Help please

General discussions concerning institutions and degree programs.

Help please

Postby Michael » Thu May 23, 2013 8:17 pm

I was enrolled in Ashford university for an associates degree in business. I had finished about 10 or 11 courses or 1 year of study. I needed to reschedule my next class for lack of finances at the time for the book I needed for that course. Someone from Ashford e-mailed me saying that the class was resheduled due to the issue i had and gave me a set date. When that date came I was not even scheduled for the class and could not log in to it. Then I asked them about it several times and when I finally got word back from them, they were saying that because I had been out of school for this amount of days I was placed on academic probation and had to pay a balance I owe directly to Ashford of a little more than 2 thousand dollars. I don't know why this balance is so much and I don't know why Ashford screwed me the way they did when I was doing so good and had a 3.5 gpa.

My question is can I just forget about the 34 credits I got from Ashford and find another online university and start all over? I wanted to get an associates degree in business and then go into a bachelor program with a major in accounting. I don't know if I can even get financial aid though since I owe Ashford. Would it be possible? I can't afford to pay Ashford 2k just to return to school with them. I think my chances are better if I start over. Maybe it is possible to find a accelerated program where I can finish an AA in 1 year and from the time I start the aa graduate with a bachelors in a total of 3 years.

Please can anyone help me find a good online university? Is devry, aiu, phoenix, or umass good for me?

Sincerely the real worlds,
Michael.
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Re: Help please

Postby SteveFoerster » Thu May 23, 2013 9:06 pm

Something in your story doesn't track. If you have written records of their saying that you are supposed to start a class on a particular date, and then on that date you're suddenly dealing with a balloon payment because you did what they said, that's completely ridiculous, and you should seek legal advice. Either say you should transfer from Ashford if that's the sort of experience you're having. (And at their prices, even if it isn't!)

If you do not have anything in writing, then that's a big problem.

Of Devry, AIU, Phoenix, or UMass, I'm not sure how you came up with that list, but the only one worth considering is UMass, and even then it doesn't sound like you're thinking about how much the cost is really going to be. If you're starting with an Associate's degree in Business, step one is to ask your local community college what they have for you -- many community colleges have online programs now. Failing that, look for a place like Peru State College (weird name, but it's okay, as it's a state school in Nebraska) or Columbia College of Missouri, which offers perfectly fine degree programs at a fraction of the cost of the others. Chadron State College, also in Nebraska, comes up a lot also, as does Fort Hays State University in Kansas. Google them.

Good luck,

-=Steve=-
BS, Information Systems concentration, Charter Oak State College
MA in Educational Technology Leadership, George Washington University
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Re: Help please

Postby Rich Douglas » Thu May 23, 2013 10:14 pm

Let's see, 34 credits burned for $2K. That's just under 60 bucks per credit. It will cost you a whole lot more to make that up anywhere else.

I don't think having a balance due at one school will prevent getting financial aid at another, but I could see where it could if you used financial aid at the first school and didn't pay your debts to them.

You don't know how/why you owe them the $2K? Why not? Either you owe it or you don't. But knowing that is the easiest part. (My guess: you didn't withdraw properly and/or in time and got charged tuition for courses you failed to attend. If so, that's on you.)

You could probably walk away and pretend it didn't happen. Other schools won't know you attended Ashford. But it seems more prudent to patch things up instead.
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Re: Help please

Postby SteveFoerster » Thu May 23, 2013 11:50 pm

Rich Douglas wrote:Let's see, 34 credits burned for $2K. That's just under 60 bucks per credit. It will cost you a whole lot more to make that up anywhere else.

Not to mention that this is over a year's worth of full time effort. It would be pretty crazy not to clear that up even if it takes two grand. But especially if you feel cheated or misled, I'd still transfer. Actually, given how much cheaper some other schools are, I would either way.
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Re: Help please

Postby johann » Fri May 24, 2013 12:46 am

Steve Foerster wrote:If you do not have anything in writing, then that's a big problem.

Yes, it is. Unfortunately, we can bet Ashford can document their claim in writing, whether Michael has anything or not.

Rich Douglas wrote:You could probably walk away and pretend it didn't happen.

Yes, you could indeed walk away and forget about the credits you earned - if that fits your plan. Don't just walk away from the $2K bill, though. If you do, they will likely send a collection agency to harass you and try to send your credit rating into an everlasting toilet, etc. As Steve advised, if you don't feel you owe it and negotiation with Ashford is not productive, get legal representation. Confront the bill rather than ignore it. You may be able to make some portion of it "go away" but it won't do so by itself.

Johann

PS - How do I know this? I was a bill collector for 30 years. Trust me!
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Re: Help please

Postby Michael » Fri May 24, 2013 1:00 am

Hello everyone.

I was going to Ashford University to get a associates majoring in business. I completed 11 courses. I did have two withdraws 1 of which is the 11 courses I completed. The first withdraw cost 1,3348.00 the second cost $531.00. The 1 withdraw I did end up retaking I got a D. The rest of my grades are A, B, A ,B ,B+, A,A,D+, B-. B+. I admit I was a horrible student with a unstable mentality. For me being the not so smart guy that I am, I could have done better with my grades. The total amount I owe for all the classes I took is 11,494.00 I am not certain but perhaps the balance of $2,771 I owe Ashford which got sent to a collection agency can be subtracted from the 11,494.00. I am not very smart with these things. My classes were personal dimensions of education, interpersonal communication, computer literacy, english composition 1, english composition 2, world civilization I, world civilization II, introduction to literature, principles of management, introduction to ethics & social responsibility, dependence of man on the environment(the course i withdrew then took again and got a D, also known as SCI 207, or principles of environmental science.) the other course i withdrew was informal logic. there was actually another course I completed critical thinking course but I can't remember it. So yeah that is my story.

I never in my entire year got absorbed into college the way I should have. I simply enrolled, and did what had to be done, for 5 weeks at a time, until I needed to reschedule for a course because I did not have the book, received e-mail saying the course had been rescheduled for example it was something like "your class has been rescheduled as you asked for may 18" and I was totally completely relieved and relaxed. when the day came i logged into my student portal and i was surprised to see that I did not have a course starting that day. What do you think I did? I sought for answers! Repeatedly! Guess the answer I finally got? "because you have been out of class for over 29 days your placed on academic probation" and even after i explained wait a minuted what? me dropped out of class? no no no.. after all this will Ashford University tell me about their policy of being human? All I'll say is this why should I have a hold on my account, be on acedemic probation, have to pay 2771 dollars for something that is not my fault but Ashfords fault? If you goto a university and you come to my circumstance of not having finances for your book and ask to reschedule class then they tell you they do and you find out on that due date they didn't then try to find out what went wrong and all your being told is you can't return to school to finish your degree until you pay off the balance you owe of 2771 dollars I wonder how you would feel. But all I am trying to do is get on with my life. Every single month this collection agency takes 25 dollars from the bank on the 4th of the month and whenever there is more money to give it will be given because I am not going to spend of course 10 years trying to pay off that. But I am very poor and not even working and all I am asking for is help what should I do? I even talked to Ashford today I talked to several people I called the collection agency and set up payment plans. Ashford didn't even tell me the money I owe went into collections they told me to feel out a deferment I thought I owed the federal government so I did. But that was a waste of time. What other online universities can I goto? If all I do is owe Ashford 11,000 dollars for my 34 credits earned yes I am totally willing to start over. I am seeing first if Ashford will do anything to help me or acknowledge their fault and maybe a specialist can help me because these advisers and counselors don't seem to care. I want to get a bachelors in accounting because I think that field suits me as I am not a very talented or creative person and can find comfort in the routine of following rules. In all honesty I wish I never decided to enroll in college and I will live my life without a college degree if I know I have to go through this to me it is very unfair all I am thinking about is one day a family I want to be able to support so I try my best at college and so far I spent a year and all I learned about I am not even going to say it lol I will stay positive but anyways is there any other online universities that is better than Ashford? I am willing to pay 60k for a bachelors I hope to only pay 30k realistically I think I will pay 40k+ but I just want to get a bachelors in accounting and be on my way to the real world.
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Re: Help please

Postby johann » Fri May 24, 2013 11:20 pm

Michael, from your writing you are obviously VERY upset -- and I think you should forget about re-enrolling in any school for at least some months, a year, or longer if necessary -- until you think you're ready. You've had a very bad time of it, apparently. Going to school resulted in such a bad situation financially that you couldn't afford a textbook. That tells me that something was extremely wrong. Possibly the planning process wasn't complete, or you were pressured into a situation you couldn't possibly afford. I'm not criticizing you -- just commenting.

As it is, I think you should work on reducing your debt and trying to earn and set aside some money, as best you can, before even looking at anything that might cost you a single education dollar. You might also want to get a careful accounting and some representation on the $2700 that you don't feel is justified, yet you're paying on regardless. Doubtless, you were highly pressured into doing that.

On a positive note - you do have 34 credits, from what you tell me. NOT NOW, but in a while, when you're ready, you might want to investigate putting together that BA through one of the Big 3 - Thomas Edison State College, Excelsior or Charter Oak. You could possibly transfer in most of those 34 credits you've earned. With some testing-out, the degree could very possibly be completed for a fraction of the $30-40K you mentioned. But that's for later -not now.

Just wanted to let you know:

(1) The situation is bad -- but very few situations are hopeless. This isn't one, as I see it.
(2) The immediate answer to a bad school experience is not often more school.
(3) People get through bad stuff.

By the way - "I'm not very creative and find comfort in the routine of following rules." - Did you reach this conclusion or did someone tell you that about yourself? Just wondering... :)

Michael, I wish you every success in overcoming these difficulties and emerging a happier person.

Johann
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Re: Help please

Postby SteveFoerster » Sat May 25, 2013 2:18 am

johann wrote:On a positive note - you do have 34 credits, from what you tell me. NOT NOW, but in a while, when you're ready, you might want to investigate putting together that BA through one of the Big 3 - Thomas Edison State College, Excelsior or Charter Oak. You could possibly transfer in most of those 34 credits you've earned. With some testing-out, the degree could very possibly be completed for a fraction of the $30-40K you mentioned. But that's for later -not now.

I'm a graduate of one of these schools, and I don't think they would be a good fit for you. They're for people who are comfortable with less structure, and you've described yourself differently from that.
BS, Information Systems concentration, Charter Oak State College
MA in Educational Technology Leadership, George Washington University
PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
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Re: Help please

Postby johann » Sat May 25, 2013 6:10 pm

Good point, Steve. Maybe I should have stopped right after telling Michael I didn't think he should attempt any school until he felt better and his situation improved. Also - I'm sure when it's time, those 34 credits (or most of them) could still be salvaged in some way, if the Big 3 were not the answer.

Yes - given what Michael has told us, the Big 3 may not be a good fit. As I said, I don't think right now is a good time for him to really investigate any schools, for a couple of reasons. Besides the fact that he's had a bad experience and isn't ready to "climb back into the ring," there's always the danger that he might be exposed to sales-pressure (again?) at exactly the wrong moment. I feel he needs some time to de-compress and recover from the last experience -- and do what he can to repair the financial hole that has resulted.

Johann
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Re: Help please

Postby Eric » Tue May 28, 2013 1:23 am

I wander if Michael called the dean or the president of the university?
Michael do you still have the email from Ashford about your class rescheduling? You can email this to the President and the Dean they can correct the issue.

I once filed a small claim court lawsuit about a school that didn't follow on it financial agreements, I had emails communication from school to prove it.
It was in early 2002, they didn't like it, it was settled outside the small claims court.

Did you talk to the schools management?
Eric

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