American Public University System Review

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This is an archive of a consumer complaint published against American Public University System at on 09-Jul-14.


Business Details –

  • Name: American Public University System
  • Address: 111 West Congress Street
  • City: Charles Town
  • State: West Virginia
  • Country: United States
  • Phone: 703.334.3266
  • Website:


Original Complaint against American Public University System published at on 09-Jul-14 says, verbatim –

Please be advised. If you are a student who is considering applying or enrolling at the American Public University I would re-think my decision. and look for another school. | In my case, I have moved to an area of Florida where there are no affordable graduate schools within a campus-based attendance radius. There are some universities near here but the program(s) I need are not offered or are not affordable. I was previously attending another graduate program which was outside of my home state, and had a low-residency requirement. I was unable to fulfill that requirement. Due to financial and family obligations, I found out that I would be unable to attend a required, low-residency, out-of-state semester. So I dropped out of that graduate program and applied to APUS in October/November 2013. | Initially I had some reservations about two different graduate program choices. The first being an M.A. in Public History program and the second being a M.A. in Humanities program. At APUS both of these masters programs have a great deal of history classes built in to their program requirements for completion. I initially wanted to enroll in the M.A. in Humanities program and I still feel that this would have been the correct program for my educational interests. | When I first contacted APUS I was in touch with an admissions representative named Cecelia McKevitt. Upon speaking with her, she guided me toward the M.A. in History program, primarily because of my background in Archaeology, Paleontology and museum related endeavors as an undergraduate. She informed me verbally that if for any reason I began classes and found that I needed to change my program that APUS allowed that, and it was a very easy process with credits transferring straight across. | When I applied at APUS I transferred in six credit hours from my previous program in Education (M.A.Ed.). APUS transferred those credits in and I paid a $50.00 TCE fee (Transfer Credit Evaluation). I was awarded the transfer credit, everything went through, and I was allowed to begin my classes. About 2 or 3 weeks before enrolling at APUS, I began a TESOL program online to get my Teaching English as a Second Language Certification through the Global Leadership College. It is a 150hour teachers cert program and is not a university affiliated program, but is something of special interest to me, as an aspiring educator and someone who has made a commitment to life-long education. | Initially I was enrolled at APUS for nine graduate credit hours…which is three more than the six credit-hour fulltime requirement at APUS. My plan was to try to finish my masters degree in 3 semesters. Within the first 3 or 4 weeks of class I began working a few more hours at my job and realized that I would not be able to effectively learn and attend the three classes at APUS and I made a decision to drop one of my classes. However, at this point I was still a fulltime student at APUS. In addition, at about this point I came to the conclusion that the program I was currently enrolled in (The M.A. in History program) was in fact not the correct program for me. I greatly enjoy history, but I found that I had little interest in most of the coursework which was historic preservation and museum related courses. Having worked at museums in the past I already knew that this type of work was hard to find, hard to get paid for and to me quite boring. I know myself well enough to know that I did not enjoy museum work when I did it before, However, in my field(s) a masters degree is a prerequisite to finding a decent paying job. In most cases an applicant will not be considered based on having a Bachelors Degree only. Hence my desire to earn a Masters degree. | Another week or so went by and I was asked to take a leadership role at my job, which was going to require more of my time at work. I chose to drop another class and was growing more and more unhappy with my program each day. So, I tried to change it online through the student portal. I was not allowed to do this. I then called in and spoke to someone in admissions and was forwarded to someone in student services. They told me that in fact I could not change my program and that if I did, I was only allowed to change it during the last 2 weeks of the current semester. So I waited until then to change it and I was then told that I would lose my transferred credit and any other earned credit while at APUS and I would be subject to a new credit evaluation, if I did choose to change my program. | I was very upset to find this out, because Cecelia, my admissions rep had either lied to me or didn’t know the rules. This became the beginning of my nightmare. In late December I dropped my third class of the M.A. in History program and I re-enrolled in an 8-week class under the M.A. in Humaities program. I did this because of advice from another advisor in studentservices. I was told that I had to maintain and earn at least 3 credit-hours within the current semester or my status as a graduate student and my financial aid would be greatly affected. | Let me just say that I dis not want to take this class. It was an 8-week class in Hinduism and while I respect all religions. I did not wish to study Hinduism. However, during that 8-week block there were only 2 classes available at APUS. One was Hinduism and one was Bhuddism. I only took the class because I was told I had to earn at least 3 credit hours for the semester. After enrolling in that class and finding out that I would lose all transfer and earned credit if I changed my degree program I made a bad decision to stay in my History program, regardless of what I really wanted to do educationally. I was beside myself with regret for ever going down this road. | APUS had charged me for all of these classes. However, they did refund me some money for dropped classes but the last class…the Hindusim class they refused to refund the money and held it for over 2 months citing a RT24 Hold. For those of you who don’t know what this means it is a Return to TitleIV financial aid hold, which is basically a penalization to acess, if any financial aid money is to be returned to a students lender or to the federal government. However, this does not apply to graduate students who are only awarded loan money…without grant or scholarships available. I was told this fact by a person at APUS in Financial Aid after 2 months of trying to get the hold removed, so that I begin classes again at the beginning of the new semester on March 3, 2014. So from the end of December to the beginning of March…about three to three and a half months to get a hold lifted that should have never been placed on my account to begin with. | During this time I was unable to register, I was unable to change any of my classes, I was unable to gain any funding. I began calling graduate academic advising trying to get it sorted out and I found a wonderful and very helpful advisor named Greg Doyle, and felt that I had finally found an honest person within the university who understood my problems. He helped me to get in contact with someone in financial aid and someone who could better expedite my issues regarding the upcoming semester which was quickly approaching. He also told me that the some of the admissions people were less than knowledgable about rules and regulations and there job was simply to get student to apply, but they are NOT qualified to offer academic advice. | This is not to say that I have anything worked out with the university today (4-9-2014). I have been told repeatedly that my financial aid hold has been lifted, which I knew about back on February 18, 2014…but which did not reflect on my account until after the beginnig of the new semester. In addition, I am yet to be awarded my financial aid and as of today’s date do not even know if I am getting funding for the current semster. | Because of the R2T4 Hold I had to take a late registration into a class and began it a week late and I was forbidden from changing one of my classes which actually had a suggested prerequiste, which I needed to take first…but was not allowed to enroll for. Again, all because of the R2T4 Hold that should have never been placed on my account to begin with. | I have been lied to or misled, parts of my school money have been used up for classes in a degree program I do not even want to be in, I have no idea if I am even getting funding or how much funding… or if I am going to have to pay the university out of my pocket for this current semester, I am now in jeapordy in the class that I had to take a late registration in, because I need a new computer to complete it, that I can not afford without my financial aid…and this professor has threatened me with a 10% grade reduction for any more late assignments. | I am usually an A student having graduated from my Bachelors program with honors and at APUS I am carrying a C’s and am always fighting the administration. Not to mention my student loan account is $8,000.00 higher and I have earned -0- credit hours thus far. | I am leaving APUS after this semster regardless of my grades or earned credit hours. I will never attend another university on-line, and it is doubtful that I will attend any other university for a while. I am forced to work full-time hours and attend graduate school full-time right now because of the lack of funding and the lack of credible information from the administration at APUS. In essence, I am in educational limbo, with no end in sight. I was told 14 days ago in an email from Tammy in financial aid that my aid would credit to my account in within 15 days and today…day 14 of that 15 day time-span, I received another email from Stepanie in financial aid saying that it would be 14 more days before my account would be credited. We are now in the 6th week of school and I will not know about funding until half-way through the semester. Meaning that I may be liable to this university for several thousand dollars, out a couple hundred for books and 2 months worth or graduate work, where I could have been doing something else with my time. | My advise to anyone who is thinking of attending APUS is quite simply DON’T DO IT. But if you do,,,know EXACTLY what you want to do as far as educational endeavors go, DO-NOT under any circumstances listen to any advise from anyone within the university, make copies and get all communications through email, make sure you take screen-shots of your account with dates in the student portal, make sure to check your account often as they are in control of the database and will wipe things out as if they never existed. Luckily I did these things, so I would have a record in case this whole fiasco came to a head as it has. | I am currently working with an attorney who specializes in cases and class-action lawsuits against fly by night for-profit schools who exploit TitleIV funding, misrepresent themselves, and exist only to do harm to unsuspecting students. This is becoming a larger problem in the United States with every passing day. Send me a reply and I will gladly give you their number. There are so many complaints about APUS online, I thought that a class action lawsuit may be the best way to address these inequities for everone. In addition, you might open a grievance with the U.S. Department of Education, which may or may not go anywhere. And if you have a problem you can speak to the West Virgina Attorney Generals Office to open a Consumer Complaint. But my advise is simply to steer-clear of APUS all together. Find an inexpensive bricks and mortar college and go there, even if you have to move there for a while. It will benefit you in the end and give you a better all-around college experience. If you attend school online, you will basically be paying money to teach yourself. Save yourself this hassle.

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