10 Questions New College Students Frequently Ask
Going back to college is exciting, but it can also seem overwhelming at times – especially if it’s been a few years since you’ve hit the books. Whether you’ve been out of school for two years or two decades, you’re going to find things are very different once you return to the classroom. For starters, your classroom may no longer be a physical space. Online learning has come a long way in a short amount of time, and it’s given students – especially adult learners – accessibility and flexibility they’ve never experienced.
This post will tackle some of the most common questions that new students at Ashford University typically have. Take some time to read through the questions to obtain a stronger understanding of the online student experience and prepare yourself for your educational journey.
1. Which grants and loans are available?
The investment you make in your college education can yield substantial dividends down the road, but it’s still a monetary investment. It’s no surprise that students tend to have a lot of questions about tuition and financial aid.
You’ll be happy to know that you have many choices when it comes to funding your education. From scholarships to financial aid, there are several options available to Ashford students:
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
- Direct Subsidized Loans
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- Grad PLUS
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
- RN to BSN Grant
- Military Grant
- Entrepreneurship Scholarship
- Senior Project Scholarship
Do your research. The U.S. Department of Education has a free calculator that can help you determine your eligibility for federal student aid. Visit the Financial FAQ page if you have any additional questions.
2. How much do college programs cost?
This question is probably one of the most common from our new students, and rightfully so. It’s important to understand the tuition and fees that are associated with the programs at Ashford.
Below is the cost per credit for Ashford's undergraduate and graduate programs as of Fall 2019, as well as the per credit cost for students using Ashford’s Military Undergraduate Tuition Grant. Please be aware that these amounts are subject to change and that there are additional fees and indirect costs associated with each program. Please visit the Tuition and Financial Aid page for more information.
- Undergraduate Programs $485/credit
- Graduate Programs starting at $635/credit
- Military Undergraduate Tuition Grant $250/credit
You should also check out the Net Price Calculator to gain a better understanding of the net price of your degree program before you start. This calculation will give you a clear estimate of how much it costs to attend Ashford.
3. What if I made the wrong choice
The Ashford Promise gives new students the opportunity to test-drive the college experience at Ashford. It affords new students a conditional admission period (CAP), during which they can opt out of their enrollment. If students do not progress and participate in academic activity during the fourth week of their first course, there will be no charges or debt incurred. Below is a weekly breakdown to show you the percentage of refund you’ll receive through the Ashford Promise.
4. Can I transfer all the credits I earned from other schools I’ve attended?
The pressures of family and work often force students to put their educational pursuits on hold, and some don’t realize that previously earned credits may have value. Don’t let them go to waste. Students who are seeking a bachelor’s degree at Ashford may transfer up to 90 approved credits of previous coursework. Once you're enrolled, Ashford will request your official transcripts and complete an evaluation to determine which credits are applicable to your program. Students may also transfer non-traditional credits, like military training or other life experiences, prior to beginning their program. For more details about whether you qualify for these types of credits, take a look at our non-traditional credits page.
5. How long will it take me to earn my degree?
Students who enroll in a bachelor's degree program with zero transfer credits and stay continuously enrolled can expect to finish their degree in approximately four years. Students who transfer in a large number of credits from previous schools may graduate in a much shorter time frame. For example, if you transfer in 60 semester credits and stay continuously enrolled, you could finish in approximately two years.
6. Where can I find the online degree application?
You can easily get started by using Ashford’s online application. If you need some extra assistance, give one of our Enrollment Services Advisors a call at 866.711.1700. They’d be happy to help you out and answer any additional questions you may have.
7. How do online courses work?
Ashford’s online learning platform is an asynchronous environment, meaning that you can log in at any time at your convenience. Once logged in, you’ll have the ability to access your classroom, interact with your professors and fellow classmates, participate in online discussions through discussion boards, access your digital materials, submit your assignments, and view your grades all through the online learning platform.
Better still, the Ashford Mobile app allows you to take Ashford with you wherever you go. The app is available on all Android™ and iOS® devices, including smartphones and tablets. With the app, you can read and respond to class discussions, access your grades and assignments, contact your instructors, check your degree progress, and view your financial account ledger.
8. How will the classes fit into my schedule?
The nontraditional style of our online classroom gives you the ability to maneuver through life without having to stress over making it to class on time. Having the freedom to make your own schedule is one of the many reasons why students love Ashford. Some of the greatest college success stories come from students who managed to earn a degree while juggling the priorities of work and home.
Here are some of the ways students can fit class into their busy lives:
- 24/7 access to your classroom through your phone, tablet, or computer
- 5- and 6-week-long courses
- Courses taken one at a time
- Classes start on Tuesdays
- Discussion posts commonly due on Thursdays
- Papers commonly due on Sundays
- Log in when it’s convenient
9. Is the college I’m attending accredited?
It’s crucial to ensure your college credits are validated by attending an accredited school. Ashford is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC www.wascsenior.org. You can find the current list of other colleges that are regionally accredited by WSCUC on that website.
10. Should I tell my employer?
Even if you’re looking to switch careers, don’t be afraid to tell your employer that you’re pursuing a degree. Companies value workers who dedicate themselves to learning new skills, and a lot of them pay for it. Find out if your school has an employer tuition assistance program, and then tell your boss or human resources manager about your intentions.
Going back to college is a big decision. Hopefully this article answered some of your questions regarding the overall student experience for new students and students considering at Ashford. If you have additional questions, we encourage you to visit the Ashford website and explore the resources available to help you on your path to becoming a college graduate.
Written by Ashford University staff