoy the school, and there are very few negatives in my opinion. I am in my late 20's, married, and a father-to-be, so it works with my schedule very well. If you're a younger person, single, and living with parents/roommates, I would try a traditional campus first just to get the experience. However, for those who work full time and/or are seeking a cost effective way to get a degree that's accredited, check out APU. Do your own research with the school, email an adviser, and really understand what it's all about. I think most people will be more than satisfied.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Great Experience So Far
November 14, 2011
This is my third semester at APU, and I have been very pleased with everything so far. I'm in the BA Psychology program and hoping to get my MFA in Screenwriting once I finish. I did a lot of research and looked at just about every online school before choosing to attend APU, and I'm glad I did. Yes, the financial aid department can be hard to get a hold of and they do make mistakes sometimes, but it is not impossible to get things taken care of. Everyone in the department that I have spoken to on the phone or e-mailed has been helpful and nice. The tuition is very reasonable, and actually less expensive than the brick and mortar universities in my area. The tuition also includes your textbooks(some are e-books), which is pretty awesome considering how insanely expensive college textbooks are these days. As far as academics go, it has been wonderful. Most are easy to get a hold of and grade pretty quickly. I will say, however, that you really have to be motivated and disciplined to get things done. All courses have weekly deadlines, but beyond that it is your responsibility to keep up and make sure you get everything turned in on time. You also really need to be a self-learner or become one. There is a lot of reading involved and I have found that most of the professors are just there to provide you with the learning materials, grade your assignments, and answer any questions. For me, this is not a problem and I actually enjoy having control of my own learning. I've never enjoyed lectures. The psychology classes have been great, and I have really learned a lot. That said, it is definitely not easy. Be cautious in taking higher level courses too early on. Although most don't require any pre-reqs, it can be overwhelming if you haven't taken some lower level courses first. One thing I absolutely despise are the Discussion Boards. In just about every class you are required to post a thread discussion and also reply to two fellow students EVERY WEEK. It can really become tedious and generic when you have nothing really to say and just want to do the work and then move along. All in all, I have found it be a challenging but very doable program and I am glad I decided to come here rather than anywhere else.
22 of 35 people found the following review helpful
August 31, 2011
This school has way more problems than the few things it does have going for it. The tuition is fairly low, and they say it is a great value because you do not have to pay for books. But you rarely, if ever, get an actual textbook; they are all e-books and very convenient to some. So you still have to pay for books out of pocket. The financial aid department is a joke, and they do not abide by the federal aid guidelines at all. In fact, I am honestly surprised that they have not had any type of consequences relating to their ability to accept federal aid. They do not know how to process the aid packages, make mistakes regularly, do not send out tuition refund checks on time or anywhere near it, and they do not respond to phone calls or emails. The professors do pretty much nothing but grade assignments; they do not teach. Most of them do not even correct their "standard" syllabi that is provided to all instructors to reflect their own names, much less any changes to assignments. So the classes and assignments are very confusing; there is always conflicting information between the syllabus and the online classroom. The professors do not grade on a timely basis. Basically, at this school, you are told what to read and what to learn and you do it on your own. Hopefully, you learn it and get a good grade, but if you don't, you're out of luck.
17 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Don't Expect any help for obtaining any Intelligence jobs
August 6, 2012
I have a military background that was from back in the 80's. I then have a police law enforcement background and with a high rank and lots of experience. I wanted to get into the intelligence field and was told that AMU would help out and that having a degree in intelligence studies would be good for me. This could not farther from the truth. First, I had to take some courses in the General Ed and one of my instructors basically treated me like crap and would not accept my thoughts and words which were from experience and even those online would inform me that they felt I was genuine. I'm not a youngster, I have over 25 years of work experience under my belt and this instructor treated me like an 18 year old out of high school. He even took a five page paper of mine and turned it into a 55 page document with so much red ink it was obvious he was attempting to wreck my grade. Well, he did and I complained so hard that I would take this monkey to court and that would be an absolute. They quickly turned my grade into what I expected. I wrote to the President about this persons personal attack on me and never heard anything from him. This, after several unaccepted calls and emails to him. So much for having an open door policy. Many of the courses were good, but there are some that are so old and syllabuses are not kept up, different instructors are on them and even the dates on the online Sakai system are different and that new system is not yet worked out with the bugs and I got bad grades due to it when they would provide some "quizzes" I had to take. I had some instructors that were totally absent (AWOL) or (MIA) and did not even respond. I had one course that was supposed to be in counterintelligence and the instruction given was totally the opposite. I had another course that was supposed to be about the history of counterespionage but yet it was a program on how to be a homeland security analyst. WTF? This same instructor happened to give me a question on a mid-term that I was supposed to write a paper and in another class I got the same exact question. So, two different papers on the same title? I got clearance to submit the same paper...OK, great, I did, but this clown gave me an 80% and said, "you need to work on this, this is not a good paper, too many mistakes." That's it! Nothing else. Did not tell me what about it. On the other class, the same paper got me a perfect score of 100%. The professor, which this person was actually a Ph.D. gave me some strong support. I got all "A's" in my classes, yet my score should have been higher, but it was because you will get many who are not what they are and should not be instructing. In fact, you don't learn too much, you have to research and figure it all out yourself. That's fine, that's what I do and expected in college level courses, but interaction is not that much. The final courses I got most of my grades in on time from the instructors because often times you will get through week one or two and then it just stops. They are MIA and no grades until week seven or even eight at the end. You cannot gauge your progress which is very essential to your work. How else can you know if you are doing well or not? OK, so now I have a degree in Intelligence Studies and came out very OK. Now what? Are the recruiters knocking at my door? No, they are not. But when they do come it's mostly them asking you if you know of anyone to fill a job for their client (government) and so they want me to help them? What about me? "Oh, you don't qualify, you don't have a TCI/Poly clearance. Really? That's it? Yes, that's it! And, they also want at least 4 years or more of that experience and without it, it's no go, they won't even pass you forward. I can pass a poly and background, hell, I conduct the same backgrounds on all my officers and agents. The bottom line is this folks, if you think you will get a job in intelligence just because of this degree, BA/MA, you are dead wrong. It will take YOU having to apply or utilize your own network to get in or unless you have that military intelligence background that you brought back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Otherwise, get used to seeing that certificate on your wall that looks nice. You won't get the job and their university recruiting system and such is only a website that is a database, it looks like it does something, but it does not. Get real, you'd be better off posting on Career Builder or Monster. This is a good starter degree, but it won't get you in the front door unless you bring along with it tons of experience already in intelligence. Good luck.
16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Classes are okay BUT!
May 23, 2012
If you have other means besides financial aid to pay for tuition, by all means attend this school. If not please research and look for somewhere else to go. Everytime I have filed for financial aid and federal loans, I always have to fly through so many hoops and hurdles. I am receiving loan money for school but never receive my check until my classes are well over with. I needed a laptop one semester and had to go the library to complete work just because the money that I took out to help me with these things was held on to until I got done with the courses.
15 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Very Disorganized Teachers and Program
September 8, 2012
The classes are so unorganized and you get very little input from the instructors. So many typos and incorrect information in the syllabus and class instruction, the class assignments are horribly described. The online interface is seriously lacking, or they just haven't figured out the best way to present the information. Almost every week I have to ask questions to figure out what the assignments really are. The forums they make you do are way too time-consuming and don't add that much to the learning experience. They have a long way to go to be a top-notch online learning experience. I wouldn't recommend it unless you just can't afford a better online school.
14 of 27 people found the following review helpful
August 2, 2012
Very ridiculous process, very unorganized. Not the worst school but not worth the hassel. If you're looking for a cheaper school and a quick degree this might work otherwise I wouldn't recommend them. They are very nice and do try to help but since you're not assigned an admissions rep you're left to figure out their convoluted system on your own. Each time they tell you everything is set, you'll discover more surprises which means you have to redo the process again and again. If you discover another mistake, you have to redo the entire financial aid and admissions process. You don't just change the start date or fix the small oversight. YOu have to spend another month or two completely redoing everything. Simply put, nice people but very unconventional and disorganized. I'd recommend paying more for a more advanced school if you truly want to get a degree, the delays are very costly.
14 of 22 people found the following review helpful
You must become your own financial aid specialist, because the staff is incompetent
July 13, 2012
First, I was initially very happy with my experience with APU, until my sophomore year. They completely dropped the ball with my financial aid. I was awarded 12,000 for the year, 6,000 for tuition, 6,000 for living expenses. Well, the school made a BIG change in the financial aid process, and to apply for financial aid you must request a transcript from the IRS. I missed this step (due to the fact that they did not inform the students of the change), and instead of contacting me directly to make me aware, they choose not to apply for my pell grant. So of course, the school got their money, but I didn't receive mine. So if you have an apartment to pay for, have a plan B so you don't get evicted. I would also watch the financial aid department like a hawk, and e-mail them constantly to confirm your financial aid. I received a confirmation e-mail from them for financial aid. It didn't mean shit. Also- their computer program sucks. I've lost a lot of work on their new program, Sakai. I would suggest that you save EVERYTHING on Microsoft word, because they are idiots, and will not go back to the previous program they used, which was flawless. I am now receiving financial aid penalties because I was dropped from a class; because my initial post of the class was deleted from the Sakai program. I am now below half time status, and they frankly don't give a shit that I have penalties, they already got paid! So, If you're ready to do the financial aid process on your own, I would STRONGLY suggest that you have a friend help you. The only plus side is that they are dirt cheap, and after a couple of years you can transfer to a better college. These days, even ivy league and big 10 schools have online programs. So keep your grades up and be ready to bite the bullet if you choose to attend APU.
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