This school appears in our ranking Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Accounting Online 2018.

Ashford University is one of the largest for-profit online university systems operating in the United States today. Founded in 1893 as a small school, it initially offered classes for girls and operated as a boys’ boarding school. It later became a college that focused on training the teachers needed to meet the openings in local schools. During the 1970s, the college made the transition from a two-year school to a full college, which eventually led to it gaining university status. Bridgepoint Education purchased the campus in 2005 and renamed it Ashford University. As enrollment dropped during the recession, the university decided to shut down its main campus and focus only on online learning.

After going through a number of investigations, the university gained the right to accept military students. A large number of its current students either served or are on active duty status. Those students can use their GI Bill benefits. Ashford University now has its headquarters in San Diego but accepts students living in any state. Nearly 49,000 students attend Ashford every year.

Ashford University Accreditation Details

Ashford University has the regional accreditation that students should look for when picking colleges today. That accreditation comes from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which is part of the Senior College and University Commission. Students will find that this type of accreditation is a requirement for getting any federal or state financial aid from the government. The university’s business and accounting programs have accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

Ashford University Application Requirements

It is important that prospective graduate students look at all of the application requirements that Ashford has in place. The university gives students the chance to try out its classes before they make a commitment. During the conditional phase, students can sit in on classes and see how the program works. They will then enter the provisional phase, which lasts for three weeks. At the end of this period, the student can enroll full-time or part-time in the university.

Ashford does not have many requirements for incoming graduate students, though it does ask that students have a bachelor’s degree. It also requires that students have strong internet and computer skills and an undergrads grade point average of at least 2.0. Students can submit their official transcripts directly to the university or request that the colleges they previously attend submit the transcripts for them.

If a student took graduate classes and maintained a GPA of 2.0 or higher, the university will allow them to transfer up to nine of those credits into a degree program. The university will accept both college credits and military credits but will go over a student’s transcript to determine what credits will transfer. Incoming grad students must also fill out the online application.

Tuition and Financial Aid

All graduate programs available online from Ashford University charge a tuition rate of between $620 and $690 per credit hour. This makes it easy for students to determine their overall costs based on the number of credits they wish to take. There is also a $125 technology fee charged for each course that the student takes. This covers the cost of using the university’s online resources. It estimates that students will pay close to $150 per class for their textbooks and other supplies.

Students who need financial aid must complete the FAFSA prior to enrolling. Though some students may qualify for one or more grants, most students use loans to cover their costs. The federal government offers both unsubsidized and PLUS loans for graduate students. Unlike undergrad aid that bases financial aid packages on the needs of each student, graduate aid goes to all students. The university has a few of its own grants that it awards to students who served overseas in the military and those who want to study nursing. Students can also use scholarships from outside sources and private loans.

Online Degrees Available

Master of Business Administration

One of the more popular online programs available from Ashford is it Master of Business Administration program. Available through its Forbes School of Business & Technology, this accredited program offers six-week classes and allows students to take just one class at a time. Students who have a bachelor’s degree in business or any related field will receive a waiver that lets them skip taking at least one required class. The program features 33 credits of core business classes and nine credits of specialized classes.

Master of Healthcare Administration

A similar program that the university offers focuses on healthcare administration. This program actually teaches students how they can run any healthcare organization like a business and how to increase the profits of that organization. Though some of the students in this program have a healthcare background and studied nursing in college, others come from a business background. Students will learn how to look at problems in the real world and find practical solutions, develop better leadership skills that will help them in the field and use the newest forms of healthcare technology. The university requires that students take at least 36 credits of classes and maintain a 3.0-grade point average.

Master of Arts in Education

The Master of Arts in Education program available from the university features eight different specializations that will help students focus on one area of education. They can choose early childhood education or higher education because they want to work with students of a specific age. Other specializations include curriculum and instruction, child development and family and community services. All students will take education courses that include Meeting Individual Student Needs with Technology and Learning and Assessment in the 21st Century. The program features two capstones too that require students do research and create a final project.

Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Ashford now offers an online graduate program in criminal justice also. This program features 30 credits of required criminal justice classes, including Constitutional and Judicial Process, Research Methods in Criminal Justice, Ethics in Criminal Justice and Criminal Justice Policy and Theory. Students can take three extra classes and complete a specialization in one of four different fields. Those fields include cybercrime and technology, forensic science, homeland security and law enforcement and corrections administration. Students who complete this Ashford University program will meet some of the requirements necessary for securing employment in a local law enforcement agency or a federal department.

Ashford University website