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Media Release: Ashford University

State denies Ashford University’s application to recruit, advertise in Washington

Update as of May 31, 2019: Ashford University has appealed WSAC's decision to deny authorization. WSAC's decision will not be final until the appeals process has been exhausted. 

May 9, 2019

Olympia—The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) has denied Ashford University’s application to continue advertising and recruiting in state. The school’s courses and degree programs are entirely online. WSAC made this decision after reviewing Ashford’s most recent application for re-authorization.

Currently, there are approximately 1,070 Washingtonians enrolled in Ashford. This denial does not affect currently enrolled Washington students. These students can still finish their degrees at Ashford, which can continue to enroll Washington students. WSAC’s decision also does not affect Ashford’s accreditation status or the school’s participation in federal student loan programs. The school does not participate in state financial aid programs.

WSAC’s denial prevents Ashford University from specifically targeting Washington residents for recruitment and advertising. WSAC has emailed Ashford’s students in Washington to inform them of the school’s change in status.

WSAC identified a number of concerns that resulted in the decision to deny reauthorization. These included:  

  • Uncertainty about Ashford’s eligibility to continue participating in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs GI Bill program.
  • Significant and sustained declines in student enrollment and institutional assets.
  • The school’s involvement in a large number of pending lawsuits and investigations.
  • Evidence that Ashford has failed to provide a reasonable and appropriate level of support to help students complete their degrees.

WSAC authorizes schools offering degrees to operate in Washington. WSAC authorized Ashford University to begin advertising and recruiting in 2009. Since then, it has submitted an application for reauthorization every two years, as required by Washington’s Degree-Granting Institutions Act. This denial resulted from a review of Ashford’s most recent application for reauthorization.

About the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC)

The Washington Student Achievement Council is committed to increasing educational opportunities and attainment in Washington.