College Spotlights

Is Ashford University a Good School?

Whether you are busy with something or you are unable to meet the requirements of a traditional school, getting an online degree is always an option. Some of your choices are for-profit schools, and one well-known example is Ashford University. And now you might be wondering if this is a school that can give you the future you want.

Ashford University is a good school in that it’s regionally accredited. This type of accreditation is considered as the more prestigious type, and it means that the school was able to meet standards. The online for-profit school also offers over 60 courses. It has numerous specializations, too.

One of the nicest things about Ashford University is that it seems like there is a program available for everybody who wishes to get a degree online.

As one would expect from a well-known for-profit school, it offers a number of associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees.

Here are the specializations of Ashford University:

  • Accounting
  • Audit
  • Business Economics
  • Business Intelligence
  • Child Development
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Cybercrime and Technology
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Intervention
  • Early Learning
  • Family and Community Services
  • Forensic Science
  • Global Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Higher Education
  • Homeland Security
  • IT Organizational Management and Leadership
  • Law Enforcement and Corrections Administration
  • Media Management
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Organizational Management
  • Project Management
  • Public Administration
  • School Leadership in the 21st Century
  • Special Education
  • Teaching and Learning With Technology
  • Supply Chain Management

To date, according to the school’s website itself, there are more than 60 courses available to choose from.

A Regionally Accredited School

When deciding which college you should attend, there is one very important matter that you need to check first.

It’s so crucial that it can have a significant impact on whether you wish to transfer to a different school one day or you intend to work for the company of your dreams. It’s none other than ensuring that the school is accredited.

Are you wondering: is Ashford University accredited?

Yes, Ashford University is accredited.

This means that a different college will accept the credits that you will take at Ashford University just in case you decide to move to a different school. As a result of this, there will be no more need for you to start from scratch, thus allowing you to save both time and money.

Ashford University was accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). It is one of the regional accrediting agencies recognized by the US.

In the US, a college can be accredited by a regional accrediting agency or a national accrediting agency.

A resume that says you’re a graduate of a regionally accredited school can increase your chances of getting hired.

That’s because regional accreditation is considered a more prestigious and recognizable form of accreditation.

However, it’s important to note that many regionally accredited colleges will not accept credits from nationally accredited colleges.

It works both ways — many nationally accredited colleges will not accept credits from regionally accredited colleges. Needless to say, schools will accept credits from schools with similar types of accreditation.

The reason for this is that schools with the same types of accreditation have comparable standards and curriculum.

Other benefits of attending a regionally accredited school like Ashford University include:

  • You can consider yourself as a student of a school with the gold standard of college accreditation.
  • It makes you eligible for every corporate tuition reimbursement plan.
  • More often than not, available courses for you to choose from are instructor-led.

This does not mean, however, that a nationally accredited school is inferior. Going to a nationally accredited school is right for you if you are on a tight budget or you are after a more practical and career-oriented major.

Before you choose between a regionally accredited and nationally accredited school, think about your needs.

In a nutshell, if you are on the hunt for an answer to the question “is Ashford University legit?” The answer is a resounding “yes!” The fact that it is a regionally accredited school in the US only means it’s legit.

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Notable Ashford University Alumni

Sometimes, knowing which people graduated from or once studied at the college that you wish to go to can give you a better idea of whether or not it’s the right school for you.

Especially if you come across the names of notable people, then you can have peace of mind that you are about to make the right choice.

If the alumni of a college have amazing careers, then it’s possible for you to also have an amazing career after getting your degree from the same school.

This is especially true if you pair superb academic performance with your talents and skills.

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Here are some of the most noteworthy Ashford University alumni:

Scott Burgmeyer

It was back in 2015 when Scott Burgmeyer earned his Master of Business Administration in Organizational Leadership from Ashford University.

Currently, he is working on his PhD in Organizational Leadership at the same school.

Scott Burgmeyer is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Group, which is an Iowa-based company that assists various organizations to grow and develop by means of talent, processes, and technology optimization.

He is also the Executive Director of a consulting firm, Iowa Quality Center (ICQ).

Kevin Daley

Kevin Daley earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Ashford University back in 2010. What’s more, he was given the honor to be the school’s Spring 2018 Commencement Speaker.

A native of Panama, he is currently tasked with being the Director of Sales for Velocity Global, which is an international professional services firm.

Authored many books, Kevin Daley was a former basketball player for the Panamanian basketball team Harlem Globetrotters. He also played on the Panama national team.

Beth Peter

It’s from Ashford University (2016) where Beth Peter earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration.

Also, she was the Fall 2018 Alumni Commencement Guest Speaker of the said school.

Currently, Beth Peter is busy with being the Senior Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering Analyst Team Lead/Financial Crimes Analyst with the United States Postal Service (USPS), which is located in Washington, DC.

She has served various roles for USPS for over 32 years.

Tiffany Howe

Back in 2007, Tiffany Howe obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management from Ashford University.

For three years now, she has been Western Dakota Technical Institute’s Vice President for Teaching and Learning.

She’s responsible for developing and implementing programs as well as providing instructional support services for the said learning institution located in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Prior to being Vice President for Teaching and Learning at Western Dakota Technical Institute, Tiffany Howe was the school’s Director of Surgical Technology from 2014 to 2017.

Daniel Persico

Daniel Persico got his Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management from Ashford University back in 2013.

Right now, he is busy getting his Master of Arts in Organizational Management from the same school.

Since 2019, he’s been Chief Information Officer for the Virginia Department of Elections.

He is tasked with important election-related undertakings such as information security, software development, technology governance, project management, and business operations.

By the way, he also served in the US Air Force for 13 long years.

Matthew Sells

It was back in 2014 when Matthew Sells obtained his Master of Business Administration from Ashford University.

In March of 2017, Matthew Sells was named president and CEO of Shenandoah Medical Center.

But before that, he was Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the said hospital, which is located in Shenandoah, Iowa, from 2013 to 2017.

Before being Shenandoah Medical Center’s CFO, he was CFO for Brown County Hospital, which is in Ainsworth, Nebraska.

Matthew Sells also worked as CPA for KPMG LLP for four years.

Ty Smith

Ty Smith earned his Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management from Ashford University back in 2015. Currently, he is serving as the school’s Board of Trustees.

He founded Vigilance Risk Solutions (VRS). VRS specializes in conflict and violence prevention using technology.

Ty Smith has been quoted in many publications for his knowledge and skills in identifying and reducing violent situations.

Being a decorated retired United States Navy SEAL Senior Chief, having 20 long years of service, taking multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan — these are the things that make him an expert in the field.

Pros and Cons of Attending Ashford University

There’s no such thing as the perfect school. So, needless to say, there is no point in finding it because, no matter what you do, you will never find it — it does not exist.

However, what you will certainly find is a school that’s right for you. And to figure out whether a school is a right school, you have to know the pros and cons of going to it.

Just like when going for other for-profit schools out there, attending Ashford University comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s get to know some of them…

Pro #1: Fewer Requirements

When going to a traditional college, there are simply lots of things that you need to have.

For instance, you must have earned a certain GPA in high school — it all depends on which college you are planning to attend. You also need to have taken the SAT if you want to earn an undergraduate degree.

On the other hand, when applying to Ashford University, you only need to have a high school diploma or GED. There is also no entrance exam or interview that you need to ace to be able to get accepted.

Pro #2: Flexible Schedule

Are you busy with raising a family, running a business or working for someone, and you want to work on a college degree at the same time?

Then you should consider attending an online school such as Ashford University.

That’s because a for-profit school offers more flexibility schedule-wise. So, in other words, you can go to class only at night or during the weekend.

It’s nothing like going to a traditional school in which you have no choice but to sacrifice some of the things in your life just to be able to attend your classes.

Pro #3: Regionally Accredited

Just like what was mentioned earlier, Ashford University is an accredited online school. But it’s not just any accreditation that it has — the for-profit school has regional accreditation.

Because of this, it will acknowledge the credits that you may have already earned from another college. However, your former school should be regionally accredited, too.

Also, just in case you want to transfer to a different school after attending Ashford University for a while, the credits you have earned will be accepted elsewhere.

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Con #1: No Onsite Classes

Some for-profit schools offer both online and onsite classes.

This means that the students step foot inside a physical classroom to be instructed by an actual teacher from time to time.

It’s a great way to allow everyone to experience what it’s like to go to a traditional school even if they are studying online.

Ashford University does not offer onsite classes. It can be a disadvantage if you want to have a more well-rounded college experience. However, it can be an advantage if your schedule allows you to attend online classes only.

Con # 2: Expensive

For 2020, the cost of one academic school year at Ashford University is $12,400.

The said amount does not cover room and board, which means that you will have to pay more per year if you want to stay on campus.

On the other hand, the average cost of one academic school year at a community college in the US is $3,347.

Clearly, Ashford University tuition makes going to the school not the most pocket-friendly way to get a college degree. This is especially true since the school does not offer discounts to in-state applicants.

Con #3: Negative Stigma Attached

Above, the fact that Ashford University is regionally accredited was mentioned several times.

Due to this, the answers to the questions “is Ashford University legit?” and “is Ashford University a good school?” are both “yes!” just because the school is accredited by WASC.

Unfortunately, it’s still an online school.

More importantly, it’s a for-profit school. There may still be a negative stigma attached to a degree obtained from such a kind of school. Some employers may not fully acknowledge it.

Above, you came across some Ashford University pros and cons. Spend enough time carefully weighing them before you decide whether the online for-profit school is the one that you should go to.

Lawsuits, Investigations and Controversies

Back in 2006, Ashford University wanted to offer an online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).

However, the Iowa Department of Education did not allow it because of matters such as:

  • MAT the school was planning to offer seemed like a bunch of courses than a unified program.
  • The school didn’t have enough staff to supervise the students that will take the course.
  • Many members of the faculty lacked the necessary academic background and experience.
  • The program didn’t exhibit the capability to provide quality clinical experience to its students.

Early in 2011, the school received a letter from the Iowa Attorney General’s office.

The said letter requested Ashford University to submit documents as well as detailed information from 2008 to 2011 in an attempt to establish whether or not the for-profit school could have possibly violated Iowa’s Consumer Fraud Act.

It’s also in the same year when a case study of Bridgepoint Education, which is the parent company of Ashford University, was examined via a hearing led by Senator Tom Harkin.

The hearing was held to investigate the enormous profit growth of Bridgepoint Education in the last few years despite having substantially low graduation rates.

That wasn’t the last of the investigations or hearings that involved Bridgepoint Education.

For instance, back in 2014, the parent company of Ashford University was charged with violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by contacting sales prospects by means of a computerized auto dialer (robocalling).

In 2015, on the other hand, it was investigated by the Consumer Financial Bureau regarding unlawful acts or practices related to the advertising, marketing, or origination of private student loans.

In late 2016, Bridgepoint Education was fined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The fine amounted to $31.5 million. This was in regard to the deception of students about the cost of private student loans.

This has also resulted in the discontinuation of the Iowa Department of Education’s approval of the GI Bill benefits of Ashford University.

Not too long ago, back in March of 2019, Bridgepoint Education admitted that it made inaccurate statements regarding its earnings and losses. The school’s parent company estimated an operating loss of $13.6 million to $14 million for the last quarter of 2018.

Also, in 2019, a segment of NBC News Investigates featured Ashford University. In the said piece, the for-profit school was accused by Eric Dean, a recruiter, of targeting veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

There is no known Ashford University lawsuit 2019, except for the controversy mentioned above.

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Just Before You Enroll at Ashford University

Ashford University is an online for-profit school.

It’s also a regionally accredited school, which means that you are not going to have a problem when it comes to credits as well as applying for a job after getting your diploma.

It’s true that attending it is more expensive than going to a community college.

However, in exchange for the steep cost are benefits such as easy admission, availability of numerous programs, and flexible schedule.

It’s important to weigh these benefits against the few disadvantages of going to a for-profit school before making a decision.

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