Aspen's new Debt Free Degree

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by gbrogan, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. gbrogan

    gbrogan Member

  2. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    This is nice for people who really hate debt, but Aspen charges as much as many in-state, public colleges. I'd rather just take out the federal loan because there are more protections and benefits that come with it such as forbearance, deference, loan forgiveness for public service, loan repayment for joining certain federal agencies, and lowered payments when your income drops. If you fall behind on your payments to Aspen, I'm sure they will stop issuing transcripts until you're caught up.

    Didn't someone on this forum complain about Penn Foster or some other school not issuing transcripts until their account was paid off? They weren't behind, but they had a balance. I hope Aspen wouldn't withhold transcripts until the debt is paid off. That reminds me, you are going in debt -- to Aspen.
  3. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    There was formerly some discussion about California Coast University, another DETC school. CCU offers seemingly attractive $100/month payment plans, as per "Plan A" on this page.

    But apparently there is a catch. It was reported that CCU won't release your transcripts until full payment has been made, even if you are meeting the terms of the payment plan. But it would take many years to pay off a CCU degree on the $100/month plan -- over 15 years in the case of a bachelor's degree. CCU advertises that you only need to pay $100/month -- but for some reason, they don't indicate that students who do so will have to wait 15 years for their transcripts. And this seems like a significant downside that students should be aware of.

    The Aspen plan requires $250/month payments for 60 months (or 5 years) for a bachelor's degree. This seems reasonable, since it would presumably take at least 4-5 years to earn the bachelor's anyway. So you would finish making the payments at about the same time that you finished the degree, or earlier.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2014
  4. gbrogan

    gbrogan Member

    I think the plan is poor and as a graduate of the school, I'm glad I was there when actual educators were at the helm. What if you finish a Masters program in two years? You are either on the hook for another year of payments before you get your degree and transcript, or you have to come up with the balance due immediately. They can dress it up as debt free but caldog is correct that they are not making the withholding of the degree/transcripts (if that is the case) clear.

    Aspen's tuition is too high. They have nothing to offer except a degree with limited utility at RA school pricing. Then again, they are a public company now (worth pennies it seems) and the name of their game is revenue, not the best interests of the students.

    I have a bad feeling about the school. Eventually, I will likely have to indicate that I got my Masters from a defunct institution. Sad.
  5. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards Member

    This seems more designed to sell this guys book, professing to be a rant against, I think, his own company model, or something? Maybe they can sell books to raise money because according to their most recent public 10Q they are -$15M in the hole. I know they merged with a vitamin company a while back maybe they could start selling vitamins also, that would be cool. Or maybe you could get a free vitamin subscription with each degree you earn! Or, at .18 cents a share you could trade 50 shares for a copy of the book. A good deal at any price if you ask me.
  6. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    I said that California Coast University reportedly withholds degrees and transcripts until all payments have been completed, based on info posted here by others. I didn't say that Aspen does this.

    It does seem like it might be possible to complete a Master's from Aspen before making the final payments under the newly-announced payment plan. If anyone is planning to enroll under this plan, it would probably be a good idea to check with Aspen, to see if they are prepared to release degrees or transcripts before all payments are complete. Maybe they are, maybe not. I don't know.
  7. gbrogan

    gbrogan Member

    That's why I included (if that is the case) in my post.

    Also, both Penn Foster and Ashworth do this.
  8. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Awhile back we had an instructor who was unable to provide their transcripts due to being delinquent on their payments to a for-profit online university. I can't recall which school it was though.

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