1. American Public University

American Public University is part of the American Public University System. The other two organizations that are in the system are the American Military University, and American Public University. The organization's corporate offices are in Charles Town, West Virginia. All administrative offices are located in Manassas, Virginia.

All of the university's programs are online, allowing students the flexibility to manage their education from any internet-connected computer. Among many of its competitors, American Public University's programs are very similar to a traditional university program, with degree programs in Arts and Humanities, Business, Education, Health Sciences, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and Security and Global Studies.

A significant percentage of students are active duty military, Guard, Reserve, and veterans, nearly 75 percent, according to the university. Benefits and assistance programs for the military are significant, and extend to both spouses and dependents as well.

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The Good

  • Degree Acceleration with Momentum Program
  • Variety of Degree Options Available
  • Generous Military Financial Benefits for Active Duty, Veterans, Spouses, and Dependents
  • Military Grants Available for Both Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

Degree Acceleration with Momentum Program

American Public University offers a unique program for its students to accelerate their studies, called the Momentum Program. This program allows motivated student to accelerate earning their Bachelor's degree if they meet certain requirements, which include: previous completion of an Associate of Arts or Science degree, ability to commit 16 to 20 hours per week for studies, and already have on the job experience in the subject area. Students meeting all these criteria are able to complete their degree in an average of four 16 week terms. The cost for a degree with the Momentum Program is $2,500 per 16 week term, charged as a flat fee.

Variety of Degree Options Available

American Public University offers its students choices in several online degree programs via its schools.

Available fields in which American Public University awards degrees include:

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • General Studies
  • History
  • Legal Studies
  • Military History
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Real Estate Studies
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Nursing

Generous Military Financial Benefits for Active Duty, Veterans, Spouses, and Dependents

American Public University reports that nearly 75 percent of its student body is eligible and receives some of the military benefits. These include no technology fee, no textbook costs, and tuition discounts. Military benefits from American Public University extend to veterans, active duty military and Guard members, their spouses, and dependents.

Military Grants Available for Both Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

Tuition discount grants are available for those pursuing both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The Bad

  • For-Profit University
  • Momentum Program Students Not Eligible for Financial Aid, Military Benefits, etc.

For-Profit University

Unlike state-run government schools and several privately-owned institutions, American Public University operates as a for-profit organization. Many of the common criticisms leveraged against for-profit programs are that the degrees awarded do not have as stringent of requirements as do those offered by nonprofit and state programs, that as the school operates with a for-profit focus, the acceptance rate is higher, with the educational standards being lower, and that the programs do not put education first and students are simply seen as vehicles to profit.

Momentum Program Students Not Eligible for Financial Aid, Military Benefits, etc.

Students electing to enroll in accelerated learning with the Momentum Program are not eligible for financial aid for these programs. Also significant that for a program that is so positive for members of the military and their families, that American Public University does not extend the benefits of its accelerated learning with the Momentum Program to this population. Much of this can be because the benefits offered by the military, and collected by American Public University, exclude the program or those like it, from benefits; however, this exclusion is in effect for three-fourths of all of the enrolled students at American Public University.

The Bottom Line

There are many benefits for those looking at American Public University. The university has many programs to offer to its students, and its military benefits are significant. The Momentum program is innovative and allows an accelerated method of earning a Bachelor's degree for qualified students. The lack of benefits or financial aid availability for this program is certainly reason that some would not select to use the Momentum program.

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