Direct Lending and Title IV are words that entered my vocabulary three days before I was to begin my second "semester" with American Public University.
I began as a student who holds one Master's Degree already, from another university, teaching credentials for the state in which I live, and an additional 18 credits in Business Management toward another graduate degree.
In a nutshell: I have received some sort of aid (grants and loans) from Sallie Mae for 8 years straight. I cannot find a teaching position, which isn't unusual in my state which has double digit unemployment in my area alone.
Never in my life have I had admissions reps, financial aid reps, and my own advisor be so unfeeling, unprofessional and uneducated. I paid for two classes from APU almost five years ago, while enrolled in another graduate program, believing I could handle both degrees with my part-time job. At that time, my part-time job's hours increased, which truly helped me with the bills, and I felt, since I paid for APU with my own money, withdrawing wouldn't affect my future.
As I exchanged emails with the advisors, financial aid reps and registrar reps, no one told me that these withdrawals would affect my financial aid or my status as a student.
They only saw dollar signs.
They let me begin my program, excitedly, and assured me over and over again, when I was a bit paranoid regarding my financial aid that nothing was amiss. At this time, I had not taken any classes in several years at APU, and the only classes on my transcript where those I eventually had to leave for the other program (incidentally, I thought the other program would bring me into my chosen profession quicker than APU's program...which is why I chose the other school at that time).
No one notified me, until that "junk mail" on, or about, 27 October 2010. My class was beginning on 1 November 2010. I thought they would never allow me to lose any of my aid, and would work with me, since I am a good student and prompt student with my studies.
Don't kid yourself. This "University" is only out for money. And some of you will say "they are a FOR-profit university." To you I say "I know." However, the first graduate degree I received was with a "for-profit university." NEVER, and I stress...NEVER were there any problems with financial aid, representatives who falsely represent the truth, and completely insane rules that Sallie Mae isn't even sure of why are subjected to students who are keeping high GPA's.
I'm stressed beyond belief right now with headaches, chest pains, and various other issues that come with intense stress.
After approaching APU reps again earlier in 2010, I was ASSURED that my student loans would not be affected by those withdrawals.
I was allowed to:
A) Get loans, approved by Sallie Mae, and already approved for the semester which began on 1 November 2010. Sallie Mae is just a confused as I am.
B) Paid 1800 dollars for two classes to begin a Master Degree program.
C) Successfully finish those classes with two A's on 24 October 2010.
What I was not allowed to do:
A) get timely emails and information regarding this travesty.
B) continue with my program.
C) get any straight answers.
So I waited, after I received the email (in my junk mail box, not even in my school sanctioned APU mail) to allow the "Committee" to review the 3.79 GPA and transcript of my former graduate school.
All the while, the financial aid department was sending form letters...oh except from some woman first initial "S," who explained SHE would personally let me know what my options are if I was dropped from the program.
Dropped? I have a 4.0 at APU. I had a 3.8 in my BA program, and a 3.79 in my graduate program. I am an excellent and respectful, as well as hardworking student.
Well, I got a form letter this morning somewhere at 4:30am or so on 06 Nov 10; six days after my class started; three weeks after I paid and received my books for the dropped classes (100 dollars I CANNOT afford right now); and maybe 12 hours after I received my last email from "S" assuring me of her continued presence.
Do yourself a favor, stay away from this university. I plan on notifying the state education department in which I live, as well as the state of the school's origin; considering legal action, and will attempt to get them to refund all my monies that were taken from me under the guise of higher education and my degree program.
The professors I had for my first two classes were very good; however, upon speaking with other students, their experiences were not as positive with the professors. The academics is just what you expect for an online school; however, I worked very hard on my first two classes with many papers and online posts.
Don't waste your student loan money or grant money on this school. Yes, other schools might be more expensive.....but I found out why it was only 300 dollars per credit hour. I found out the hard way...less 1900 dollars and sixteen weeks of my life.
I'll probably never see those again, but I will make certain that everyone knows what I went through with this school and their financial aid department, as well as other departments.
Good luck and happy studying!