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My Ashford University Experience

Today is my last day at Ashford University online. I have completed exactly one course with the school. I wanted to share my experience with others in the hopes of helping someone to not make the same mistake that I did in my choice of schools. My experience was a nightmare once class started and I would like to help others to avoid experiencing the same turmoil I did.

Please understand that my experience is by no means unique. I will provide links to some other complaints about Ashford University's practices at the bottom of this hub. Contrarily, Ashford University may be a good fit for other students. Not everyone is going to have the same standards, be looking for the same things, or even have the same experience. My goal is to help you to make a decision about this school based on information that I still have not been able to find on their website.

You will find several hubs here on Hubpages that recommend Ashford quite highly. Just do a search and you will be able to find them. In the meantime, bear in mind that this is my personal experience. I am not parroting information from their website (after all, that would be plagiarism and plagiarism is bad.


The Convenience of Online Learning

Online learning offers incredible convenience. I chose to get my degree online because I felt that, as a stay at home mom, it would help me to avoid putting my daughter in daycare, which is unaffordable at this time. My hope was that I could earn a four-year degree in a timely manner without having to sacrifice my stay at home mother status. My own mother pointed out that in many ways online education offered me even more benefits: I wouldn't have to drive out in the snow, and I wouldn't need to purchase that third car or drop my husband off at work and pick him up every day (which would be disruptive to our daughter's schedule).

I debated for quite some time before deciding to attempt college online. At first I felt that I wanted to have the whole college experience by attending a brick-and-mortar university. I wanted to be a part of everything and I felt that this would be impossible if I went to college online. I began examining local colleges. Then, before I knew what was happening, my husband was enrolled at Ashford University. Because Ashford is one of very few online colleges that offers a journalism degree, he had chosen this school for his education, and he had done it very quickly.

Following his lead (because that's the kind of woman I am), I signed up as well. If the school was good enough for him, then there was no question in my mind that it was also good enough for me. Assuming that he had worked out the finances and that Ashford fit into our budget, I was ready to go. I assumed that when the school said they were "affordable" they were telling me the truth.

The Cost of Ashford University

I was more than halfway through my course when I discovered that Ashford University was costing me nearly as much per credit hour as Miami University in Ohio on the ground. My husband, several friends and I were all told that Ashford University's costs were $372 per class. Instead, this is the cost per credit hour. Admittedly it is true that any one of us could have found the correct information by scouring the website for clues as to the monumental cost of a bachelor degree at Ashford University. However, we were so eager and under so much pressure from enrollment officers that we simply didn't.

I am willing to accept the blame for being lazy and not looking deeper at the costs of college before I enrolled. I am not happy that we appear to have been lied to and put under pressure to enroll, but it was entirely my fault that I didn't examine the costs before I applied for student aid and began my first class. I was also led to believe that books were included in the cost of the class: they are not.

Ashford University Boxed Me In

One thing that I was looking forward to at college was the opportunity to explore different subjects that interested me. I am a natural learner and frequently go on knowledge sprees. The current spree (at the time of writing) includes practicing speed tests for basic arithmetic. My own interests are diverse and I truly enjoy learning new things. I was eager to tackle some history classes, literature classes and maybe an anthropology or psychology class.

Instead, I came up against a brick wall of sixteen required general education classes. Before you go off half-cocked, dear reader, allow me to assure you that I understand why general education is required and I know that all universities have their requirements. I have not, however, encountered in the past a single college that pre-enrolls you in a pre-determined set of classes of the college's choosing. Nothing was elective: it was all decided for me before I even enrolled. All Ashford University students take this list of classes, from EXP 105 (or PSY 202 if you are transferring credits in) to SOC 101, with several more classes in between (including the standard English classes and the required Math. Theory that is).

This wall of classes made me feel trapped and uncomfortable. Several of the classes appeared to have a deliberate liberal agenda and seemed that they could serve no purpose other than indoctrination. Others were simply of no interest to me. Watching my husband take PSY 202 told me that I would be entering into at least two classes that were of no benefit or interest to me, and which taught little or nothing of relevance to my major or my life in general.

Most colleges give you choices. In fact, my transfer college has offered me so much choice that my mouth is watering in anticipation of taking some truly exciting classes. Some colleges offer so much choice that the process is downright confusing. What to take, when, and why? Ashford simply takes your personality out of the equation, and instead gives you the one they want you to have.

In fact, the books at Ashford have become a major bone of contention for me. While the book fee for my first class was credited back to me as a kind of a "bonus" for enrolling, the original fee was $75 for the digital course materials. The books are run through a program called Constellation, which is, admittedly, pretty amazing. The problem that I had was that the books are not. At 89 pages (in PDF), my book was little more than a booklet. Bearing in mind that five of these pages were taken up with massive images, plus the addition of other images throughout the text, and there isn't much content to the text. Furthermore, the book was written by Ashford University Faculty, poorly edited and often rambled, as though the writers were making an effort to make their paragraphs "long enough" for the current standards (whatever those may be).

In other words, the cost of the text was disproportionate to the quality contained therein. While there was some useful information that helped me as a home schooling mother, I did feel boxed in and uncomfortable with the overall lack of new knowledge being offered by the class.


And the Strangest Thing...

The strangest thing about my experience with Ashford University was the order of the classes. There are two required Introductory classes that must be taken first by anyone who does not have transfer credits into the University. These classes are EXP 105 (which I took) and PSY 202 (which my husband took). While EXP 105 doesn't require you to write in perfect APA style, there are some situations in which you need to understand the particular grammar preferred by the American Psychology Association in order to make the most of your assignments. PSY 202, on the other hand, grades you on your ability to write in perfect APA style.

Bear in mind that EXP 105 is the first class, as required. PSY 202 must be taken next. You have no choice. You must take these two classes. Once you have completed PSY 202, you will go on to take ENG 121, at which point you will learn how to write in APA style. After you complete ENG 122, you will go on to take INF 103 Computer Literacy, which will teach you how to use all of the programs you have been required to use from the first class.

If you aren't already proficient with Microsoft Office by the time you have finished your second class, I honestly am not sure that a computer literacy class is going to help you to understand how to use it. If you have already been tested on how to write in APA style and have had points removed from your papers if you don't reference things perfectly, you probably don't need to take English Comp I.

After that, the classes get much more general. However, these first five classes are entirely an anomaly and I am not sure how Ashford gets away with it without having a larger number of student complaints. Unless, of course, they don't get complaints because it is just so easy to make an A in their classes.


The Financial Aid Department

First of all, let me be clear that it is not your school's responsibility to take care of your financial aid for you. I understand this and am fully aware of my personal responsibility for my financial aid. The majority of the financial aid complaints about Ashford seem to have been resolved, but you will see some of them listed below in the links. I thought that it was only fair to try to make you as aware as possible of their past problems with the government and with the way they issue financial aid. The best advice I have is to not grant authorization for Ashford to hold your funds. I am having enough problems with them and I did not grant the authorization.

My experience wasn't as bad as some, but it has been disconcerting. Two weeks ago I sent a message to my financial aid adviser requesting information regarding the refund and return of Title IV policies. I never received an e-mail in response, and I sent him a total of three messages before my husband got a response from him saying that he no longer worked for Ashford University. The next day he disappeared from my list of advisers and was not replaced by anyone. I was never notified personally by the university or given someone else to contact.

However, two days ago he reappeared on my list. I don't know whether he was re-hired, but I find it unusual and uncomfortable that he was gone and suddenly returned to work. When I questioned an admissions supervisor, I was told that my financial aid adviser no longer worked for the university, so the information was confirmed.

Now I have received several disbursement letters from Ashford but do not have my money in order to make arrangements with my transfer school. I have no adviser to contact regarding the return of the Title IV funding so that it can be transferred into my transfer school, either. I am in limbo.


Am on March 25, 2014:

I also had a pretty awful time at Ashford as well. It's nearly impossible to get any information you need from them, to provide a transfer school.

Very frustrating, wishing I never took courses at Ashford.

flutterbygems on April 26, 2013:

I enjoyed reading your article. However, the lower part of the comments was giving me a headache. LOL Nothing like some good old bickering, huh? My sister graduated with her Bachelors Degree from Liberty and then got her Masters Degree at Ashford. I have attended Ashford for two years now. Everybody has their own personal preferences. Dealing with the financial side of any huge investment, whether its education or purchasing a home, is tough. Sometimes it goes well, other times you feel like your being kicked in the butt. The main thing we all need to remember no matter where we attend college is to hang in there. We are all working toward that end result of attaining a degree and hopefully getting ourselves ahead of others in the job market or just getting a good paying job to support our families. I wish you all the best in your educational goals.

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on March 25, 2013:

It's as simple as going to the library to use a different location, or posting from a cell phone.

I marked him as a spammer from the last IP address he posted rom, so that should probably doe the trick.

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on March 24, 2013:

The university will not admit to spamming you. They are probably paying a service to pump their online reputation. Just my opinion.

Regarding the IP address: most ISPs will assign you a different IP address periodically. They are 'leased' to subscribers, so it may be possible that his IP address changed naturally. Send me the two addresses and I will tell you if that was the case. We can tell how hard js worked to get that different address.

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on March 24, 2013:

I've provided information about my experience with Ashford, and JS has done nothing but argue that my experiences are invalid. I don't know what he's hoping to achieve, but arguing here only makes the university look bad.

Isn't it interesting that he tried from a different IP address this time, using the same name? It doesn't matter. I'm still deleting the comments, which have now been marked as spam, as I'm sure that's what this is.

I'm invested in ensuring that the content of this hub remains accurate. I've provided accurate information from my experience at the time that I experienced it. Since this hub is dated, it's dated four years ago. I've done nothing even remotely unethical here; I've provided information about a person experience that I've had. This is getting ridiculous.

I'm considering calling the University in the morning to ask that this person cease commenting here. This spammer has gotten ridiculous. Thank you for your support, nicomp!

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on March 24, 2013:

"Deleting my comments only proved that they were interfering with your credibility. "

No, it proves that EM has pride in her work and doesn't want you to sully it.

"Even if this is your blog, you have the responsibility to share accurate and unbiased information."

That's the point. You're catching on.

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on March 23, 2013:

I'm no longer approving comments from the IP listed for the above unidentified commenter because I feel that he is very clearly a representative of the university in question and doesn't have the best interests of potential students in mind.

It is noteworthy that my husband was charged for classes he never took at Ashford, and that the University is now attempting to sue him for tuition for courses he withdrew from before they ever started. This is a known problem with Ashford, as any prospective student can find by doing a search for complaints about the school. I was smart enough to browbeat them into withdrawing me, but even that was incredibly difficult!

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on March 23, 2013:

There's no point in me engaging you since you're simply not paying attention to what I'm saying. I'll say this one more time, and then I'm done. I reserve the right to delete your comments after this, because I agree that this appears to be paid promotion for Ashford University.

The fact of the matter is that I was given a list of classes that had to be completed in a particular order, none of which were prerequisite to one another or to other classes. I'm not talking about classes like "English" or "Math." I'm talking about classes like "environmental impact" and "computer science."

Clearly I am computer savvy enough to manage to produce online articles that earn me money. I've had no problems with Liberty University online, without taking a MANDATORY computer literacy class. The point that I have made is that it makes no sense to require students to take English -- a class in which students are required to use computer programs they are taught in computer literacy -- before they take the class that teaches them how to use the required programs. If not being able to use these programs should disqualify students from attending college online, then why is the class mandatory at all?

My first ELEVEN classes were laid out for me in an order that could not be modified or changed in any way. I had to work through them in that specific order, without reprieve. Electives, I was told, would come my Junior year. I've had a good deal more flexibility at Liberty.

My Liberty experience, by the way -- along with your failure to put any attention into dealing with anything I've said about that -- is another reason that I fail to believe that you're a student. If you are not working for the University, you are a troll, at best.

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on March 23, 2013:

JS, open a HubPages account and post your student ID.

javier solis on March 23, 2013:

"Nicomp", this is not "advisor speaking". This is an educated student speaking. I understand that I may not express myself like a "student" but this happens when you get a good college education. I must say that the only difference I found from Ashford and a traditional campus is the amount of writing that most Ashford courses require. I'm sure that can intimidate some students, but in the long run, you will be the one who benefits from that experience. JS

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on March 23, 2013:

Sure. Javier forgot to mention something and came back here to clarify his previous post. Students do that all the time. Sigh.

javier solis on March 23, 2013:

Also forgot mention that once you pass your pre req such as math for some classes and english for others, the order in which classes are taken are very flexible. You can't enroll in upper level classes because the pre req classes will help you with the kind of work that is required in the upper courses. I believe you stated that you wanted to take computer science before english and you stated that computer science made more sense to be taken first since this is an online course. I believe that if you are not computer savy enough to take work through an online course, then this is not for you. A traditional campus might work better for you. I have done both and I see no difference. And just yesterday I called my advisor to switch my last courses (i already had the book for a class). The order is not an issue, might just be with the prerequisites.js

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on March 23, 2013:

Reading the comments of "Matt", above: ' I am sorry so many of you had a negative experience ...'

Students don't talk like that. Students don't apologize to complete strangers for their college.

And "Javier": 'There is also no hidden or surprise tech fee, my advisor informed me of this fee since day one.'

Students don't remember what their advisor told them on 'day one.'

"Javier" again: " All colleges and universities require students to have passed English and Math before they can be enrolled in most upper level courses."

Students have no idea what the requirements are at "all colleges and universities." This is adviser-speak and obviously a result of Ashford using your hub as a venue to address commonly held prejudices against their school.

javier solis on March 23, 2013:

I am not an Ashford representative. I am a student like many of my fellow classmates. I am more than glad to provide any information to prove it. I just felt the need to share my experience. I would like other students who are thinking about enrolling to know that your experience is not the same for everyone else. Last week I attended a reunion that is held about once a year, where faculty, students and alumni get together. It was very informative and entertaining. ..going back to your issue, all institutes give you a plan with courses that are needed including general education, core and electives. An advisor will always tell you which classes can be taken in lieu to fulfill that requirement. For example Humanities was able to be replaced with an upper literature course. Social awareness was replaced with with World Geography. As long as the class falls within the subject and level, there is no problem replacing it. Core classes might be less flexible in that sense but that works the same in any school.

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on March 23, 2013:

Not necessarily; I get a lot of comments from unregistered users on a couple of my hubs.

However, this has been my suspicion for a long time. This last comment most of all. I was legitimately given a list of classes that had to be completed in a certain order when I was at Ashford. The order didn't necessarily make any sense at all and left me feeling frustrated and dependent on the University.

Ashford is known for spamming complaints.

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on March 23, 2013:

It's pretty clear that representatives of Ashford are spamming this hub. The number of unregistered users leaving elaborate comments is way beyond the norm.

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on March 23, 2013:

My courses were laid out for me, without any choices of my own, from the very beginning of my experience with Ashford, and regardless of how often I asked to change them, I was not allowed to do so. Your experience may differ, and the school might have made chances since I was there four years ago, but the fact of the matter is that this is *my* experience, and a lot of people have had legitimate problems with Ashford.

I pay a fraction of the cost of Ashford at Liberty University Online. I do get a scholarship for being a military wife, but I'm getting a better education for a lower cost, and I get to choose which classes I take in which order, provided that I complete my prerequisites before taking more advanced classes.

javier on March 23, 2013:

I have been attending Ashford for the past two years and am getting ready to graduate this Spring. Just want to make it clear that Ashford advisors do not select the order in which the courses are taken, but keep in mind that many classes have prerequisites. All colleges and universities require students to have passed English and Math before they can be enrolled in most upper level courses. There is also no hidden or surprise tech fee, my advisor informed me of this fee since day one. Expensive?? Just like any other university. Out of state tuition has always been expensive. Easy A???Maybe the introductory course, after that, it can be a challenge. I don't seem to see any valid arguments from the people with negative comments. If the program does not work for you, keep in mind you have options, and I'm sue you will find something that tailors your needs. Thanks!

Matt on January 23, 2013:

I have to disagree with most of you on here. I have attended Ashford for the past 3 years and yes while it is expensive I was able to get my agree with a lot of hard work. I am now making over 75k a year because of their job placement program and could not be more excited. I am sorry so many of you had a negative experience but for someone transferring credits in this is a great school to attend too.

unknowen on January 20, 2013:

i,m attending ashford right now i,m in exp 105 im not happy with it.

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on January 03, 2013:

Brittany, Ashford is the only school I've encountered that dictates the specific (and ridiculous) order in which classes needed to be taken. At Liberty I had a very small core of required classes that I was required to take and was otherwise able to focus on those classes that related directly to my major. Even as a first semester Freshman I was taking classes that pertained to the major that I was in at the time.

At the time when I was with Ashford, I was required to take certain classes in a particular order. The order didn't make sense. Why take an English class for which you're required to use the tools you're taught to use in the class that comes up two classes down in the schedule? If the computer literacy class is going to be required, shouldn't it be required *before* the programs it teaches you to use are necessary in order to pass the class? These are just a few of the issues that I have with the organization and the structure of Ashford University. I can't speak *at all* about job rates coming out of Ashford since I didn't graduate from there. I know what I've heard, but I also suspect that some of the negative criticism of the university is bloated by competitors so that it looks worse than it is.

Brittany on January 02, 2013:

Ashford ABSOLUTELY has soooo many negatives, but there are some big positives too. I am almost done with my degree there and, honestly, I am super proud of myself! Any school is going to be expensive, tell you what classes you have to take, and be somewhat challenging.

I agree with you- their staff (financial aid, academic advisors) are horrible and disappear and reappear every few months. I am glad that I have been able to get through without their help. Financial aid sucks only because of their unconventional schedule. Many times they have called me looking for money. I have politely and then not-so politely told them that they need to keep their panties on and wait for financial aid. They have seem to come to grips with that and don't call me anymore.

In my experience, the majority of people will criticize you for going to ANY online school. They will put you down and make you feel stupid. But, some of us (like me) have no choice. I work 50-60 hours a week and cannot get to a traditional school's class times. I can't stop working or I don't eat. So, Ashford it is. I am proud of myself for sticking it out and I will have a degree at the end that no one can take away from me. So will you and I'm so happy that you found a place that was right for you! Different things work for different people. Good luck to you!

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on December 12, 2012:

Good exposition. There is a lot to know about online schools and how to navigate them.

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on December 04, 2012:

I did *not* wind up owing anything, Nickolus. I've heard horror stories about students owing money to Ashford following a transfer, and I waited very anxiously to find out if I would receive any paper bills, but I did *not*. Because my experience worked out in the end in terms of my ability to transfer, I cannot confirm what I believe to be the myth that Ashford simply refuses to withdraw you once you've shown that you are determined to do so.

It did take a lot of work to get them to drop my last two classes, however, and I found that surprising and alarming. The process at Liberty is instant and automated, so I don't have to stress about dropping classes. In fact, if I don't check in on the first day of class, I'm never charged for the class *at all*. Ashford's practices are some of the most bizarre that I've heard of.

Once again, for those who finish, they aren't likely to experience the problems that those of us who have transferred or attempted to transfer do, and therefore the continued insistence that Ashford is a wonderful school isn't going to work for those who for some reason (the high cost of tuition, perhaps) need to transfer.

You should be fine, once you've talked to your adviser. If you can't get hold of him/her, tell the person you do reach that you plan on contacting the Government's financial aid department. That will get them moving. They've had enough problems with legal issues relating to this particular behavior. They don't want more.

Nickolus on December 04, 2012:

I have just taken the first step in transfering and attempted to reach my advisor to no avail. I will be transfering to Colorado State University -Global (another online program) due to their partnership with my employer. I am the business development manager for a health care company with multiple facilities locally and wish to make the jump to regional management. I called back a few hours after I left a message and asked if there was someone else I could speak with. When I was answered with no, that the advisor was really the person with whom I should speak, I asked the woman who answered the phone if she could give me a run down of the withdraw process. She said I will need to be careful of the possibility that the government withdraws funding, even for classes previous taken and paid for. I have a 4.0. I refuse to have to pay for these classes if financial aid has taken care of it. I have learned that the class I began today is the last class in the disbursement period so I will of course finish this one up. what was the result of your transfer, may I ask. Did you wind up owing the university or were to able to dispell the basis for my growing anxiety?

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on December 04, 2012:

It has recently occurred to me that the majority of the problems that people experience with Ashford only occur if you're attempting to transfer out of the school. This is the point at which the problems really start for a lot of students.

Obviously those who graduate have never had to struggle with the school over withdrawal and transfer, so my experience is irrelevant to them.

For what it's worth, that same introductory course is FREE at Liberty and is entirely optional for new students. The materials, while not identical, are similar, and students aren't required to pay for the course.

Man from Modesto from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California) on December 04, 2012:

Hello! Sorry to hear about your experience. The first course is intended to be instructional to the learning platform and to distance learning itself.

Online schools do this to ensure students can graduate. I graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts in International Business Management. Last month, I moved my business to Ukraine. God is blessing me.

You can read my review here: http://hub.me/ac8tH

I learned a lot. I kept most of my books, too.

Peace, MFM

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on November 28, 2012:

From what I saw of the curriculum at Ashford, it was much simpler than what I'm experiencing with Liberty, and the materials are very basic by comparison. I'm also spending a lot less at Liberty, but then the school that I chose also has a reputation for having one of the lowest tuitions for online universities in the United States, and with the Military Discount, I've been doing rather well.

Transferring should have been a relatively simple experience; the problem with Ashford was the fact that they made it nearly impossible to withdraw. Those who have received degrees from the school haven't had the opportunity to experience this problem, and as of yet, nobody has piped up to mention the value of their degree in the workplace or in transferring to another university for further education.

My hope, on graduation, is to attend graduate school (probably law school), and research has proven out time and again that Liberty will help me get to where I'm going (especially since I have personal friends who have graduated LUO).

Again, however, it's been two years since I wrote this hub and things might have improved. I have no way of knowing since I'm not planning on transferring unless I start at an on-the-ground University. Nothing's perfect with Liberty, but it's been preferable so far.

Fierce Manson from Atlanta on November 27, 2012:

I am so sorry you had this terrible experience. I was shocked to hear about so many the statements. I received my M.A.Ed from Ashford, I loved the curriculum. I noticed in someone's comment about Ashford being an easy A University. This is far from the true. Again, I am sorry to hear your experience was terrible.

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on November 24, 2012:

It may not matter to some people, but it does matter to me which classes I take and in what order, in order to ensure that I get the best education possible. Liberty has been very good for me.

If Ashford works for some people, that's fine. It did not work for me. I am a Junior now and wrote this hub originally two years ago when I first transferred to Liberty; Maybe some things have changed for Ashford, and maybe they haven't. My experience is my own and your mileage may vary.

Scott on November 20, 2012:

I am currently attending Ashford. Who cares what classes you take or in what order. The ultimate goal is to earn your degree.

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on November 16, 2012:

http://luonline.com and http://liberty.edu

Liberty University is one of the largest Christian Universities in the nation and was founded by Jerry Falwell (whose name is a household name in a lot of homes).

My problem with Ashford had nothing to do with it being too hard and everything to do with it being entirely too easy. As far as I'm concerned, and compared to my experience with Liberty, Ashford was a walk in the park. I'm a junior now and have had to work every step of the way to earn the degree that I'm earning.

Liberty is also one of the least expensive online colleges available to students. I pay $275 per credit hour for my undergraduate program (as a military spouse). There are steep discounts for military students. I also get my books for free and don't pay any tech fees. Furthermore, I get a choice in the classes that I take, provided that I fulfill the requirements for my school. Ashford had everything mapped out for me through my sophomore year, including which order I had to take the classes in.

Did you even read the hub?

cros123456 on November 14, 2012:

Liberty? Never heard of it? I am about to graduate from Ashford University. It is not easy, expensive maybe. I have two kids and work full time. I don't believe in reasons to quit or judge schools. If your looking for an easy school , don't start. Ashford is not easy.I have attended 6 different colleges. I know what is hard and not! It takes dedication and before you dog a school think about it! or buy a degree online!

Faye on October 15, 2012:

I am going to Ashford, as a matter of fact I have been attending Ashford since July 10,2012 : I notices that I did not get to pick any of my classes, nor get the right amount of funds, which I applied for a loan and sub-loan plus the Grant, and and was quaifiled for the whole amount. However, only received $1,290.00 of the $5,550.00 grant. If I took out the loan and sub-loan plus grant, than what is going on?

Tess on September 07, 2012:

I to am worried about all this as I just started school at Ashford three weeks ago. I have not heard anything about how much FASA I will be getting but I have seen where I already owe 7,000. i hope I haven't made a mistake on this school. It's been 18 years since i've been in school so I wouldn't even know where I would start trying to get out. OMG I am really scared now.

manda on August 02, 2012:

I have been attending Ashford for a few years and will complete my degree program in November. I have had a positive experience and appreciate the flexibility of it all. I'm not sure why you were unable to choose the elective courses of your liking; I chose my electives and the school in no way tried to choose them for me. Like any degree program there is a list of required courses, which indeed make up the better part of the 120 credit requirements. The rest of the courses, however, are chosen by the student.

I have heard repeatedly statements like "Ashford is not a real school", "students go to Ashford to get an easy A" and so on. I have always been a straight A student and assure you that I have worked very hard to maintain a great GPA at Ashford. Some classes come easier than others, but I would invite anyone claiming that it's an easy A to take and get an A in the Business Statitistics course as I did and then tell me it is an easy A.

Janeese on August 01, 2012:

Hi, this is very good info to me because I just started Ashford also and I got pissed when I seen the (tech fee) that just popped up out of no where. And now im getting the run around with my finacial aid . This school is such a rip off and Im planning on withdrawing and transfer to another University. this is too much madness for me.

Ernie on July 15, 2012:

After reading all the post about Ashford which is where I just started in April. I'm thinking I may need to find a new school before I'm in to deep ( which I hope is not now ). I'm very new to all this so I have no idea how to go about switching to another online school. Please any advice would be most helpful. Thank you

mischell on April 28, 2012:

I had a similar experience. I have withdrawn from Ashford University as well. My advisor kept blowing me off after appointments were made for phone conference, never did they want to go over funding, they had me in English classes for almost a year, they altered my FASA w/o my consent, their portal was never accessible and always down, I asked tech support for help but the server was down as well..... the list goes on and on and on .. A staff member there stole my social number and created a pay pal account. I explained the issue to them and was told to hire a lawyer. I am now attending a real and truthfully accredited college. But Ashford continues to try pull funds from my loan and also refuses to withdraw me and or sign my forms that are needed at my new school. They also will now not return my calls as to the paperwork I need.

Sara on April 19, 2012:

I am thinking about transferring to Liberty in the fall, if not sooner. Unlike you, I actually live somewhat close to Liberty so I have the extra advantage of hearing from the "brick and mortar" students and community. I picked Ashford because they were cheaper than University of Phoenix. I had a very hard time working, taking care of my family, and trying to fit in both online and in-person classes at my local community college. It seemed like a good idea to go for a 100% online degree when I decided to go to the next level. While the online part is not difficult (I was already used to it from my last school), the cost has skyrocketed! Granted, I was used to community college where you can get a certificate or degree for practically the cost of a single semester at Ashford. The only smart thing I did was go to community college for my freshman and sophomore classes. Choosing Ashford was a mistake! I like the 5 week format, though it can seem a bit rushed at times, but the amount they charge per class is outrageous! Every few months they tack on $12 per credit hour due to "rising costs". Meanwhile, I live close to several different colleges and universities and NONE of them raise the price every 4-6 months like that! They also told me in the beginning that they charged a $120 technology fee. It was supposed to be a one time charge for the cost of their version of the online format or something like that. The real charge was nearly $1300! When I asked them about it...crickets. It was like they knew they could lie to me on the phone and there was nothing I could do about the charge later. Then there is the cost of books. $75 for an e-book is fine I guess but only if that book is comparable to a real textbook. I have lots of my Associate's degree books that cost (used on amazon) $50 or less and they are much much longer! I knew the books would be more expensive and unfortunately $75 is about right in general for the cost of real books (used) in my area. I just didn't expect "pamphlets". I suppose 5 weeks does not make longer textbooks possible. Ugh! Everything you say is true. I did do research a bit before picking Ashford and somehow Liberty did not come up. Or maybe that is because I am so used to it being a place I can visit if I wanted to. My grandmother is in a nursing home and most of the people who work there either graduated from or are currently attending Liberty. If only I had known they had an online degree program when I transferred to Ashford! Since you live in Indiana, I'll tell you that the pictures of Liberty on their website do not compare to the real thing! It is a beautiful campus and Lynchburg is a wonderful community. They are very active in the community and the school has a great reputation. I don't live close enough to actually be able to physically enroll but I did consider moving to Lynchburg and possibly going there a few years ago when my grandmother was starting to get to the point where she needed some extra help. Again, I wish I had known about their online degrees!

Since I am in the beginning process of trying to transfer, what tips do you have for me? I am still taking a class at Ashford. I didn't want to cut my semester short and have them hound me for money so I do want to finish this semester (meaning I want to get 12 credts done before the end of May). I have heard that Ashford makes the financial aid part nearly impossible. Fortunately, I can afford to pay for at least one class on my own once I transfer to Liberty. After that, I'm not sure if I can afford another class completely without financial aid but I am trying to save up and I think I'll be able to swing it. I'm trying to keep in mind that transferring is more than figuring out what each credit will cost because there are books and fees and I know I will probably need to buy several copies of my Ashford Transcript. Do they hold onto those? I've googled Ashford to see what problems have come up for others and some have said that they never get their transcripts or that it takes months. I have sort of built that into my schedule. I figure that if they do cause problems, I'm okay with taking the summer off and dealing with them. Starting at Liberty in the fall is probably what will happen. Do Ashford classes transfer to Liberty as electives? I am worried about that because my Associate's degree classes did not transfer easily to Ashford. Some of them became electives even though both degrees were for health and human services. I had to take a couple classes again because they claimed there was a difference. I couldn't tell the difference and I even had some papers and discussion questions that were the same or worded very similarly to the ones I had already done for my community college classes. Ugh! Anyway, I am glad to be getting out of Ashford! I transferred to Ashford with a 4.0 and I will be transferring to Liberty with a 4.0. I'm proud of that but it sort of taints my 4.0 that I picked a bad school. Liberty has such a good reputation and I am already familiar with the school so I feel like it will be a much better fit for me.

I'm glad you are enjoying Liberty!

Haley Schaeffer from San Diego on April 12, 2012:

I'm so sorry to hear about your negative experience at Ashford. I'm a big advocate of the power and benefits of distance learning, but it is true that there is a huge difference in the quality of education provided by different online colleges. Unfortunately, whenever dealing with these "for-profit" schools, it's always buyer beware.

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on April 05, 2012:

I'm glad that it's working out for you, Stephen, but I don't thin that just because someone doesn't like Ashford's class structure, they aren't "cut out for higher education." I'm about to become a junior at Liberty University and have kept a 3.5 or better GPA throughout my education there.

Stephen on April 05, 2012:

I am on my 5th class with Ashford and I love it. The first few classes seemed to be created to thin out the ones who are not cut out for higher education. I have attended brick and mortar colleges and I can tell you it is just as challenging. I am in a position right now where physically showing up in a class room is no option. I have had no trouble with the financial aid department, they are an accredited university, and credits will transfer. I hope to eventually be able to go back to a campus. I would highly recommend Ashford. It is not for everyone, but it works for me.

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on March 25, 2012:

Good luck to you John! I'm sure that there are plenty of people who have good experiences with the school, just as there are those who have bad experiences with the school I'm currently attending. I just know that Ashford was, for me, a terrible experience.

John on March 25, 2012:

It has been 2 years I have been attending and I really love it, I have been juggling my full time job and my education perfectly and I am set to graduate next June, I am sorry to hear about your issues with the school.

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on March 25, 2012:

ladysonoma, at least you're getting your funds returned to you! I had a nightmare in that department, as many people do!

ladysonoma on March 01, 2012:

I attended Ashford, but they disqualified me when they found that I live in Arkansas. Apparently, they can't accept people from here, so they zero out my grades from the last six months.

Now, instead of sending the title iv funds back to the lenders, apparently they are coming to me. Anyway, I hope this was a misunderstanding, so I'm just waiting now. I signed up with Liberty though. I'm glad to hear you are loving it there.

Tim on March 01, 2012:

Currently I am attending this horrible school. I wish I would have stumbled across this blog prior to enrolling. Thankfully I have one more week to go in my second class then I'm dropping it. I have attended both brick and mortar University as well as online from a brick and mortar and the difference is like night and day. When comparing to Ashford. The books at Ashford are school specific as is the APA format they are using. I kept getting dinged on my use of the APA format. Halfway through my 2nd class I found that they are using a modified format to the APA. Which does you no good when you leave their school. Lastly their "Discussions" as they call them, it's not a discussion its a Research paper that you discuss with the instructor. And if he/she don't like the answer you provided they ask you to look for more, unreal. I am fortunate I am using my GI Bill to pay for school plus being disabled I don't have to worry much about making ends meet. But if I had a full time job, family, responsibilities and one class from Ashford, I'd quit school! In my 1st class we started with 25 students, by week 5 only 8 were left.

Good luck

SmarttChick on February 19, 2012:

Sorry to hear of your experience but I am not surprised. Schools like Ashford are put together for the sole purpose of scamming federal student loan and grant monies from unsuspecting students eager to access college without the hassles of the on-the-ground school experience.

I have written extensively on the problems with for-profit educational institutions, and one of the most recent articles I have shared here on the hub pages is from Busines Week and discusses how these sham operations access accreditation by buying failing traditional colleges (often religious institutions, and smaller liberal arts colleges) and through a fluke of policy, they can operate as that university, with the accreditation, but then overload the place with servers and sell "quickie online" degress to unsuspecting students.

Be glad you got out before you spent a small fortune and then realized that employers know what these schools are too, and will very often not even interview candidates with these schools on their resumes.

I wish you the best as your continue your learning journey!!

Hope Wilbanks from Louisiana on January 13, 2012:

I had a negative experience with Ashford, too. Thankfully, I found WGU and am nearing the end of my program. I'll be graduating at the end of this year, God willing, and will finally be a teacher. ;) I just published my review of WGU on here, if you're interested in reading it.

Tahania on June 06, 2011:

Girl I had trouble with Ashford too!!!! I thought I w as the only one. They are trying to make me pay for a course and the fees are CRAZY!!!!!

Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on May 07, 2011:

I am sorry for your bad experience. I know I had to do a lot of searching before I found a good online program that was a good fit for me (especially at the doctoral level and being used to in-person instruction).

Alexander Silvius from Portland, Oregon on May 05, 2011:

Really? Amazon? I am going to sign up for the HP ads real soon, am curious to see what the results are. And I used to make money just from commenting around, but now it seems that ads favor new writing from me, which is great, but like you, I need to give myself a little push and start publishing material - I have a lot of ideas, just need more time ;-)

Glad to hear that Liberty is working out so well for you and the endorsement. They're on my list of colleges to consider. Thanks!

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on May 05, 2011:

LIBERTY! Go to Liberty if you're looking for a degree in Theology! The cost is nominal (my Pell covers almost all of my tuition with a military scholarship!) and the level of education is incredible. Plus it's a "normal" college. I take two or three courses a term, two terms a semester, each term is eight weeks long). I hear great things about the Theology program and I've been required to do a fair bit on the Philosophy department and have really enjoyed what I've learned. I think that the material is generally a fair approach to (world) religion and I've absolutely enjoyed my experience.

I might write another hub up on the subject. I'm not earning really anything from Adsense these days at all, so it's time to make a push here again, I guess. Start working with Amazon more, since Amazon's starting to become an earner :)

Alexander Silvius from Portland, Oregon on May 05, 2011:

Great write up on a poorly made scam school - thank you! I am considering getting an online degree in journalism or theology (likely the latter so Ashford would probably not be on my list anyway) so I know to pass up those yokels!

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on May 03, 2011:

I might transfer once I get my bachelor. It depends a little bit. I'm studying psychology and I'm trying to decide whether or not to pursue a doctorate, and if so, a PhD or an MD. Leo and I have talked about it a lot, but I think that if we're still here (Indiana) that I'll probably stay at Liberty for as long as I can. I do like it, and it's a good school!

Best thing is the military discount. I get a $400 book voucher every semester!

Becki Rizzuti (author) from Indiana, USA on May 03, 2011:

This was written a while ago. I have no idea why I didn't publish it! I'm ending my first semester at Liberty University online right now and loving it! I have to write that up too. Great school, enjoy the classes, and am looking forward to summer session!