Ashford University

  www.ashford.edu
  www.ashford.edu

Ashford University Reviews

Updated December 17, 2014
Updated December 17, 2014
311 Reviews
2.5
311 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Ashford University President Richard L. Pattenaude
Richard L. Pattenaude
117 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The company offers relatively good benefits (in 30 reviews)

  • Good pay for the amount of time put in (in 19 reviews)


Cons
  • It is a sales job regardless of how they spin verbiage (in 17 reviews)

  • Senior Management is very reactive and any type of job security is non-existent (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Exciting, fast-growth environment, but ethically questionable business

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Ashford University full-time

    Pros

    Opportunities for advancement existed for employees with brains willing to put in extra effort and buy into the mission. Good benefits. Good if you like a challenging, high-pressure, fast-changing environment.

    Cons

    It's half university, half aggressive business. Or more like one quarter university and three quarters aggressive business. Nothing wrong with an aggressive business per se, but Ashford aggressively enrolls people in college who have no business being in college, who probably wouldn't be in college if a telemarketer hadn't talked them into it. Then it gets them signed up for government loans, and that money becomes Ashford's revenue. The problem? People who don't belong in college don't finish college. But they wind up in debt just the same.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Too much rollover hiring, not enough training

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Admissions Counselor in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Admissions Counselor in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Ashford University full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The pay was great, $18.75 per hour. That's the only thing great about this company.

    Cons

    Every three months they hire new edu-telemarketers. That's all this job is. Your telemarketing, making calls on internet leads for people who expressed interest or accidentally clicked on a college ad. As a recruiter, you are sharing that lead with other online schools. Highly competitive and the leads are really bad. You end up calling the same person ten times per day.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fires Talent Because Something is Wrong

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Admissions Counselor in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Admissions Counselor in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Ashford University full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    This work place is full of people with incredible personalities and identities. You won't survive here unless you have that. That being said -some of the best relationships I've had were from this place. People are interesting and fun. Compensation is competitive and benefits are good. There is a gym and cafeteria on location. As long as you can enroll and retain the students you are good.

    Cons

    As long as you can enroll and retain students you are good. The problem with this sentence is that it is very hard to not stay on the roller coaster. Meaning, you will do well you will be busy enrolling but once you spend time with your current students your prospecting time goes down and you stop enrolling. It's seriously a viscous circle. Very talented people get fired all of time here. I like to say Ashford has hired and fired half of San Diego. They'll get it right one day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Roller Coaster: The admission counselor or UA position is really 3 positions in one. You will be a "Prospector"-calling 150-300+ people looking for warm leads while taking notes in the CRM and following up with people you said you would call back throughout the day. You will be a "Closer" walking those warm leads through the application and getting all of the necessary documents to be prepped and qualified for enrollment. And lastly, you will be their support in their first couple classes ((2-5 week classes) 70 days or if you count the introductory class add 2 additional weeks), helping them solve computer issues, internet issues, maintain interest until they can get financial aid, resetting passwords, making sure they pass with a 70% or better answering questions about financial aid (even though we are supposed to be stone cold steve austin- telling them sorry can't talk about financial aid but you can try calling your FSA that you can never get a hold of). If one of these is out of whack your whole month for students can be a nightmare. Which brings me to ask- Have you ever tried separating these roles? I'm sure you guys have talked about this but it just seems like a problem since most people go through this there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Initially Ashford University was a great company to work for...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Director in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Ashford University full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    During the growth period (2008 - 2012) the company had quite a few opportunities for career advancement for those who showed initiative and leadership capabilities. Just like most large corporations the department(s) you work in and Manager you work for will determine if you enjoy your job or not. I have to say that I enjoyed each Manager that I worked for and department that I worked in.

    The direction of Ashford University definitely changed for the positive after Dr. Pattenaude became President / CEO. He is an inspirational person who leads you to believe in the University mission. Students & employees should be happy that Dr. P is at the helm of Ashford University.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, the reality of Ashford University for the past couple years:

    - increased govt. scrutiny & competition in for profit higher education industry causing a stressful work environment and constant fear of losing accreditation and potentially being shut down
    - year over year reduction in student enrollments causing layoffs
    - productive employees (Management & Staff) with quarterly / annual review scores of 4+ out of 5 being laid off due to budget cuts

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    The life of a student advisor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Student Advisor in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Student Advisor in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Ashford University full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good pay, decent insurance options, and a good level of autonomy. I can come in almost any hour in the morning I want as long as I work my 8 hours and leave before 6pm. I work on my own pace and learn which tasks are a priority to complete. Coaching and counseling students feel rewarding. They allow quite a bit of overtime. The feeling of helping a student through their journey to graduate is great too. I saw a couple of my students at their graduation and it made it all worth it.

    Cons

    The people I work with are incredible, and the managers are pretty cool people too. I feel frustrated with the more business-minded leaders push high expectations on the advisors that I feel like a sales person trying to keep students in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The leadership has improved significantly. My advise to managers is to never forget your student advising days, but also remember that the expectations were different then and the new expectations are harsher than when they were in my position.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    You gotta give them what you get paid for!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Admissions Counselor in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Admissions Counselor in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Ashford University full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The pay and company benefits are really great. Also, depending on your manager you can have a great work environment.

    Cons

    High turnover rate, change is constant, no loyalty to employee

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't drink the Kool-Aid!

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Mostly positive experience with a solid company.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Ashford University full-time

    Pros

    Good pay and work environment.

    Cons

    It can get stressful at times.

  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Admissions Counselor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Admissions Counselor in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Admissions Counselor in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Ashford University full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The people you work with on your team are probably the only good thing about being at Ashford. They're generally all great and helpful people.

    Cons

    They are strictly numbers oriented with no consideration for the actual students you're enrolling. They don't care if the person is mentally unfit to be a student or has the IQ of a toddler, they just want their money from people you sign-up. The place will tell you different when you first begin working there and while you're in training but don't be fooled, if you're not producing enough students (regardless of how many qualified people you talk to) you'll soon be fired. The people we enroll often have no business even thinking about school. They are simply there to get a student loan check.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit the charade and tell it like it is.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Ask a lot of questions

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Ashford University

    Pros

    Benefits were pretty good for the position

    Cons

    Too many to list here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire experienced management rather than cheap inexperienced people

  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    I just started, but wow, is this place not ethical!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Enrollment Advisor in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Enrollment Advisor in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Ashford University full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Some really fun people to work with.

    Cons

    So far I've been told this is an old, reputable University in Iowa that wanted to start making it easier for people to obtain a good degree, but turns out, this company bought the location in Iowa not long ago by a guy and investors that used to work for another online college degree company. They only bought the cheap Iowa location to give them credibility and to make is easier to get accreditation.
    No matter what they tell me, it’s a sales job and you are asked to really push people to get sign up for classes, not because of some honorable reason that will help people, but because it's profitable for the company.
    This so called school isn’t respected and in fact there are many legal infractions against this company and there are people on the good side of education that want to close diploma mills down and this is the quintessential diploma mill.
    The environment is rows and rows of little cubical with people making hundreds of calls in a day to sell a worthless degree. They sign innocent people who don’t know they are taking classes from a company that won’t help their career.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Shut it down! You are a literally stealing the spirit of hope and effort from innocent people in order to profit!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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