Ashford University Welcomes Biggest On-Campus Class in History

-- Academic Scholarships for 2011-2012 Academic Achievers Announced --

CLINTON, Iowa, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Although official enrollment figures will not be available until the Sept. 3 census date, Ashford University's on-campus enrollment could reach 750 full-time students -- approximately 320 returning and 430 new students. Beginning with the fall incoming class, academic scholars are attending the university.

The new student population surge, compared to the previous record of 189, is attributed to the regionally accredited university's unprecedented Academic Scholarship program rewarding academic achievers with grade-point averages above 3.0.

"The Fall 2010 incoming class is the biggest in Ashford University's history," John Ballheim, the university's vice president and campus director, said at today's pep-rally to promote the first official game on the new soccer field. "Nearly half of the incoming class is attending on full-tuition Academic Scholarships. Indicators are that almost 70 percent of Ashford's on-campus fall enrollment is enrolled on an Academic Scholarship."

A student's grade-point average was the only qualification for Ashford University's Academic Scholarship awards. The President's Scholarship covers 100 percent tuition (currently $15,720 per school year) for applicants with a grade-point average of 3.50 and above. The Provost's Scholarship covers $12,500 toward tuition for applicants with a grade-point average between 3.25 and 3.49. The Dean's Scholarship covers $10,000 toward tuition for applicants with a grade-point average between 3.0 and 3.24.

"These new scholarships reward academic achievers who have worked hard to qualify for a higher education. They bring economic relief to deserving students and their families as well as optimism to our community," he said.

"Students enrolled last spring term at Ashford University who met the grade-point average requirement automatically also qualified for the new Academic Scholarships," Ballheim added.

"Particularly satisfying to us is the improvement in the overall quality of Ashford's incoming students. The average grade-point average is now approximately 3.4, which compares to the previous incoming class of 2.72."

Anthony Motroni, a Clinton High School graduate, is one student who was unsure about his financial wherewithal to attend college. Motivated by the Academic Scholarship, he had his whole senior year to do well in the classroom. He worked hard and kept his sights on Ashford, earning a 3.06 grade-point average, which got him into the Dean's bracket. Otherwise he might not have had the opportunity to pursue his education.

Nathan Billany, one of the men's soccer team captains from Yorkshire, England, returns to Ashford for his senior year on a full-tuition Academic Scholarship and a new National Soccer League quality field to play on. "This is about as good as it gets," he says. "Grades are the most important thing to me. Little did I know how much I'd be rewarded with 100 percent paid tuition in my senior year."

"At Ashford University, our mission is to provide affordable higher education. You can't get any more affordable than an Academic Scholarship worth 100 percent of our tuition charge for our President's scholars," Ashford University President Dr. Jane McAuliffe said. "We're rewarding the best and brightest students who have demonstrated their capability and commitment to learning. It's an honor to support these future leaders, especially in today's economic environment."

"We will continue to offer Academic Scholarships, each good for up to four years of full-time academic study as long as the student maintains the minimum grade-point average, to new students who start their enrollment in the fall 2011 semester and to all continuing students who achieve the minimum accumulated grade-point average," she said.

In closing, McAuliffe announced that the Academic Scholarship program will be offered to the 2011-2012 incoming class. Applications are now being accepted.

About Ashford University

Founded in 1918, Ashford University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (  The University offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs online and at its Clinton, Iowa, campus.  The University is known for its high quality yet highly affordable online and on-campus programs.  For more information, please visit or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.

SOURCE Ashford University