American Public University


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American Public University is a relatively new institution of higher learning, having been established in 2002. It is a sister school to American Military University, which was founded in 1991. More than 100,000 students are enrolled in the all-online school, taking courses in more than 190 academic programs. The university also offers courses of study for the military-minded person. Its flexibility is attractive to working professionals and those wishing to return to school after long absences. 

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The Good

  • Cost
  • Duration
  • Program offerings
  • Accreditation

Here are a few more strong points of APU:

  • Cost. APU boasts affordable prices for their services compared to other online universities. There is no better value than APU. While other online universities will cost a student $50,000 or even $60,000 or more, APU is in the $30,000 neighborhood for an undergraduate. This is almost half the cost of the typical online university and still considerably less than a public, in-state institution of learning. Plus, fees are minimal, including no application fee.
  • Duration. Flexibility is key here, as students can select either an eight-week class schedule or the longer, less intensive 16-week variety. Another nice bonus is the fact that classes start every month, so new students can start virtually anytime.
  • Program offerings. With 190 degree options, there is no shortage of courses to choose from. Whether it's the traditional business management or accounting degree or the more specialized homeland security or cyber security, there's something for just about anyone. APU strives to offer a wide range of courses to meet the needs and preferences of a diverse student base.
  • Accreditation. APU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which grants degrees in 19 U.S. states. The university of recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for meeting all federal higher education standards.

The flexibility and convenience of an online university is increasingly more appealing to working adults, busy parents and students who are returning to the classroom after being away for an extended time. As an exclusive online campus, APU affords students the opportunity to study and spend class time as their schedule permits. Students are not tied to rigid time demands.

The Bad

  • Credits not transferable
  • Online only

Students who begin their academic career at APU and then wish to move elsewhere should be prepared to essentially start over. Taking transfer credits from APU to other colleges and universities is usually not allowed.

Because it is a virtual campus, meeting with academic advisors is done through chat functions and other online methods. This is certainly convenient, but some students may be disappointed to not be able to visit face to face with a career counselor.

The Bottom Line

APU is a wonderful choice for degree-seeking students whose time is precious and whose only viable option for going to college is through an online platform. With less expensive tuition, numerous degree options and a manageable class schedule and format, APU can be a great option for students.

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