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Ashford University

  • Ashford University Reviews

    Ranking: #40
    For-Profit: Yes
    Country: USA
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    Accreditation: Ashford University is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510.748.9001, www.wascsenior.org.

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Ashford University Reviews:

Good Choice, No Regrets

Bachelor of Arts - July 7, 2017
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I've read a lot of the reviews for Ashford and have to say that I don't agree with them at all. I attended Ashford U from 2011-2013 and received a BA in English Literature. For all the people who say that the degree is worthless, this is not true as I have been teaching high school English for 4 years. I got a job within 6 months of finishing my degree. I went in lateral entry, having to take pedagogy classes through U. of Phoenix (a certification, not a degree program) and take the state's tests. Extra things, yes, but my county reimbursed me the whole way. I see it as worth it as I have a job, which was my goal in the first place. When making decisions regarding your future and your money, you have to research, ask questions. Ashford is a for-profit university, which mean you are PAYING for your degree. Essentially, buying it. This is stone one and you should base your expectations off of this. Don't go in thinking that they owe you something. They don't. They can get your money from someone else if needed. And honestly, this is the mindset many colleges and professors have. This isn't high school or below. They don't hand hold. You're an adult. You take care of your own business and do what you need to do. With that being said, I understood the process from the get go. I made sure I read everything on their website, asked questions of the admissions dept before even accepting enrollment. They have a live chat feature on their website and there's no excuse not to use it. If you're worried about being scammed (as with any business) retain records for yourself of communication. I used some of my own money but mostly the Pell grant at Ashford. There were times when we were strapped for money and could have used the reimbursement in a more timely manner, but again, that's not what they're there for. They aren't a bank. They're a college. I had no issues getting my classes paid for before the start date (no different policy with Phoenix by the way!). My admissions and academic advisors called and emailed me frequently to check in, almost to the point where it got annoying. But at least they tried. They would even email me reminders to complete assignments or make sure my weekly attendance was taken care of. They don't HAVE to do that. Again, a business. To me, this exceeds expectations. I was also attending Ashford during my first pregnancy and when I delivered my daughter, Ashford actually gave me a "break" of 3 months before they expected me to continue with my courses before having to take me off of enrollment. I was very grateful for that and it helped my family immensely. The classes are online classes. Be prepared to do everything almost 100% independently. You don't have a teacher in front of you to ask questions of. Be aware, these online teachers have "office hours." They're online at a specific time and that's when you ask questions. Otherwise, don't be upset if they don't answer your email in what you deem as a "timely manner." As a teacher now, I totally understand this. No, I'm not going to answer your email regarding an assignment 3 weeks ago over my weekend. It's not happening. You can ask me during class hours. They have lives and families too and aren't at your beck and call. I only had 1-2 teachers I didn't click with and that's just personality differences and miscommunications. Everyone else was wonderful, knowledgeable, and supportive. I felt challenged in my classes. As it was English, it was almost entirely writing based. The discussion questions were tough and required serious thought and analysis of the works in the textbooks. As far as materials go, I loved them. I thought the texts chosen were well thought out in accordance with the class assignments. I even still have these books in my classroom now for my AP students to use. I loved my British lit. classes. I even use my final papers from these classes to help teach my AP students their course material and how to write college level essays. I will say the 5 week course length was insane and definitely overwhelmed me at times but it was as advertised. It helped push me through my degree program more quickly but it was intense so be prepared to do a lot of work. Overall, I would recommend Ashford to others and have done so in my area. My daughter's 2nd year preschool teacher even had her Early Childhood degree from Ashford. Another example of their degrees not being useless. It's tough, intense, expensive, and you have to stay on top of everything from admissions, to academics, the professors, your assignments, to financial. But, that should be done at any higher level institution. Again, I recommend Ashford and don't regret my decision to go there. My husband will be finishing his history degree there in the next year as well due to my experience.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful

Communication Skills are Vital

Bachelor of Arts - February 12, 2014
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First things first... Read the negative reviews with a critical eye. How are the communication skills of the reviewer? If the person posting a review cannot communicate with decent grammar, spelling or syntax, there is a reason they are angry. They don't have the skills required for higher education. You are going to get out of your education exactly what you put into it. You have to have a working knowledge of Microsoft word, basic web navigation skills, and a mastery of basic communication skills. Online education is structured, you have deadlines to meet and you will be required to write a research paper at the end of every class to assess how much you learned. If you can't type an e-mail without typing in BINGO (B4 instead of Before for example) or chatspeak (LOL, FTW, LOL, :) ;), etc...), then you are going to struggle in the discussions every week and your final paper. If you don't know the difference between You, Your, You're, There, Their and They're do not bother to enroll yourself until you have educated yourself on your own and brush up your communication skills. Early on in my education I would cringe at what people were posting on the discussion forums! Pathetic grasp of English grammar being the worst offender. Nobody cares how my you love Jesus, your kids, your pets, etc... This is not social media it is a school. Keep your religion, politics and helicopter parenting offline. However, if you can self-manage yourself, stick to deadlines, communicate well and have great time management skills you will get a decent education. I've maintained a 4.0 GPA (The highest you can achieve at Ashford. They do not use A+ (5.0) as part of their grading rubric. Again, you are going to get out Ashford as much effort you put into your education. Now that the people not qualified to be in higher education have been thinned out of the herd, my classes are far more enjoyable and educational. It's really hard to take feedback seriously when you cannot understand what people are saying to you because their English skills are abysmal. I am now dealing with serious students with great communication skills as a senior and it is refreshing. I've not had any issues whatsoever. However, I knew what was expected of me before I went back to college for my second BA. I know what student loans are like, I have no illusions that I am going to be in debt when I graduate. You'd be surprised how many people think Student loans from the government are "free money". Apply for grants and scholarships if you are concerned about financing your education and remember you not NOT guaranteed a JOB after you graduate. Be prepared to apply to several companies before you are hired. Ashford is not going to find you a job, they only give you the opportunity to increase your salary potential through education. Don't go in with the mindset you are going to be handed a degree and a job. Be realistic. Nothing in life is ever guaranteed. Use your critical thinking skills, go in with full understanding and work. Getting a degree will require a lot of work. Work hard and you will do well.

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55 of 69 people found the following review helpful

Do not recommend!l

Bachelor of Arts - March 8, 2013
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I went to Ashford for one year in 2009-2010, then took a break when my child was born, and I am now attending again (2012-2013). Every day I regret ever taking any classes at this school and wish that I had gone to a local school instead. I am too far into my degree to switch now, I will have my BA in the next half year. The first year my academic and financial advisors were constantly changing. It was difficult to get ahold of an advisor, and even more difficult to get any follow through. When I returned more than half of my classes were missing from Ashford's copy of my transcripts. None of my advisors would order new ones, even though I filled out the application to do so when I reapplied. My academic advisor advised me that I had to get the transcripts myself, and write an email to her listing every missing class and describe why I think it should be applied to my degree. Thanks for all the help! I finally, after a month, got it resolved. I have had more trouble after that mostly because my advisors don't want to do any advising and still have a high turn over rate. The classes are a joke. All that is needed for an "A" is to open the book to the appropriate chapter, pick any sentence, quote it, and give a summary of the paragraph it came from; do this twice a week for five weeks. I am a sociology major, I find that I am repeating the same discussion over and over again class after class. The school is far too expensive to justify this low quality degree and all the trouble in dealing with the advisors. I could have gone to a state school for half the cost and probably would have learned something useful.

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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful

I Have No Regrets. Ashford University has exceeded my expectations!

Bachelor of Arts - January 31, 2013
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I must say that it truly upset me when I read all of the negative comments. I'm currently a Junior at Ashford. I'm working on a BA in Health and Human Services/minor in Psychology. Before Ashford, I was a student at Ohio University. Ohio University is a great school and we all know that. The problem is that I have Epilepsy and Lupus. Therefore, I struggled to make it to class as I was scheduled. After finishing my last course at OSU, I made a call that gave me the chance of a lifetime! I called Ashford. I believe that as long as you are dedicated to your studies and truly want a degree, you will also love Ashford! Some may have complaints, but I have noticed most of them regard grade requirements, finances, etc. Here is the deal, the grade expectations are the same for all students recieving financial aid through any school. Ashford lays their expectations out in front of you from the go. My advisors have been great! They always respond to me within 24 hours or sooner. They have mailed me cards regarding my grades and thanking me for being a great student. Not to many schools go out of their way to recognize students for things. My instructors have also been very prompt and helpful. Since becoming a student at Ashford, I have referred seven more students. All of whom made it through their first year and still going strong! School is what you make of it, they all have rules and regulations that we must follow. Overall, after I finish next year, I will be moving on to the University of the Rockies (Ashford's sister school). There I will be working on my Master's program. Please, do not let the negative comments influence you. If you truly are interested in furthering your education, Ashford is a great place to go! On one last note, one comment was suppose to be written by an admissions rep. from Ashford. There is one of two things, either it's all a lie or that person had a negative experience(due to their own actions). Otherwise, an employee would NOT be degrading her place of employment. Good luck and Best wishes!!!

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful

Want to regurgitate the textbook? Great school. Want to be challenged and learn something? Don't bother.

Bachelor of Arts - September 21, 2012
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I made it through one class at Ashford before I decided it wasn't for me. I was a little uncomfortable from the start, considering most of my classmates could barely form a cogent thought, but I was in an introductory class and figured it was just 1. the diversity of majors represented, and 2. a learning experience for them as they came to see the university's expectations. I was wrong. I was wrong about a lot of things, including that it was in any way worth it to pay $1275 for 5 weeks of access to a discussion forum, a hugely biased textbook written by university staff, an instructor who posts form responses (if she responds at all), and a TA with power trip issues. It wasn't a class. It was guided self-study with two rather leading questions posted per week. By "leading" I mean the questions were biased toward a particular set of personal beliefs, and were clearly trying to guide students toward agreeing with those beliefs if they wanted a good grade. The book was poorly written and ridiculously slanted as well--and often contradictory, yet you were expected to pick only one answer on quizzes. The principles of psychology were basically discussed as "adult common sense written with big words to try to sound impressive." Eating too much will make you fat, so don't eat too much? Really? I'd never have known that without this book. Overall, I could have spent $30 to buy a comparable (and better written) used textbook online, joined an online discussion forum on the subject for free, and likely had the same experience. Likely a better experience, as there was no discussion. No progression based on the ideas we covered. Instead of using the topics learned to explore new ideas, we were simply expected to regurgitate the text verbatim. I dropped after my TA flipped out over my final paper and took it personally. In the interests of full disclosure: I only 95% followed the assignment requirements, in that I did analyze the topics required but took a different approach in presenting an example of why we could use these topics for further analytical development rather than just accepting them as-is. I knew this would reduce my grade, and I accepted that wholly, and stated so in my paper's conclusion. I made the choice, and I was willing to deal with the consequences, and intended to convey quiet acceptance of that. In the draft of the paper my TA gave me additional feedback on changes she wanted to see in my writing style, and I implemented that feedback as requested. Nonetheless, on the final paper I was subjected to a diatribe full of accusations and lectures--about not taking feedback (which I did, and thanked her for); about not speaking in a superior tone to my instructors (apparently self-deprecating humor is now superiority, and apparently I'm a 19-year-old sophomore who can't speak to another adult on even footing, rather than an adult professional); about whether or not I think because of my life experiences and the way I think, I should get an exception to the grading rubric (I did not, never asked for that, and bluntly stated I knew I would lose points and was fine with that); and about her accusation of "What kinds of students should get exceptions to the grading criteria?" That was the last straw, and the only reason I'm being so petty as to write a review of the school; prior to that, I would have shrugged the school off as "great for others, not for me, but certainly an interesting experience." But in this instance I shared very personal things as related to the subject matter of the paper, things that apparently allowed her to label me as a "kind" of student, some sort of charity case or something--which is an intensely hurtful thing to imply to someone who has spoken honestly and with no expectations in what should be a safe, objective academic environment. Her job was not to judge me as a person, no matter what she perceived my tone to be. Her job was to grade my paper against the established criteria. If she felt it didn't meet the criteria, she was free to mark it down. I would gladly have accepted a zero score if she felt I failed the requirements. What I could not accept was her taking my paper personally, accusing me of "burning" her, or--when I emailed to clarify her accusations--bringing religion into my objective academic environment by invoking her accountability to God. I have no problem with religion, and I respect others' beliefs--but a university is meant to be an environment devoted to objective study, and it disturbs me to think that someone who would invoke that kind of bias in communications using their university email address (as in, official communications) has control over the objective grading criteria of anyone's coursework, let alone my own. So I dropped. Even though I was making an A in the class, I dropped, because this was not the right environment for me. So here's the lesson: if you attend Ashford, you'll get a piece of paper. It may or may not be worth something. But be careful. Don't rock the boat. Don't ask questions that don't perfectly agree with the instructor. Don't expect to be treated like an adult rather than patronized as a child. Don't be different. And don't ever, ever think for yourself.

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13 of 23 people found the following review helpful

good experience

Bachelor of Arts - June 11, 2012
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I have been attending Ashford for two years now and I must admit that I have enjoyed my experience. As I have read throgh many reviews, most negative remarks are about the financial aid process and work ethic. My finanacial aid process was easy/breezy. I completed my fasfa prior to completed my enrollment so I was already approved. They did advise me that my first disbursement would come in the fourth week of my second class and they were right on with that. I have never had any problems with the financial aid process since I have been enrolled at Ashford. I fill out my fasfa application when it is due and make sure that I get them any neccessary information they request; however getting the tax infor is easy. As far as the classes, I returned to school after 30 years so I was glad they offered the two introductory classes that helped me learn what kind of student I was and also helped me to learn about me. As time went on I learned how to write professional papers and conduct research. All of my instructors have been great with the exception of one who was still alright. Overall, I am enjoying the ride and I would not change it in any way.

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful

Discouraged even before enrollment

Bachelor of Arts - May 7, 2012
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The reps from this school will not leave me alone! I requested information about this school online and received a phone call 5 minutes later. I was busy at that moment, so I turned my phone off so I could call back at my own convenience. I check the phone 2 hours later and saw 4 missed calls from the same number. So finally he calls back for a 6th time and I pick up. The representative started blabbing on and on about the school and then forced me to go through the sign up process right then and there. I was on the phone with him for a hour. He already started talking about payment options and it was all just going way too fast. I wasn't even sure if I wanted to enroll but he kept giving me all these deadlines about paperwork and financial options. I decided to read reviews like on this site and found many people had the same complaints. Then I learned that their reps work on commission would would explain the pushiness of the rep I talked to. They try to get as many people signed up every day as they can. The more I read about this school, the more I was sure I didn't want to enroll. So I emailed the guy I talked to politely letting him know I was no longer interested. He emails me back saying, "Whenever you are ready to get serious about your education, call us back." Um, like I wasn't already serious about my education before? That type of comment from him was so inappropriate! A few days later, I got 3 calls from them in one day, and then the next day and then the next! Seriously, Ashford University will blow up your phone with their begging you to join or reconsider your decision about declining. A month later, they were STILL calling me every day...I finally had to BLOCK their number. It's really ridiculous for any company to call anyone that much!

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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful

Overall pretty good. Be ready to actually work

Bachelor of Arts - May 5, 2012
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I am a current student at Ashford. There will always be a high dropout rate from these types of schools. It pretty well goes with the territory with holding accountability to ones self. The classes are no different than the other online school I went to other than I feel the instructors are more helpful here. I see many have had problems and I see that this school isn't going to be for everyone. I can say that I am currently on the deans list but have had to work to get it. When they say higher standard and talk about plagiarism I can honestly see it. My wife went to another college and heirs was nothing like that of Ashford's. If you are like me, a hard working adult with children, no time for a campus based education, and still wanting to get a degree this is perfect for you. Just remembrer you will only get out of it what you put into it.

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful

Business Administration

Bachelor of Arts - March 23, 2012
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Ashfor University is an exceptional college for the money. You are required to write research papers for every class in APA format, this is why some student rate the school poorly. If you follw directions; you will get out what you put into your education. I am very pleased with Ashford University. I am in my third year at Ashford and have noting but good things to say about this college. Regards; Kevin Kocian

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful

Don't waste your money or time at this school

Bachelor of Arts - February 1, 2012
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My advisors were changed ever few weeks without my knowledge. I constantly had trouble with the instructors failing to instruct or answer questions in a timely manner considering the classes are in a short time frame. All the troubles I had was not worth the oney I poored into this school. The advisors failed to advise and would give up on my problems when they were switched leaving me to startall over with the process of resolving problems. On two ocassins my grade was posted as passing and then on the final grade board it was suddenly changed to failing....computer erros or ashford staff errors??? who knows because the advisors gave me the run around both times and never resolved the problem. The books are expensive and hardley used in the class. The instructors are never available. The classes are repetative; it's like taking the same class over and over. For some reason religion is a huge topic in the school's discuusion boards. I am a psycology major; last time I checked Ashford was not a religouse based school. Over all the school is not organized and the staff does not care about their jobs nor do they care about the students. I am transfering asap!

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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful

High quality instruction that is user-friendly

Bachelor of Arts - January 29, 2012
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I am on my 5th course with Ashford University and I have very few complaints. My courses are challenging and interesting and taught by qualified folks who know their stuff. Financial aid funding happens for me the way it is supposed to, though I have had to wait a few days for a reply to an email or voicemail from my FA advisor a couple of times. My new advisor takes an average of 2 days to get back to me, but I am sure I am sharing him with a zillion other students, so I understand. If you are a high maintenance type, or are just impatient by nature, this will not work for you. I will get into that and more later; for now I want to focus on the goods, which, in my opinion, are the academics. The texts so far have all been ebooks and of high quality. I like that we don't just cover selected chapters of a text in any given course, as was my experience in the 2 schools I attended prior to Ashford. Ashford texts are custom editions and the entire book is used in a course, and courses are only five weeks long. In addition, there are supplemental readings and multimedia resources that contribute to learning. The online learning platform is user-friendly, and so far I have had no technical issues with it. There have been a couple of site maintenance incidents that did not affect me at all though my instructor was alerted of the situation and gave us an extra day to turn in assignments with no point deductions. Oh, and speaking of time, we get a 2 week holiday break at the end of the year, and national holidays are observed in the sense that I have been given an extra day to turn in assignments during units containing a national holiday. Aside from that, the five week terms run one right after the other, though you can take a term off if you need to. I did once and there were no academic or financial consequences. I was never promised anything, and I knew that since I started classes before my financial aid was processed I would have to pay out of pocket for that first course if my financial aid situation didn't work out as planned/hoped. Asking questions always helps! My one beef with on-line colleges in general is that the enrollment crews operate under the presumption that every incoming student will get the aid that everyone hopes for. Still, and just like with every other area of life, you have to do your due diligence and make sure you understand what is going on. I do not like predatory enrollment practices anymore than anybody else, but I have been lucky in my own experiences in that regard. Still, until I leave this world, I will assume that I and I alone ultimately have my best interests at heart and act accordingly. As far as Ashford being investigated is concerned, let's not fool ourselves into thinking that this is the first incident of scandal in higher education. Ashford students will only gain from this, since it seems to me that Ashford will only up their game and deliver the goods better than ever to prove their worthiness. I consider myself to be more liberal than anything else, but I, in my old age, have come to the understanding that competition can serve an exalted purpose in the grand scheme of things. Like it or not, higher education is business, and the competition is only getting stiffer. This competition will, hopefully, continue to steer higher education in the direction of being uniformly high in quality and accessible to anyone who is capable of benefitting from it. Now that the sermon part of my review is complete, back to the actual review: I highly recommend Ashford to anybody serious about earning a degree online, but it should be understood that online does not mean that your computer will do the work for you. There are deadlines to meet same as in any traditional college, and there is nobody to hold your hand. The coursework is writing intensive, and plagiarism is not tolerated. A lot of ground is covered in five weeks, so you have to be disciplined and motivated to get the work done or risk falling behind, and that is easy to do if you are balancing other commitments such as full-time work, etc…I know, I know, I said the sermon was over. Hey, I just want to be as helpful as possible and drive home the importance of individual responsibility. As with anything else, you will get out of your education what you put into it, and it is my humble opinion that Ashford University is as good a place to do this as any. In the interest of truth, I will be sure to report on my experiences at Ashford, positive or negative, until I am handed my degree some time in 2013.

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful

Political Science - Good Experience So Far.

Bachelor of Arts - January 2, 2012
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I am almost finished with the curriculum for the BA in Political Science and Government. Overall, I have enjoyed my experience with Ashford, and learned quite a bit. My academic adviser has been readily available throughout my studies, and most of my instructors gave good feedback. The coursework is challenging, and out of two other online schools I've attended, is the most difficult. The courses are accelerated, but each week you are required to compose two detailed discussions, complete a quiz, and most weeks require a research paper. Each course concludes with a comprehensive research paper that is at least six to eight pages long. In short, if you are willing to put work into your research, you will learn alot from the program. I've read alot of complaints about Ashford's financial services, but being in the Military, I've had no problem whatsoever. I simply tell my adviser which course I want to take next, he schedules the course, then I enroll through the Army's education portal. So far no issues. As far as the institution itself, I am a bit concerned about the future of Ashford's reputation. I know they underwent quite a bit of scrutiny and auditing for recruiting practices etc.., but I believe they are cleaning up these practices. They are regionally accredited, and I read that they are seeking accreditation from the Middle States Association, in addition to the (current) accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. I have a friend who completed her BA through Ashford and was accepted into Boston University's graduate school - BU is a very well respected school. Furthermore, after completing my degree through Ashford, I plan to apply to Penn State's grad school. AU can be a great stepping stone to grad school, but I unless you couple your degree with solid life experience, I wouldn't put all your trust in the school's reputation for your future employment. Signs of the times seem to indicate that the institution is really gearing up to be a top provider of online education - I'm just hoping they don't become so big they get lumped in with schools like University of Phoenix. So, overall I've enjoyed my experience. I've learned a ton, the support has been good. For what it's worth, I have no ties with the school - no ulterior motives for posting a good review, I just wanted to post my experience since it's been a good one. The University is "for-profit" so of course they're main goal IS to make money - it IS after all, a business. However, as long as they retain regional accreditation, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I for one, enjoy the quick service, which caters to me as the customer, and serves my needs.

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Harassed

Bachelor of Arts - December 19, 2011
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I requested information from Ashford University and was harassed for almost a month by an 'advisor.' He was unprofessional and had a bad attitude. When I asked him questions, he would lie or give me a sarcastic reponse. I asked him if the school was for profit and he said no. A quick google search confirmed that it was. I informed him that I was not interested in attending a proprietary school. He continued to call me multiple times every day at odd hours. One time, he called me at 1am! I told him never to call me when I was at work and I gave him my work hours. Guess what he did? He called me at work every single day. He would not leave me alone until I threatened to file a police report for harassment.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful

DO NOT GO TO THIS SCHOOL

Bachelor of Arts - August 21, 2011
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This is a school that will take your money, will not use all the financail aid available to you, tell you that you are out of funding and make you pay at the last minute before its time to graduate! I graduated in 2008 and had to pay $5,398.00 out of my own pocket plus the graduation fee in order to graduate. Needless to say, I looked into my funding and I still have (to this day) over $3,000 of funding available. As an even bigger mistake, I started my masters there and now owe them for two classes I dropped and I can not even get the BA transcripts I PAID FOR! What kid of school lies about finanacial aid and makes you pay at the last minute? My spouse also went to this school big mistake, he did not receive any financial aid for 4 months so he had to quit and leave his classes. No help. This school is a total scam and is not worth a dime. Use your available financial aid for a school that is legal and does things right. There are hundreds of schools out there that will not screw you over. Read the reviews, there are plenty of them that will tell you the same, I just didnt' realize that there were others in the same situation. We need a lawyer to settle this!

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful

Best thing to happen to me

Bachelor of Arts - August 10, 2011
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I'm a recent highschool graduate from sterling illinois, and finding a good art college was a very hard thing for me to find. All of the colleges i was looking into were $40,000 or more. I come from a family in which they couldn't pay for my tuition so everything was on me. I had heard of ashford from my boyfriends sister, since she is attending there, and i decided to look into it. This is the best choice i have made, alot of people are skeptical of how ashford works and alot say it's a bad school. I have gotten so much from this school, it's unbelievable! Because of my GPA i got a scholarship for it, this made me feel like my hard work paid off. I got a scholarship for my room and board, i don't have to worry about food at all! My counselors helped me out every step of the way and my financial aid counselor was always eager to answer any question my mom and I had; she did alot of extra research too to make sure I had a financial aid package that fitted me. They even sent me a letter to notify me on my entire financial aid. my total of scholarships for my whole 4 years is 88,000 dollers! I'm already so far ahead of many people going to other colleges, they only get 10,000 or less from a college for all of the 4 years. I won't want to pay off so much as many college students do! Visiting the college, there is so much diversity in there. Even though it's small, we have so many different faces attending our school. People from florida, california, even swizterland, vietnam! The people I have met so far are amazing and open. If you could attend Ashford as a student living there, I would recomend it, they have so much for you to do and their technology is very advanced! I'm excited to start as a freshman there, and alot of my friends are very jealous of all the money i'm saving going there.

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Choose Any Program EXCEPT Ashford-Extremely Poor Service.

Bachelor of Arts - August 1, 2011
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I enrolled in Ashford University about two years ago, and at the time, the program seemed to suit my needs. It was online, which was convenient because I had a strange work schedule, and I enjoyed the first two classes I had. The instructors at Ashford are actually quite good, and while the textbooks are overpriced and rarely used (I got A's in several classes that I didn't even purchase the textbook for) the overall isntruction isn't bad. However, the customer service, financial aid office, and student advisement services are sub-par. If I could have awarded Ashford a 0 in these departments, I certainly would have. My student advisor was changed several times, the last of them being Whitney Walker. Most of my advisors up to that point-while short lived-were at least willing to work with me on the program and try to accommodate my desires. Ms. Walker patently refused to do so. I was less than halfway through my program when she scheduled me for a 4 credit class-Dependence of Man on the Environment. As soon as I saw this class come up on my schedule, I called Ms. Walker and requested that it be postponed, and that I take something else in it's place. I had not yet taken any of my elective courses, so there was certainly a wide range of things that I could have taken rather than the four credit course. I explained to Ms. Walker that the workload for that particular course was not going to be feasible with my current situation-it required two board discussions, a lab, and a written assignment every week. Most Ashford courses do not require this much work. I requested to take an elective 3 credit course. Ms. Walker refused, and would not even give me information on other course offerings. She left me a voicemail saying "Sorry-there's really nothing else I can put you in. I'm gonna go ahead and leave you in that course." I decided to try and tough it out. Two weeks in, I realized the course wasn't going to work. I called again, and got another advisor, and explained that my advisor had refused to reschedule the course, but I needed to change it because I wasn't going to be able to handle the workload, and I needed a different course. I expressed concern that I would get a low grade, which would affect my scholarship status, and the advisor looked up my GPA and said "Oh well your GPA is great. You can handle a C-no problem." Whether I could or not was immaterial-I wanted to keep my GPA as high as possible. Again, my concerns were ignored, and my request was denied. At this time, Ashford had just changed their online software. As a result, one of my assignments was lost in the new system. I didn't get credit for it. At this point I was three weeks in, and I knew if I dropped I'd be charged, but out of fear for what it would do to my GPA, I sent a written request stating that I needed to drop the course. This time, Ms. Walker did process the drop request. However, what she failed to tell me is that dropping that course put me under my designated amount of completed hours needed to keep my financial aid award. So Ashford returned a large portion of my financial aid to my lender, and then told me I owed them $1100 and I would have to pay it out of pocket in order to receive further financial aid, or continue to attend classes at Ashford. First of all, if Whitney Walker had done what I asked her to do in the first place, the entire situation would have been avoided. Secondly, had it been explained to me that dropping the class would have affected my financial aid status, I'd have accepted a lower grade and stayed in. But this wasn't explained to me. After this incident, I informed Ashford I was not going to take any further classes with them. They continued to call me and email me for months-acting as though I hadn't withdrawn from their program, and offering me new start dates. I kept telling them not to contact me, and they persisted. I enrolled in a different program and had no problem getting my transcript from Ashford. However, I decided not to enter that program, and enrolled in another. Ashford refused to send my transcript to that program. I requested a form to file a formal grievance. Ashford refused to send me that form, and said instead it was customary to go through a mediation process, in order to try and resolve complaints before the formal grievance level. I said I was not interested in the informal process, I wanted to proceed to the formal grievance process. They refused, and said I had to go through the informal process first. They asked me to present my case to a mediator, and tell the mediator what I thought the resolution should be. I explained the situation to him, the highly unprofessional behavior of Ms. Walker, her refusal to reschedule the class when I'd explicitly asked her to, and her negligence in explaining the consequences to my financial aid award status once she finally did do as I requested and dis-enroll me from the course. He asked what my ideal resolution was, and I said I wanted my transcript released immediately, and while I didn't feel it was fair, since Ashford was at fault, I would be willing to pay a reduced amount on the outstanding balance. The mediator told me to expect a resolution within two weeks. Four weeks passed. I hadn't heard anything, and then out of the blue, I get emails from Whitney Walker, and my former financial aid advisor, Elise Dellagala, informing me that the most recent course at Ashford had resulted in an incomplete, and could therefore have negative effects on my financial aid award. Could I please call them at my earliest convenience to discuss the situation? Unbelievable. They don't advise me at the time the situation occurs, but they want to advise me SIX MONTHS after I've quit the program, and am enrolled in another? I emailed the mediator and forwarded their emails to him, and told him that this was exactly the type of unprofessional behavior and shoddy service I'd complained of in my initial grievance. Furthermore, I'd like to continue on with the formal grievance process. He emailed me back and said "Oh, I know that must have been frustrating. Could we talk over the phone?" Well, I work all day-I don't have time to take personal calls, and I told him as much. Besides that, (and I didn't include this in my email to him, but it was my reasoning) I was tired of being given the runaround by these people. I wasn't about to let him try and placate me with empty promises-it's clear what this organization is about. I asked to be informed by email. I received an email from Ashford's mediation department today, stating that they were refusing to release my transcript, the balance would not be lowered, but the University is offering to extend a payment plan so I can avoid collection. Oh, how very gracious. THEY cause the problem, and THEY give bad service, but I'M expected to make all concessions in the situation. I don't think so. I informed their mediator that this was unacceptable, and that I wished to proceed immediately with the formal grievance process, I would be filing complaints with every agency and governing board associated with Ashford University and Bridgepoint Education, and that I would be contacting an attorney. After this I went online and found page after page of similar complaints. This wasn't the case when I enrolled-Ashford had a good reputation then. I found it because it was recommended by the Tyra Banks show as a good university for those seeking an online alternative to traditional classes. I did research, and found a lot of good things on the internet about Ashford. This isn't the case anymore. Obviously, something has changed, because there are a lot of people out there with similar stories to mine. Buyer beware-Ashford is an unethical and unprofessional organization with no conception of customer service-and why should they have? My situation shows, they're not going to take ownership when their employees mess up. Apparently, there is no consequence to employees for giving inadequate service-so why should they bother? They get their money either way, and it's the consumer that suffers. Had this situation been handled differently, I would have been happy to try and continue on there-the instructors at Ashford are good, and the online format is easy to use. Once they get the bugs worked out (like the one that evaporated my assignment) it will probably be a good system. Their online library is also very good. But you'd get better customer service from an outsourced call center in a third world country. Don't sell yourself short-your education is too important to entrust to people with no ethics and no sense of professionalism. Jena P. Springfield MO

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful

Ashford is decent

Bachelor of Arts - October 26, 2010
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AU does not pretend to be something that it is not. It is a run-of-the-mill university offering an average distance learning experience. Some of the negative reviews I read through were accurate, and others were posted by people that obviously blindly enrolled without taking the time to do any research. A justified complaint would be that it seems like anyone can get into the school and you will see posts by some students that are grammatically atrocious. An unjustified complaint would be that the school is too expensive and has some miscellaneous fees. There have been times that I could not believe what I was reading when reviewing a post by another student. One time in particular I almost quit and emailed the President of the school, especially after the instructor of the class praised the student whom made the post I found so objectionable. I was so outraged, even offended, that this person stood a chance of graduating with the same degree as me. In the end, I neither quit Ashford nor emailed the Dean because it would not have done any good. Ashford is not helping that student improve, and it will show in future job interviews. That was no reason for me to deprive myself of an education, or even slow my progress as I looked for another school that may be exactly the same. As for the unjustified complaint I referenced in regard to the cost of attending AU, OPEN YOUR EYES. There has not been a single charge that has caught me by surprise because I knew what was coming. In fact, a Google search of "Ashford University tution and fees" just netted me a page on the Ashford website that details EVERY fee. If this simple research is too difficult for a prospective student to accomplish, maybe they should wait before considering a college education. AU is not a Tier 1 school, and does not advertise as such. Some of the content in the early weeks and months can be remarkably simple, but it does get increasingly difficult as classes progress. I admit it, outside of writing Research Papers, nothing has challenged me academically to this point. If you are looking to sit through countless lectures, be assigned homework that routinely requires burning the midnight oil to complete, and think you are capable of writing a thesis that will someday be a published work, then no, Ashford is not for you. If you are more of a realist and acknowledge that the average holder of a four year degree is a regular Joe that has a piece of paper saying they committed to attending a few classes, then Ashford is no better or worse than all the other schools offering a nearly identical experience. Best of luck

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