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  • Report: #866870

Complaint Review: American Public University System

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  • Submitted: Wed, April 11, 2012
  • Updated: Mon, March 31, 2014

  • Reported By: B — Unlisted United States of America
American Public University System
Internet United States of America

American Public University System American Public University, American Military University Perpetual Financial Aid Misery Internet

*Consumer Comment: APU A Joke

*Consumer Comment: The financial aid nightmare

*Consumer Comment: APU is shady

*General Comment: I wish some people would just research things

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: agreed

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: APU

*Consumer Comment: Great school otherwise.

*General Comment: AMU Rebuttal

*General Comment: AMU Rebuttal

*Consumer Suggestion: File Report with Accreditation Commission

*Consumer Comment: Diploma Mill and Nothing More...

*Consumer Comment: After first week? FINE. After tenth week? NOT OK!!

*Consumer Comment: Financial Aid

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Financial aid and student loans issues

*Author of original report: From the Un-Named Author

*Consumer Comment: APUS/AMU student

*General Comment: Kim Howard Proud Student @ APU

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American Public University often cites federal rules and regulations when students have questions about the delayed processing of financial aid.  The school consistently neglects, however, to let student-borrowers know that it is entirely within their prerogative (the school's, not the student-borrower's) to release funds prior to the beginning of the semester... a practice common in public institutions of higher education.

Instead of facilitating student enjoyment of the educational process and affording borrower-students the opportunity to use financial aid resources to purchase textbooks and other necessary supplies - as is customary in public institutions, APUS, APU, and AMU refuse to request funding from the lending source until after the first week of classes... typically somewhere around day ten or eleven.  It then takes the school's system two or three days to recognize that the funding has been sent by the lending institution... you can see their recognition of the delayed process (30+ days after the start of the semester) on their website.

When the school finally catches up, they let the money sit a week or so before they actually give it to the students... but we have to wait five (or more) days after the school decides to disburse the extra financial aid because they (still) do not have direct deposit.  When the school was consulted regarding issues that this process causes with regard to purchasing textbooks for graduate courses (a great many of which are only 8 weeks long...) this author was told "you could just buy them with your own money, and pay yourself back when you get your disbursement."

First, my dear APU - the financial aid disbursement is my money... Secondly, it isn't "paying myself back..." it's a matter of not having the money in the first place.  If I were to attend graduate school school full-time (which I do, because I want to get my degree and get as far away from the school as is possible, as soon as is possible) I do not have the opportunity to work full-time, as well.  There is, quite simply put, no money to take from one function to purchase books and later replenish.

My fellow student-victims, I urge you to consider attending an institution other than APUS.  The programs are open admission, which means a monkey with half a brain could get in, but they are entirely theoretically oriented and practice is limited.  In my graduate program (having completed 36 of the 48 required hours) I have written more papers than I could recall, received inadequate-at-best feedback, and have been robbed - not only of an opportunity to grow as a professional (now that I will graduate - entirely unprepared for certification), but of thousands and thousands of dollars I could have used elsewhere to get a degree that would have provided me with practical opportunities in addition to the theoretical foundations.

Run.  Run and don't look back.

Best Wishes! 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/11/2012 07:52 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/American-Public-University-System/internet/American-Public-University-System-American-Public-University-American-Military-University-866870. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 13Consumer 3Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

APU A Joke

AUTHOR: WORTHLESS DEGREE - ()

 I spent over two years at this so called school. When I finally graduated and went to use my degree I was informed that I was not taught one required class for my degree. So people beware! this school will not only take your money but put you in debt and give you a degree that is worthless. Save your time and money and stay away from this school!!!!!!!

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#2 Consumer Comment

The financial aid nightmare

AUTHOR: WORTHLESS DEGREE - ()

Make sure you check the requirements before you graduate because in my situation they gave me a worthless degree. I did not ahve one required class for my associates degree that was required by my state. The situation with the financial aid will only get worse as they keep the money as long as they can before releasing it to the student. This is one school I am sorry I did not avoid as they will take your money and give you debt in return so BEWARE!!!

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#3 Consumer Comment

APU is shady

AUTHOR: Anon - ()

I agree that this school is very suspicious. I attended 3 semesters here until recently where I was forced to withdraw. I had an UEH come up on my fafsa. 1 was for a school that I did not attend and I sent proof of that to APU and another was a school that I didn't earn a credit at. My mother was ill during my time attending there and I showed a valid doctors note and a hand signed note from my mother to back up this reasoning. My financial aid was still denied by the school. The person reviewing didn't think the doctors note was fake just thought the doctor was lying for me and my mother. What kind of doctor would risk their career to write a faulty doctors note? That's insane! I was told the only way to continue attending the school was to pay out of pocket. Mind you through my semesters here I had already earned 15 credits while being on financial aid. I was told different things from everyone I talked to. If you attend here beware of that. UEH is for people that withdraw from a school after receiving finanial aid. Any person in the financial aid department could have easily looked at my student record and seen that is not what I was doing. Would I have earned those credits and fought so hard to continue to go to school if I only wanted the refund check? I just think it's messed up how I was denied especially when countless people in the financial aid department told me that they would my clear my UEH since I had earned credit and then months later deny me financial aid help altogether. I put in time, effort, money going to this school just to have to turn around and have to find another online university.

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#4 General Comment

I wish some people would just research things

AUTHOR: Anghie - ()

 First, I want to say. I am a new student at APU. I haven't even finished my first semester. I do so far love my classes. I love the way the classes are set-up as opposed to Kaplan, Everest,or Post Universities Online. I clearly have been trying online college for quite some time. I actually feel challenged. I have papers due and lots of expectations that you just dont get at other online schools.

Before signing up with APU, I did do a heavy amount of research. American Public University is very much accredited. They hold the same accredidation as Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University according to the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. And I doubt they would lie. I'm from Cleveland so I compared it to the amazing schools in my area. But Case is intensively hard to get into so, I'm just saying.

I also enjoy the almost military feeling of the school. I have a lot of currently enlisted people and also veterans in my classes and I love that because my husband is enlisted and I am a child of two Army Vets so it made me feel at home.

At the end of the day. As long as the school has an accredidation with the Dept. of Ed. and you are comfortable there, that's all that matters in a school. You should be able to thrive and learn in a place where you feel safe. If you are apprehensive then don't do it. You can't make decisions based on a blog on RIPOFFREPORT.com. BE your own person.

Also, all school make you wait to get a financial aid refund check. If they did then people would sign up for school and then do nothing and wait on a check. It's not welfare and if you are that thirsty for a refund check you should have gotten your affairs in order financially before thinking of furthering your education. This isn't elementary school, no one is going to hold you hand.

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#5 REBUTTAL Individual responds

agreed

AUTHOR: ripp - ()

I couldn't agree with you more. AMU/APU is a joke, and as you pointed out, there are many of these instructors that are not qualified to do the job and most certainly do not have the credentials to teach. And as for asking questions, you couldn't be more correct. My Web Fundamentals instructor was rude when asked questions. I was flabergasted. Folks don't waste your time with an oline college such as this. Check into your local State Universities or Universities, most have online programs of some kind today, I know OSU in OKC, OK does now, yet some on campus activity is required. Personally, most of these For Profit Colleges are a big rip off, nothing more than coporate greed at work.  Check pbs.com and look up for profit colleges, this was a well investigated issue and this is very informative.

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#6 REBUTTAL Individual responds

APU

AUTHOR: ripp - ()

Honestly mam, this online college is a rip off. I am transferring out of here now. I have been attending this substandard college for about a year and a half, and the instructors are substandard, the feed back is substandard, and I have purposely turned in substandard mistake filled class work on occasion to see and test grading on class work, gradesare most definitely being handed out to favor the school in general. The place is a joke. Free admission should have been my first clue.

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#7 Consumer Comment

Great school otherwise.

AUTHOR: Laura - ()

I understand that it may be frustrating for some to have to wait for their refund checks to come, however I fail to see it as a legitimate reason to totally put the school down.  I have been at APU as an undergraduate for two semesters now and it is not a diploma mill or shady place.  It is one of the most affordable online schooling options that has regional accredidation.  Classes are writing intensive and it is not an easy "A" place.  By utilizing the miracle that is ratemyprofessor.com I have had nothing but excellent teachers.  I have learned more during my time here than I ever did in a physical classroom.  I feel that the claims here are unfounded and I don't appreciate others trying to lessen the legitimacy of my education because of a crappy financial aid process that the school is currently taking steps to fix.
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#8 General Comment

AMU Rebuttal

AUTHOR: AMUStudent - (United States of America)

Thus far, all complaints yet registered regarding APUS, APU, or AMU are the only real scams. APUS is fully accredited complete with elaborate professor profiles, all of which can be verified for credibility. They are listed on the department of education website, which immediately refutes any possibility of APUS being a scam. The financial aid complaints currently listed are entirely personal error. The financial aid applications allow you to choose to have extra funds sent to you, but defaults remainders to be returned to the lender unless otherwise specified by the student. They also allow you to apply for a specific amount of funds just like any normal loan application. The biggest difference from this process is that as it is an online university, students must be competent and pay attention to what they are doing. Although you CAN call and have the FinAid Staff walk you through it (or use email, or the live chat option), if you dont and arent familiar with the process you are likely to make an error if you are looking for some sort of specific option. This university is for a select group that is capable of working on their own, and requires intense self discipline to excel. Your professors cant do the work for you.

I have been both an undergrad student and a graduate student at AMU, as well as an undergrad student at OSU and Columbus State. I was nothing at OSU or Columbus State, my instructors never knew me, never recognized how much effort went into my work, and never got over their own egos. I passed my classes with ease and didnt show up most of the time. APUS' programs allow professors to know their students, with regular communication daily through a variety of avenues. They provide a far greater education as the highly credible expert professors require extensive reading, weekly essays (up to 6 per week per course not including research papers or exams). If you dont do the work, you simply cannot do well. My best advice is to recognize the change in the times, as most universities have adopted a similar format to the one used at APUS. Therefore, if you enroll at any other university and take an online option, you are essentially experiencing what you might experience at APUS (only likely with less formalities or strict professors - most professors at APUS are experts in the field or published doctors). Any rebuttal to this fact only adds further blasphemy to practically every complaint listed thus far. APUS is not a diploma mill any more than OSU, LSU,or Harvard. As a matter of fact, Harvard has an online program now similar to APUS. Youll find that most people that complain about APUS do so from significantly biased roots, as traditional learners are often not suited for the advances in distance education.
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#9 General Comment

AMU Rebuttal

AUTHOR: AMUStudent - (United States of America)

Thus far, all complaints yet registered regarding APUS, APU, or AMU are the only real scams. APUS is fully accredited complete with elaborate professor profiles, all of which can be verified for credibility. They are listed on the department of education website, which immediately refutes any possibility of APUS being a scam. The financial aid complaints currently listed are entirely personal error. The financial aid applications allow you to choose to have extra funds sent to you, but defaults remainders to be returned to the lender unless otherwise specified by the student. They also allow you to apply for a specific amount of funds just like any normal loan application. The biggest difference from this process is that as it is an online university, students must be competent and pay attention to what they are doing. Although you CAN call and have the FinAid Staff walk you through it (or use email, or the live chat option), if you dont and arent familiar with the process you are likely to make an error if you are looking for some sort of specific option. This university is for a select group that is capable of working on their own, and requires intense self discipline to excel. Your professors cant do the work for you.

I have been both an undergrad student and a graduate student at AMU, as well as an undergrad student at OSU and Columbus State. I was nothing at OSU or Columbus State, my instructors never knew me, never recognized how much effort went into my work, and never got over their own egos. I passed my classes with ease and didnt show up most of the time. APUS' programs allow professors to know their students, with regular communication daily through a variety of avenues. They provide a far greater education as the highly credible expert professors require extensive reading, weekly essays (up to 6 per week per course not including research papers or exams). If you dont do the work, you simply cannot do well. My best advice is to recognize the change in the times, as most universities have adopted a similar format to the one used at APUS. Therefore, if you enroll at any other university and take an online option, you are essentially experiencing what you might experience at APUS (only likely with less formalities or strict professors - most professors at APUS are experts in the field or published doctors). Any rebuttal to this fact only adds further blasphemy to practically every complaint listed thus far. APUS is not a diploma mill any more than OSU, LSU,or Harvard. As a matter of fact, Harvard has an online program now similar to APUS. Youll find that most people that complain about APUS do so from significantly biased roots, as traditional learners are often not suited for the advances in distance education.
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

File Report with Accreditation Commission

AUTHOR: Lela - (United States of America)

http://www.ncahlc.org/Information-for-the-Public/complaints.html
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#11 Consumer Comment

Diploma Mill and Nothing More...

AUTHOR: Molotov - (United States of America)

  I was taking classes at AMU a few years back due to a difficult financial situation.  Unfortunately, the school ended up being nothing but a scam. Instructors were poorly supervised, so they had a full freedom of doing whatever they wanted in class. The majority of them lacked proper credentials and knowledge needed to be educators(A lot of them did not even live in the States). One of my instructors kept telling students that her job responsibilities did not include explaining the subject she was teaching; the other kept bragging about writing a children's book, yet had no understanding of the basic literary terms. Lack of consistency and direction from instructors  was stressful and confusing. Asking questions was strictly prohibited or treated as criticism that would reflect poorly on the students' grades. Needless to say, I dropped out after taking the initial set of classes. I understand why current students defend the school though. I wouldn't want to admit I have wasted my time and money getting a degree from a diploma mill. 

To be fair,  I am now a senior at reputable Chicago school. My experience at the current institution has been extremely positive. I haven't had a single instructor that wouldn't be a professor( i.e. have a PHD).  All of them made themselves available to students 24/7. You could talk to them in person, call their cell or home phone, e-mail them, etc (Despite all of them being busy professionals : lawyers, judges, authors, etc). They had no issues explaining the basics and never deviated from the syllabus. 

That is the difference between a cheap diploma mill and a reputable college. You can be taught by a house wife, living in Uganda, who got her master's from University of Phoenix at AMU...or you can get a student loan and go to a real school and get your knowledge from professionals. 

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#12 Consumer Comment

After first week? FINE. After tenth week? NOT OK!!

AUTHOR: Phil - (United States of America)

It is par for the course, if you have to wait until after the first week or even two, to receive your student aid. That is perfectly reasonable. Try waiting, as I did, until a full month after the end of your first semester at American Public University, before you get a financial aid check! Talk about an undue hardship.
 And once APU has your money, you are no longer treated like a customer (which we students are, since theirs is a for-profit university,) you are treated like someone they owe money to (because they do!) and they are deadbeats, ditching your calls.
Go ahead... enroll at APU/AMU, and you can find out for yourself when they rip you off.  APU was a terrible experience for me, and I wish I'd never heard their name.
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#13 Consumer Comment

Financial Aid

AUTHOR: Atari - (United States of America)

I though waiting till after the first week has always been correct: They need to make sure that your actually going to go to school first. I know alot of schools that don't release it until you have been verified as attending: It is no longer up to the school anymore but the federal government.

I had the same thing happen to me at MTSU. Once it's reported in the system that you have attended all of your classes, I recieved my money. I also didn't have anything and I let my teachers know that i was waiting on my financial aid and they were fine with it.

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#14 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Financial aid and student loans issues

AUTHOR: sara09k - (United States of America)

I am a student in APU. I have applied for financial aid through fafsa 2 months prior to the intended semester, and was qualified for financial aid and student loans with in few days after.

Inspite of that, I wasnt able to attend the school in that semester because APU decided on last minute, 2 days prior to the beginning of the semester to inform me that they needed me to fill out more forms from the school to qualify!!..which i did immidiately..and it took them a week to process it and i wasnt able to attend as a result of this mismanagment and then for the delay of proccessing my documents.
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#15 Author of original report

From the Un-Named Author

AUTHOR: B - (United States of America)

First, my name, since that seems to be an area of contention, is Brian Prince. I am a graduate student in the counseling M.Ed. at APU. I have completed 42 of the 48 hours required for my degree, and have already completed two others... An associate of applied science in paralegal studies from Columbus State and a Bachelor of Science in sociology, anthropology, and health from Eastern Oregon University... So to the most recent respondent who suggested.that maybe I had not done my research before enrolling, I would suggest that my experience in researching educational institutions likely surpasses that of most students at APUS... Particularly in light of my degree program and field experience.

While it is absolutely true that undergraduates do not pay for textbooks, it is also entirely true that most universities.allocate a certai .amount of funding for those students expected to.receive.excess financial aid.so they can purchase textbooks. This is not the case, as I indicated in my original statement, with APUS. Neither of the respondents have addressed, either, the manner in which APU processes disbursements of financial aid and one even proposed that I may be a student who takes the money and runs. Having already copleted two degrees and nearly the third, I find that a very unlikely supposition.

As undergraduates at APU, it is unlikely the respondents have any appreciable experience with financial aid from public institutions, and so instead of addressing the allegations.made in my primary statement, have resorted to calling my character and identity into question. Now that your curiosity is satisfied and your assertions addressed, will you respond to the actual issue in my original post, or find other ways.gov circumvent the assertions I've made?
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#16 Consumer Comment

APUS/AMU student

AUTHOR: Erik - (United States of America)

Usually, I do not get involved with these type of websites.  However, I think it is only fair that the people who visit this site "hear" both sides of the story.  I am a graduate student at American Military University/American Public University Systems and I have used the financial aid that is offered through the university.  The staff was extremely helpful and there was no issues with the loan process. 

My professors have been outstanding and are extremely qualified in their various specialities, which allows us, the students, to learn from their vast experiences.  This is the only university(that I am aware) that the textbooks are free while you are finishing your Bachelor's Degree.  You do have to pay for your textbooks for graduate school but name one university where that does not occur.  Also, some of the textbooks come in the format of ebooks or have had no textbook requirements and have not cost me any money. 

Also, you can rent various textbooks through websites such as Chegg.com  The unnamed author mentions about all academic theory and no practice.  I can not speak for all degree concentrations but that is accurate for my particular degree.  However, I already have the practical experience I am just missing the academic degree that my profession requires.  My recommendation to the unnamed author is investigate your colleges before you make a decision.  Just because you do not agree with the system at APUS does not make it a bad university. 
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#17 General Comment

Kim Howard Proud Student @ APU

AUTHOR: Kim - (U.S.A.)

I wanted to let all the people who are on this site saying they are a scam. I feel if people who enroll in school, make sure you read all requirements and guidelines of the school before you sign your MPN. APU have been good to me and I have no complaints. I am in my second semester and holding down A's & B's. Somebody must be doing something right. A lot of people sign up for school just for the money and then they drop out. You are suppose to be responsible adults you are not in kindergarden school, you are in College! So act like it. The student faculty is there for you, you just have to follow the guidelines. You have to also realize you are not the only student in APU. I am proud to be a part of APU and I will continue to monitor this site to defend them. I was in UOP and dropped out the first week because to me they were not attentative to the students needs. So again I posted my name because I am not ashamed to post my 'facts' about my school. Financial aid dept. have there own system and is not obligated to release or post any funds until they see we are attending classes. I have not encountered any issues with financial aid. Your financial aid should post at least up to 14 days after the start of the semester. Yes they can release funds 10 days before the semester starts; but it is up to the school themselves to do it if they wish. If you all learn how to ask questions without being hostile; I find that you will get the assistance needed. Stop taking advantage of the financial aid that is afforded us, allowing us to get a degree at a lower cost of other schools offering the same course. Yall need to stop, focus and find out if college is for you, or you are in it just to get the money!!!!!!!! I have already reccommended the school to others also.

Kim Howard- A Proud Student @ American Public University!!!!!  See you at graduation : )
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