• Report: #1036045

Complaint Review: ASHFORD UNIVERSITY

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  • Submitted: Tue, March 19, 2013
  • Updated: Fri, May 02, 2014

  • Reported By: JAYMIELM3 — Ohio
ASHFORD UNIVERSITY
400 N Bluff Blvd Clinton, IA, Iowa United States of America

ASHFORD UNIVERSITY Non-accredited school- never dispursed remaining financial aide, now I am responsible for paying for classes I never got credit for! Clinton, IA , Iowa

*Consumer Comment: Facts vs. Frustration

*Consumer Comment: Clarification

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This "university" is a fraud. They guarantee to you that they are accredited & can help you earn a degree. They arent. I took 3 courses- none of which had to do with my selected major; but were on "honesty, & morality of the student & university". What?! Repeats the same assignments/questions over & over.

Also- I had applied & been approved for financial aide. I was to be awarded around $13,000. I NEVER SAW ONE CENT. This money was suppsed to be used for the three classes that I was scheduled in for the semester & the remaining sent to me for books, ect. I never got a dime. When asked about the changing amounts of the courses & amounts owed; I was never given any answer- simply referrred to someone else who was supposedly working to find that out.

I withdrew myself from Ashford after 2.5 courses; but am still being harrassed for payment- (even though they took ALL my financial aide). I am also now being expected to pay back the financial aide the govt paid- even though I NEVER GOT ANY OF IT. I am completely disgusted by this "school" and the fraudulent money hungry leeches that run it. I am hoping to find others that are in the same situation as me & hopefully an attorney that can help us out of the financial mess that Ashford has created. I (nor anyone else) should be responsible for paying back money these frauds have taken from me. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THEM. FIND A TRUSTED, REPUTABLE, RESPECTED UNIVERSITY.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/19/2013 10:07 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/ASHFORD-UNIVERSITY/Clinton-IA-Iowa-52732/ASHFORD-UNIVERSITY-Non-accredited-school-never-dispursed-remaining-financial-aide-now-I-1036045. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Facts vs. Frustration

AUTHOR: CollegeDad44 - ()

  

First off, it is important to note that online education IS NOT for everyone. If you are an able bodied person with copious amount of free time and money, definitely check out the education options in your local area. Your local community college or state school will be significantly cheaper than ANY online option. However in regards to Ashford University, the comments on this thread are completely inaccurate.

To the commenter who so boldly stated that Ashford is an unaccredited school who "Stole" your financial aid money: Do your homework and get your facts straight before you blast a fully accredited institution with over 60,000 students.

Ashford is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Senior Schools and Colleges (WASC) which is one of the most well respected accrediting bodies in the nation. Secondly, the financial aid Ashford supposedly stole, was meant for your FULL YEAR OF SCHOOL not 3 classes which didn't pertain to you major. Additionally, those 3 classes are introductory classes meant to properly prepare you for the 4 year degree program ahead. As with most other universities in this country, you have to take your general education classes before you start your major courses. Moreover, when you signed up for your financial aid, you SIGNED and RETURNED an optional waiver which gave the government instructions to send Ashford your financial aid and to send you a check for the difference. So that's on you.

Now as far as the "$13,000 of loans" you were allegedly entitled to, that number makes no sense. The federal government affords you $9,500 per year in loans until you have earned 24 credits. From 24 to 48 credits, you receive $10,500. From 48 credits to the end of your degree program, the government gives you $12,500 in loans. These are federal financial aid guidelines which transcends all 4 year colleges and universities in America. So If you had to take those 3 classes which didn't pertain to your major, you clearly fall in the first tier of the financial aid pyramid. Therefore, Ashford did not create this mess - you did.

To the commenter who said that Ashford was accredited by the HLC, that information is partially accurate. Ashford used to be accredited by the HLC, but received a full WASC accreditation in 2011. That change in accreditation also required Ashford to make a few adjustments to their standard way of operating to become compliant with all of the WASC guidelines. Ashford hired more professors and student services employees, and also implemented practices to make faculty more accessible to students.

Is online education for everyone? No. Is Ashford right for everyone who is interested in an online Bachelor’s degree? No. But does Ashford provide a quality online education in which students take one 5-week class at a time? Absolutely. This schedule allows adult students the chance to earn their degree one class at a time on schedule to graduate in just over 4 years, without having to mortgage their everyday life in the process.

As far as the pricing is concerned, yes Ashford costs $420 per credit and all classes are worth 3 credits. It is a pricey education compared to a local state college. However, for those who have lives that do not accommodate cooling their heels in a classroom for 20 hours a week - plus homework, Ashford is truly one of the best options out there.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Clarification

AUTHOR: Jeanski - ()

Let me make it clear that I generally disapprove of strictly online schools because of the types of experiences reported here by students. That being said, there are a few things in your report that bear correction or need clarification.

First, Ashford IS accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and a member of the North Central Association. This organization has the most lax requirements of any of the regional accrediting bodies, so there is little assurance of a quality education. Courses from schools accredited by HLC may be transferable to other schools, but that determination is ALWAYS up to the receiving school.

Second, if you were eligible for $13,000 in loans, that figure suggests that your aid package was determined based on your intention to attend full time for an academic year. If you withdraw early, drop a class, or in some other way change your enrollment status, the amount is adjusted accordingly. So if you only attended 2 1/2 classes, you probably dropped to part time status and aren't even eligible for aid. They work on accelerated terms, so I can't determine how your enrollment might have compared to a traditional semester-based system.

Third, you have a legal entitlement to an accounting of your fees, loan disbursements, etc. Send them a certified letter demanding it, and if you don't get a response contact an attorney.  It's entirely possible they sent your loan back to the lender and are only asking for payment of the 3 classes you were enrolled in. Based on what I saw on their website, this should be about $3770. However, I'm making an assumption that the three classes you enrolled in were for 3 credits each ($1206 per course, plus $50 per course for their technology fee).

Fourth, students who receive federal loans shouldn't depend on it for living expenses.  Loans amounts are small, and generally only cover tuition and books. This is where the online schools are making their money. The tuition they charge eats up all your aid.

Lastly, I wholeheartedly agree with this: FIND A TRUSTED, REPUTABLE, RESPECTED UNIVERSITY. Students should always check out their local community college or state university system first. They all have online programs for the working adult that WON'T cost you an arm and a leg, and they have trained professionals working in admissions, financial aid, and student services.

Good luck!
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