I have been attending Ashford University since May 2008 for my Master's degree. I chose Ashford rather than University of Phoenix because I was told that the courses were exactly the same but the tuition was $300 less than University of Phoenix. In October 2008 my father died and I requested a three month break from classes and was told that it was fine.
In January 2011, I had three classes left (9 credits-that includes my Capstone) to complete my degree and was in the middle of one of my final classes. I received an email stating that I was dismissed from Ashford University for taking too long to complete my degree. I did not receive any notices or warnings from anyone at Ashford University. I attempted to reach my Academic Advisor, Financial Aid Advisor and the person who sent the letter, Tina A. and did not receive any response. Only after I wrote an email stating that I was going to contact the detectives in charge of the cases against Ashford University did I receive a response. I was then told that I could appeal the dismissal.
Since then I have contacted University of Phoenix and Grand Canyon University to see if they have similar policies about a time limit for students completing their degrees. They told me they had never heard of such a thing and that was one of the reason why students chose the online environment because life has so many obstacles and most students could not attend a traditional university due to having to take longer.
I would have taken seven weeks longer than Ashford Universities requires completing my degree. I am now receiving harassing phone calls, emails and letters stating I need to pay the $110 balance owed to them or they would send my bill to collection and my credit would be ruined. I have left messages explaining that I was appealing the dismissal and that I am a 100% financial aid student so the financial burden is horrific for me. Since online universities do not share the same courses I am only able to transfer nine credits to another university. I will have lost the $36,000 that I have already given to Ashford University for my classes and will have to start over with another university to complete my degree.
I also suffer from depression and the increased anxiety and depression that this ordeal is causing me is horrible. Please learn from my mistake and do not attend Ashford University, they do and say anything to get you in the door and then just leave you to the wolves.