Ashford University has made a dramatic difference in the lives of its students and graduates. Read about the impact an Ashford education has been to those who have benefitted the most – our students. Are you a current Ashford University student using VA benefits, or alumni? Share your voice!
Ashford University Alumni 2012
BA in Public Relations and Marketing
Brian, who is in charge of recruiting and retention for the Illinois Army National Guard, earned a perfect 4.0 GPA at Ashford University despite his military commitment – which included an overseas deployment!
Brian credits the staff and technology behind Ashford’s online platform for making it possible. “While deployed, it was very easy to communicate and attend the classes. Being online, you can feel like you’re a million miles away with a lot of different schools, but the customer service at Ashford has been outstanding.”
Prior to enrolling at Ashford, Brian had attended three different community colleges along with going through his military training. Luckily, these credits didn’t go to waste. “Ashford made it very easy for me to attend online. They transferred everything in and gave me a good idea of what path to take from there.”
The professional benefits of having earned a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management degree, which he did at the age of 46, have been tangible as well. “My team does a lot of projects within the community, so it gives me new ideas, fresh information, and more knowledge to pass on to them about how to make successful projects happen.” Brian also feels his degree will benefit him in the future. “They’re telling me I’m going to have to retire one of these days, and I’m going have to find a ‘real job’ – I’m hoping the knowledge and experience that I’ve gained from Ashford is going to help me in my next career when I retire from the military.”
Ashford University Alumni 2013
BA in Organizational Management
A disabled Marine Corps veteran, Maritza was able to attend Ashford University with the help of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. She had tried school “on and off” but didn’t find a format she was comfortable with until she applied to Ashford.
“The difference with this school, [the structure] was just so much easier,” she said. “With the kids, just knowing that I had that was really good for me. Knowing that Thursdays were discussion board topics and Monday is the assignment – every week I already knew, ‘Alright, I have to get this done.’”
Maritza’s ultimate goal is to become a therapist and offer her counsel pro-bono to those who need it. Following graduation, she returned to Ashford for her Master of Arts in Psychology, and someday hopes to earn her doctorate.
Whatever the future holds, Maritza is confident that she’ll find the same success, using the same motivation that led her to Ashford.
“There were times I did want to throw in the towel and say, ‘Oh forget it,’ but it’s so worth it. When you see that you have three classes left, or two classes left, it builds you up. No matter what it is that tries to stop you, take time to think for yourself, and accomplish [your goal] because you’re going to set an example for so many people.”
Ashford University Alumni, 2015
BA in Psychology
United States Marine Corps
Ashford University Alumni 2011
BA in Organizational Management
For Nakia Bennett, the pursuit of a college degree began as a means to a good career. But after the U.S. Army veteran was designated as disabled in 2010, a degree became a personal goal.
Nakia’s first attempt at college started in 2001, shortly after he got out of the Army. It was not easy to fit college into his busy life though. Nakia was working full-time, and he was sent overseas three times as a civilian contractor, including a stint in Kuwait in 2003 when the United States declared war on Iraq.
In 2014, he decided to give college one last try. At the time, his wife and one of his daughters were attending Ashford University. Despite some reservations about attending an online school, Nakia opted to follow the lead of his family and enrolled at Ashford.
“I was never into online schooling,” he says. “I felt as if I learned better in a more traditional classroom setting. I could not have been more wrong.”
Nakia enrolled in Ashford’s Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Administration program in June, 2014. At Ashford, he finally found a supportive school that met his needs and provided a quality education.
“The support from the staff was effortless,” he says. “If I had a question or concern, it was super easy to get the answer. If someone told me they would call me back, then that is exactly what they did. I feel the education I received was on par with the level of education I would have received at any traditional college or university.”
At the end of 2017, Nakia completed the journey he began 16 years earlier when he graduated from Ashford. The degree made him the first of his siblings to graduate from college. His is not the only Ashford diploma in the Bennett family though. Not only did his wife and oldest daughter already graduate from Ashford, but his youngest daughter is currently enrolled and, as Nakia proudly notes, “In a few years, she will be adding a fourth degree to the family’s wall.”
The journey to college graduation may have been long and circuitous for Nakia, but it was ultimately worth it.
“It feels so good to have finally reached a monumental personal goal in my life and to have Ashford University as the vessel that got me through to the end,” he says.
Ashford University Alumni, 2017
BA in Health Care Administration
Ashford University Alum & Military Spouse
BA Organizational Management (2009), MBA (2012)