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A Statement from Ashford University

NBC’s recent story and accompanying segment on alternative higher-education contain a number of willfully malicious errors, distortions, and omissions about Ashford University. Reporters contacted us prior to publication asking for a response to a number of what we consider to be highly questionable allegations.

We provided thoughtful, thorough, and good-faith responses. We also raised several of our own questions and expressed reservations about the apparent bias evident in the questions. This led us, in turn, to question the accuracy, sourcing, and context of the reporting. The reporters never responded to our queries, and held-back from the public critical information we provided to them--information that would have provided a balanced context. We have posted corrections and our correspondence publicly, because we believe NBC’s readers and viewers deserve all the facts so they can decide for themselves.

As our correspondence makes clear, we directly refuted several specific claims made by Mr. Dean, a single disgruntled former employee. What is unclear is why they nevertheless allowed that same discredited source to make sweeping generalizations that grossly misrepresent our student outreach services, despite the fact Mr. Dean provided no evidence to corroborate his vague and subjective characterizations.

It is also worthy to note that when we asked NBC whether they or Mr. Dean were working with any activist groups with known biases against alternative higher-education, they failed to respond.

Beyond the unsubstantiated claims of Mr. Dean, the story displays a profound lack of journalistic objectivity and good practice. Details of this is also provided in the attachment.

Numerous studies support the quality of Ashford’s academic programs. Most recently, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) found that Ashford provides an academic challenge that ranks with the top 10% of four-year colleges in the United States, and is comparable to the top 10% in higher-order learning.

Results from the NSSE also show that Ashford senior students rated their experience at Ashford significantly higher than NSSE participating institutions, with 93% of Ashford students evaluating their entire educational experience as good (35%) or excellent (58%).

Additionally, according to Net Promoter Score surveys (NPS), 96% of respondents say they would recommend Ashford to others seeking their degree.

More than 95 percent of the courses Ashford offers are certified through Quality Matters, an independent nonprofit whose mission is to assess online learning programs for quality and rigor across all sectors of higher education.

We are fiercely proud to serve our military and veteran students, and are unwilling to stand idly by as the educational choices those students made are impugned by questionable sources and unbalanced reporting.

Ashford NBC Rebuttal
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