• Report: #522092

Complaint Review: Ashford University Online

  • Submitted: Tue, November 10, 2009
  • Updated: Mon, September 17, 2012

  • Reported By: anonymous — san diego California United States of America
Ashford University Online
San Diego, California United States of America

Ashford University Online - Bridgepoint Education Enrollment advisors are paid based on how many students they enroll!!! San Diego, California

*Consumer Comment: Ashford University

*Consumer Comment: graduates?

*General Comment: Leaving a similar situation

*General Comment: Perspective and Attitude

*Consumer Comment: Current Student remarks on Ashford

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Rationalization of Irrational Logic

*UPDATE Employee: Response to your bitterness

*Consumer Comment: AU's Sales Techniques??? I don't think that's what they do as a rule...

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Thanx You For Coming Forward in San Diego

*General Comment: Very Strange "Ripoff Report" Post

*Consumer Comment: Student who is impressed so far!

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I previously worked at Ashford "University" and from experience I can tell you that anyone who "gets-in" to Ashford University has been scammed.  As an Enrollment Advisor, the job is to "get as many students in as possible".  Advisors are reviewed every six-months and depending on how many students you were able to enroll, will determine your paycheck or career stability with the company.  It is a shame because it allows anyone who has a GED to go to school.  There is no screening process or "admissions interview" as they tell you.  Anyone can get in if they want to spend 12k a year on an online education that is not proven yet.  I am writing this because I was told that they cared about students and my job was to help people who want to go to school.  However, we would recieve emails daily about our enrollment numbers, how many students we were going to get this week and how we were going to make it happen.  The "schools" headquarters in San Diego, CA does not resemble a university in the slightest.  It is a sales floor with about 2000 "Advisors" who are paid to cold call people until they change their number or threaten to report them for harrassment.  If you are unable to enroll 30+ students and keep them in the "first class" in the first 6 months, you will be terminated for performance!!???  I have never heard of a quality University that grades their employees on how many people they enroll vs. the quality of people they enroll.  It gets better because the 2nd 6 months, to keep the job, you must enroll 60 students in that time frame.  Anyone who wants to go can go to this school, simply because the person on the other end of the phone needs to keep their job.  Any current students attending Ashford online I suggest to re-think your educational goals as a degree from there is looked at as nothing more than a diploma mill.  If you do not believe me, I ask any current students, "how many times did you hear from your enrollment advisor in the first "introductory" course?"  Probably every week.  After that first class how many times did you hear from them?  Probably none, because as long as you get the first class done, the enrollment advisor gets their credit for the "sale". The motto at Ashford, and it has been printed and put in my cube, is "once you get a student, celebrate for 23 seconds and then go find another one."  Is that a place where you really want to have a "career" or an "education"??  You make the call.  Any previous employees or lawyers who would like to start a suit similar to the previous University of Phoenix lawsuits, let me know.  I have documentation from managers stating that "if you want a raise, you will hit your enrollment goals."  Funny, I thought it was illegal to sell education when the government is paying for most of it??!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/10/2009 11:51 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Ashford-University-Online/San-Diego-California-92123/Ashford-University-Online-Bridgepoint-Education-Enrollment-advisors-are-paid-based-on-h-522092. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Ashford University

AUTHOR: Wvgirl - (United States of America)

This is my 4th year at Ashford and I am about to graduate , Yea it was expensive doign on line classes , but what college isn't ? I think this is a great college and now my son in law is in his first year at Ashford University. Choosing this college would be good for you. Good Luck.
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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: tiki - (United States of America)

I'm hearing from ex-employees and current students but feel like an unbiased opinion about this school cannot be achieved from either party.  Ex-employees can hold a grudge and their experience is not that of a student but as an employee.  Students obviously do not know how far their degree will get them in life because they have not earned it yet and they obviously would rather believe their money is not being wasted, who would.

My question is this.. is there any actual degree holding graduates of Ashford University who can tell us their experience with job searches and etc now that they have graduated?  I've heard from many interviewers in HR departments before that have told me that people with online degrees are barely considered above people with just a High School diploma.  It is not considered as valuable as a degree you would earn at a regular physical university so... is this true?  Is that your experiences so far?

I seriously hope that no current employees write a review/comment pretending to be graduates because considering it would hurt their business if people were questioning their college, it would be profitable (if not highly immoral) to make these students believe they are a good school.

I will say this, I have contacted this school for just general information about it and have since been hounded by them.  They seem like nothing more then glorified telemarketers to me.

You have to ask yourself... if this college was so great, wouldnt these "advisors" attend it themselves instead of keeping their current "advisor" jobs?
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#3 General Comment

Leaving a similar situation

AUTHOR: ChosenOne - (United States of America)

Hello. I do understand what you are saying. I went through the same thing but at the University of Phoenix. I see that these two work very similar when it comes to financial aid. I am in my last class at the U of Phoenix and I am leaving because of the expense as well as their tight grip on my financial aid. I have had 3 financial aid workers since I have been at the school. The first one left and did not disclose why he left. I ended up with another and she did not know what she was doing. I went from owing a $4,000 dollar balance to a zero balance.

My money was not coming to me as it should have. I had to sign a form and fax it over to the processing center to get permission to manage my own funds. It took a long time to get that into action. I threatened to sue them and they forgave the questionable balance. The told me I had to agree to take 4 more classes with them.  I am leaving because I have the opportunity to leave. I do not like how they manage money. I dislike how the advisers are not as helpful as they could be. I dislike the paper every Sunday. I dislike the way there is a discussion requirement because it is a lot of busy work. 

I dislike the notion that it may be a problem finding employment upon graduating with a U of Phoenix degree. I also dislike the fact that I have wasted my time doing all of this hard work and I am leaving . I have the opportunity to leave and I am taking it because I get too many "yes" answers that eventually end up being " no's" . The school is too shaky to me. 

I know people who have graduated from the school and now is working on an elementary education degree at our local university.  The crazy thing is this person is a Phoenix graduate and I am an education student. She obtained 2 degrees from Phoenix but decided to go to the local university for the same thing I am pursuing online. Makes you wonder. 

With all this being said If it seems shaky...I would leave . It is not worth your hard work and in the end it was in vain.

There are more options than some of these shady online schools such as Virginia online, U of Phoenix online, and Ashford University online. There are too many bad reports ..and  too obvious that its time to Leave.

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#4 General Comment

Perspective and Attitude

AUTHOR: DaVinci - (United States of America)

Most Colleges and Universities are Not non-profit organizations... correct?

The cost be 25-50k for a Bachelors degree 70k for a masters or whatever.

Can been done for far less if a person takes advantage of alternate educational resources.

Can be far more expensive if going to premiere universities in the country to get degree.

I do not think a single person who signs up for school or gets loans for it is making bad decision.  

It is too bad that more of the populations does not have the financial ability for whatever reasons to have the money already set aside in an educational savings account, So that it would be less financially stressful to get an education.

The goals of the advisors should be to sign up as many students as possible and get them completing the classes.   

If you hire an adviser to sell education, do you want a person to get a few sales or many sales.

What is the issue?  That they sell education.  Isn't that what the rest do?
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#5 Consumer Comment

Current Student remarks on Ashford

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

As a current student, I want to address the issue about the first conversation I had with my entrance advisor, M. Fadness. I started courses in March 2011, am finishing up my 5th week with a grade above b. Although this gives me much pride, I always knew I could do it. Here is what I experienced.


  1. I contacted Ashford myself. I was also recieved well, had long discussions with M. F. my entrance advisor. I don't care where she worked from. She contacted me several times almost daily to see how I was doing, it was genenral not personal. Too bad.I have not heard from her since I entered the fourth week. I was told on my home page, that my achedemic advisor was a completely different person I did not know, and who did not know me. That is a huge dissapointment for a beginner. No explanations, all of a sudden you are talking to a stranger.

  2.  Then my information was directed to the financial department. I explained I was on permanent disability, wanted to start small (AA in Organizational Management) and thought  I would qualify for many grants. I kept the conversation on this as I could not afford student loans if I could help it. It was processed so fast that I could hardly read the information they requested, and the MPN etc. I asked questions over an over and the responses I got and still get tend to be formulary not personal. They just swept over the hard work of getting me the grants I so desired and knew were out there. I filled out the paperwork as I wanted to proceed. stupid as I was about the fact that everything is so programmed and not personal. BS. I gave them my whole life.

  3. After three weeks in the program, I found out that I only got a small pell grant which the school ate up for the first two weeks.( I believe) They are not making anything clear as to where, and why my loans and grants are not sufficient for the whole course. I was told I need to re-apply for more loans and grants. They only got me a direct and non-direct subsidized loan. What does this mean? I received a bill before I even entered my fourth week with balance owed of over $4000.00. people! Explain this to me! I also just recieved a check from the school for a little over $200. but instead of saying pell grant (as I think it should) it said stafford un-sub. loan. This is disturbing to me. I e-mailed the financial advisor and he did not answer my question as to why. I noticed that I use very little resources and yet I have huge processing fees for use of the website.

  4. Also note that a week after I entered school they sent us a note that courses went from $372. to $390. per credit and I am just mortified. I do not know If i will be able to pay this school back. what are they doing to us? I guess you are right, I do feel scammed, and it is all financial. In almost every course they continue to protect the school, we always talk over and over about plagairsm. Sure it is wrong. Lets move on to a real education. And I think the federal trade commision should review their admission and trade practices.  don't know whether to leave this school or what at this moment, bt I am very discouraged that they did not work hard enough on my grants and just got federal loans for someone on disability. What the hell are they thinking.

  5. Signed: Stuck in the Middle with Ashford.

  6. Hope you read this before entering, and I hope you know how to get your own funding or you may be paying for something you did not expect. They did not work hard enough for me, I believe. We shall see. If anyone understands this please respond.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Rationalization of Irrational Logic

AUTHOR: JohnRob - (United States of America)

In reference to the original report I fully agree as a non disgruntled ex employee. The simple facts are at Ashford University they can't do commission per student, but they can give you a pay raise for the number of students you bring in a 6 month review. With salaries ranging into six figures for enrolling students it naturally harbors a higher pressure sales environment
(along with the threat of being fire which has caused many of my friends to lie to students). Part of the enrollment process is to find what is going wrong in your personal life making a connection and let you know that the answer to solving the problem is school (with some exceptions). Part of the pay scale depends on the student finishing the first class (when financial aid is dispersed)  So if your Enrollment Adviser follows up with you their financial success depends on it. On top of this they request that you talk to friends and family about getting back into school, mainly because they are extremely easy to enroll because of the pressure of their friend or family member.

Second, on a personal note to those who are considering attending beware the dropout rate is roughly in the mid 60 to 70 percent which is extremely high.  On top of that the default rate on the student loans may seem to be right in line with traditional public universities, they the tracking of student loans stops after 2 years (which is roughly the length of the time you can put your loans in deferment or forbearance) and it is predicted that default rates may be as high as 50 percent.

Honestly youre better off toughing it out and trying to go to your local community college for your lower level class, almost everyone of them offer online courses now, but at roughly 27 to 35 dollars a unit (Ashford is 372 for the same unit) and when you are looking for your upper level units most four year public colleges offer online courses but at about 200 a unit, and you're typically offer state grants along with federal grants so you may not have to take out loans at all.

The reason that Ashford's parent company Bridgepoint Education is the focal point of investigation is due to these practices, and they have all been discussed openly you can read about the senates HELP investigation into Bridgepoint, with that Bridgepoint has also released BPI transparency to debunk the investigation, but ultimately before any student decides to go 50,000 dollars into debt  and enrollment adviser tells you its the most affordable choice, just remember I got a 4 year degree and I had it paid completely with grants and I did most of my 4 year degree online from local universities all you have to do is ask your local university what they offer.

I truly want to help people and I really want to see the best for the students which is why I stopped working there. On lunch with one of our top producers on my floor when talking about when to let students go because they are just not
cut out for school (due to computer illiteracy, they are retired, or they are looking for a program we don't offer) he said, "I don't give a **** about my students, each one that finishes a class is a thousand dollars in my pocket," I quit almost immediately after my boss told me to be more like him. 
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#7 UPDATE Employee

Response to your bitterness

AUTHOR: Don - (United States of America)

I am sorry you did not make it at Ashford. When you are told to celebrate for 26 seconds and get another one you may want to look at it another way. When a potential student puts their info online to "get information" they are called from Phoenix, AIU, Kaplan, Cappella, and others. There are many times I hear students say it was not until so and so got me on the phone... The Department of Education does not allow commission for sales, rather it is a matrix and what you did not clearly point out was the retention. Retention is like 35% of your revue. I had much lower enrollment numbers but my students stayed in school. You have to help that student through the first course, and you can call them as many times as you wish in regards to their continuing education and ask for referrals. People do not refer if they are unhappy and we do have an extremely high amount of referrals. I used to work in enrollment and it is a tough job, otherwise you would still be there, and students would be calling us. I changed titles and I work with students from beginning to end. I am also a student. If you understand the process of attending it is pretty interesting. It is not just logging in, the student has to complete assignments and quizzes and they are not always easy. I have an 8 page APA format paper for a class that I do not really like, due Monday. I am a little nervous but looking forward to another 3 credits. It seems that the entire process was something you were against from the beginning and it is hard to succeed in a position you dislike. If you recall, there was a recent "Town Hall" with all of enrollment talking about how the EA position is changing and the EA will be more responsible for helping students stay in school. I am sure you did have fun with at least some of your co-workers and hopefully will leave with some friends and memories of certain times where you had some good laughs. I am certainly not one to tout the processes and am not looking to move up in this company. Some of the managers became managers because they were good EA's but that does not make them managers, Like Vicki Lamanna for instance. I do see there are still some serious growing pains that Enrollment and HR have to go through as the processes are not fair, but they are growing and I do not think they are going away. Again, I am sorry you did not make it as an EA, and wish you could have been involved in a different aspect of the company. I made a Meets on my matrix revue and told them I did not want to enroll anymore. I am now in a different department that is tough, but you see a different side. I still have students I enrolled that have are attending or have graduated and we talk and they come to me with questions and comments. It is different and it is too bad you could not experience a different side. Work on the bitterness and you will be happier.

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#8 Consumer Comment

AU's Sales Techniques??? I don't think that's what they do as a rule...

AUTHOR: HeaSqaw - (USA)

I am a student a Ashford University and when the adviser talked to me and we discussed my return to school there was no sales pitch.  It was pure heart felt emotions coming from me and she was listening and providing lots of support during the long conversation that lasted over an hour and a half.  She never rushed me and never pushed me into making a decision.  She was very genuine and a great listener.  I don't know too many sales people who listen very well at all.  She followed up with me almost daily through the first two months of my schooling and we still talk from time to time.  If she was so concerned about getting those numbers up and the people enrolled by the masses then she wouldn't have wasted her time talking to me for so long and certainly would not have called me and returned my calls knowing we would be on the phone each time for at least thirty minutes at a time.  I hate to see a great school slandered because of a disgruntled employee.  Of course there are incentives for having students enrolled in the school, it's a business!!!  But it can certainly be a valued business that cares about the students and their education.  If they didn't take care of their students, then they wouldn't be able to keep their students.  I think this employee needs to step back and look at reality.  There are many different aspects to running such a complex organization like a school.  There is the financial, educational, ethical and moral sides and so on.  It is a balance.  So just because they encourage enrollment, doesn't mean they don't encourage education as well.  I am constantly, in every class I have had so far, receiving positive and upbeat messages from my instructors about what is currently happening and what is coming up and just general information.  They are very informative and they respond individually to classwork.  I have no complaints about the quality of the education.

I hope you can see things different in hindsight.  It is a terrible thing to walk around with bitterness and negativity, it eats at you.  Also, life is full of incentives, they are everywhere, just look around.  Don't speed and you won't get a speeding ticket, the incentive is not to speed.  Pay your bills and you won't lose your home and have the utilities turned off, incentive is not to miss your payments.  Go to work so you can earn money to buy groceries, incentive is to maintain employment.  I think you see my point. 

Have a great day(-:
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Thanx You For Coming Forward in San Diego

AUTHOR: anoymous - (United States of America)

I to am an ex-employee from Ashford. I worked as an Enrollment Advisor in the Clinton online center in 2008. Honestly, I have no ill feelings towards Ashford. However, I will say that they don't care about you. They're there just to make money off of you. Bottom line. That's all they care about is money. I remember one of the last meetings very vividly that I had with my Enrollment Manager, Jessica Abbott before I got fired. What she said was quote, "I like money." I feel sorry for her because you know what you can't buy your way into heaven. I am actually really glad that I did get fired because I cannot sell my soul to make a company rich by preying on innocent people and promising them a better life if they go to college. That's such a lie because most students either (A) don't finish or (B) complete their degree program but then don't find adquate employment after they graduate. So either way you're stuck with a massive debt that you can't possibly ever afford to pay back. Look at Ashford's gradutation rate numbers they speak for themselves. Their graduation rate was 30% according to http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator . That is shocking, really. Like I said, I don't have any ill feelings towards Ashford, but you can really see through all the lies that they will promise you in the end. And if I were a student or even a job seeker for that matter, I would seriously take my time and think twice before I went to Ashford.

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#10 General Comment

Very Strange "Ripoff Report" Post

AUTHOR: Jenny - (United States of America)

Well, One of my friends was interested in going to Ashford so when we came across this post we decided to do some research. The Ex Employee first states that school accepts students with GED's.Well I have a GED and I am in my 3rd year at Illinois Universiy so i went and did some more research (((Redacted)))

 states that 97 percent of colleges accept GED's. Also, I was approached by Illinois reps(salespeople) at my GED testing center they went over their program and helped me enroll! So I was wondering why should we not enroll at Ashford University?  Please help us if you know something we dont, I really want to make sure my friend makes the right Decision.. She works full time and has two kids!

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#11 Consumer Comment

Student who is impressed so far!

AUTHOR: jacob - (United States of America)

I was doing a little research on Ashford Stock and came across this post. To me this sounds like an angry ex employee. Well I am living proof that an Ashford degree holds a lot of value, I work at Bank Of America and My Director (who earned a Masters from Ashford) informed me that we have a partnership with AU and a BA Degree in Business will allow me to move up into an assistant Director position. I am now in my 7th class and no problems so far. My Advisor Stephen has been veeeeeery helpful!!

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