Ashford University Reviews
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"Quality instruction that's user-friendly"
I am on my 5th course with Ashford University and I have very few complaints. My courses are challenging and interesting and taught by qualified folks who know their stuff. Financial aid funding happens for me the way it is supposed to, though I have had to wait a few days for a reply to an email or voicemail from my FA advisor a couple of times. My new advisor takes an average of 2 days to get back to me, but I am sure I am sharing him with a zillion other students, so I understand. If you are a high maintenance type, or are just impatient by nature, this will not work for you. I will get into that and more later; for now I want to focus on the goods, which, in my opinion, are the academics. The texts so far have all been ebooks and of high quality. I like that we don't just cover selected chapters of a text in any given course, as was my experience in the 2 schools I attended prior to Ashford. Ashford texts are custom editions and the entire book is used in a course, and courses are only five weeks long. In addition, there are supplemental readings and multimedia resources that contribute to learning. The online learning platform is user-friendly, and so far I have had no technical issues with it. There have been a couple of site maintenance incidents that did not affect me at all though my instructor was alerted of the situation and gave us an extra day to turn in assignments with no point deductions. Oh, and speaking of time, we get a 2 week holiday break at the end of the year, and national holidays are observed in the sense that I have been given an extra day to turn in assignments during units containing a national holiday. Aside from that, the five week terms run one right after the other, though you can take a term off if you need to. I did once and there were no academic or financial consequences. I was never promised anything, and I knew that since I started classes before my financial aid was processed I would have to pay out of pocket for that first course if my financial aid situation didn't work out as planned/hoped. Asking questions always helps! My one beef with on-line colleges in general is that the enrollment crews operate under the presumption that every incoming student will get the aid that everyone hopes for. Still, and just like with every other area of life, you have to do your due diligence and make sure you understand what is going on. I do not like predatory enrollment practices anymore than anybody else, but I have been lucky in my own experiences in that regard. Still, until I leave this world, I will assume that I and I alone ultimately have my best interests at heart and act accordingly. As far as Ashford being investigated is concerned, let's not fool ourselves into thinking that this is the first incident of scandal in higher education. Ashford students will only gain from this, since it seems to me that Ashford will only up their game and deliver the goods better than ever to prove their worthiness. I consider myself to be more liberal than anything else, but I, in my old age, have come to the understanding that competition can serve an exalted purpose in the grand scheme of things. Like it or not, higher education is business, and the competition is only getting stiffer. This competition will, hopefully, continue to steer higher education in the direction of being uniformly high in quality and accessible to anyone who is capable of benefitting from it. Now that the sermon part of my review is complete, back to the actual review: I highly recommend Ashford to anybody serious about earning a degree online, but it should be understood that online does not mean that your computer will do the work for you. There are deadlines to meet same as in any traditional college, and there is nobody to hold your hand. The coursework is writing intensive, and plagiarism is not tolerated. A lot of ground is covered in five weeks, so you have to be disciplined and motivated to get the work done or risk falling behind, and that is easy to do if you are balancing other commitments such as full-time work, etc…I know, I know, I said the sermon was over. Hey, I just want to be as helpful as possible and drive home the importance of individual responsibility. As with anything else, you will get out of your education what you put into it, and it is my humble opinion that Ashford University is as good a place to do this as any. In the interest of truth, I will be sure to report on my experiences at Ashford, positive or negative, until I am handed my degree some time in 2013.