If you are considering Ashford University in any way for a degree, I advise you now, run for the hills. If you’re still considering it and don’t feel like my bad experience is enough to convince you, please remember a few things:
1. Part of the bad reports on Ashford include confessions from people who claim to be former employees who were exclusively assigned to trolling the internet to file numerous, false, positive reports of the school in order to combat the bad ones.
2. That doesn’t mean all the positive reports are fabricated, you’re right. A good many might actually be genuine and I am so happy for them that Ashford didn’t screw them over like me.
3. If you decide to give them a try after all, please please pleasepleasepleasePLEASE stay on them about every little thing regarding your paperwork and financial aid. You will have to do their interdepartmental connecting for them. When person in X office tells you they will forward a request you made to Y office, nod your head, smile, and immediately call Y office to be sure, and maybe A, B, C, and Z office too just so it’s at as many places at once. Think your most recent document was professionally filed? I would double, even triple check directly. In fact, I would stay on the phone with the person whose job is to file it and insist they file it while on the phone with you. Which brings me to the most important point of all…don’t trust that phone. So many people have told me shady things over it, and at the end of the day Ashford stuck out its tongue and basically said Nya nya you have no official records to prove it, your grievance is denied, person x/y/z never said that. And in regards to this, prepare for a struggle to get everything in writing. Don’t trust anything they say over the phone, even when they’re recording for “quality assurance” because even those calls couldn’t be used in my case because nothing seemed amiss so they didn’t keep them on record (which I take to mean, too bad for you, they’re OUR records and we don’t like what they say, so they don’t exist). If you can record every phone call with them, DO IT (but I think you have to inform them you are recording for quality control assurances). I wish you better luck with these people than I had and I sincerely hope I never have to say I told you so.
Those for whom it is too late:
Petition to gather people for a class action lawsuit against Ashford University (of Clinton, IA fame)
Some day I may get into this whole story, but I’ve told it so many times that it depresses me and many times leads to a frustrated sleepless night thinking about it even more.
I think I’ll start collecting other articles and complaints here, starting with this one:
* Oh, hey look, they’ve even got a list of people they pester with dozens of phone calls a day, some who never requested info in the first place, many who asked to be removed from the call list in vain.
* Suddenly it makes sense why my initial search in going back to school turned up all for-profit colleges. I also looked into Obama-mom, but didn’t pursue too far because I’m not a single mom and thought they could use the money more.
* Bridgepoint barely makes the “safety zone” for rewarding student recruiters based on numbers alone, then absolutely fails to provide records, because they didn’t require enrollment managers to keep them, instead trusting they would abide by compensation plan.