Ashford University Reviews
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"Better than most Internet schools"
I am currently in my 3rd year at Ashford and am earning a B.A. in psychology. I completed my first year at Central Florida Community College. Between the two schools, the academic standards and curriculum levels have been equivalent. Ashford's course load is heavier since the module-like format requires more writing and research. That’s one of the trade offs when you do not commute. Alleging that Ashford’s accredited classes are below college level standards is an underhanded accusation. Since each class is rigidly structured, this college’s learning style proves to be too monotonous for some. Most students quickly recognize that what they are experiencing are the demands of a college education without any of the fluff that some need in order to stay motivated (another trade off). Ashford requires a level of self-sufficiency that some people are simply not prepared for or cut out for. Social interaction is not really included and some fall flat on their faces-- especially if they are less than 20 years old. It is easier to blame Ashford than to admit otherwise. After all, mistakes are expensive and a real let down. Personally, I appreciate the efficiency that Ashford offers since it allows me total control over my schedule. I am getting the same if not a better education than other schools provide. Toward the end of each course, we also have to research and write an 8 page thesis. They do enforce plagiarism rules, and will bust you cold. I have witnessed this on blackboard assignments. Also, if your English skills are weak you should rethink enrolling until after you have brushed up your grammar skills. You may squeak by at first, but below average writing skills will quickly affect your GPA. They do show more leniency if English is your second language and even offer tutoring. Also, if your computer should break down, you have less than a week to repair it and get caught up before you are booted from the course for non-attendance. They are not sympathetic to lingering technical issues. I have a laptop and an older desktop which serves as a backup. I do have one gripe-- Ashford is suspiciously enticing students into buying the new e-text books for 74.00 or more. I dislike that format but who wants to pay 150.00 or more for a hardcover each month? I think their strategy might involve pushing these so-called “discounted” e-texts as a measure that they hope will eventually lead to phasing out all hardcover text books. After that, it is likely that they will steadily jack up the prices of the e-texts to hardcover prices. What is worse is that you won’t be able to legally re-sell your book or find a used one for sale. Right now, you actually own a hardcover after the purchase, and can later recover a portion of your investment if you chose to sell it. After doing some cumulative math, it’s clear that more big money will probably be finagled out of students’ meager pockets. In many respects, it is lucrative for Ashford to pursue e-texts the prospective profit margin has them drooling. Other than that trinkie-dink, Ashford is a credible learning institution. It bothers me when people unfairly undermine Ashford’s on-line program. We invest the same amount of effort and money into our educations that the brick and mortar students invest. It seems that schools such as the University of Phoenix as well as Kaplan’s ridiculous reputations are inhibiting the progression of on-line education for everyone. Sadly, because of this perception issue I am seriously considering attending graduate school at a brick and mortar institution. I can’t prevent drop-outs and a worthless wave of on-line schools from spawning a stereotype that could ruin an otherwise judicious movement in education. This is a form of discrimination but what can you do.