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Bridgepoint Offers Scholarships, But Does It Exploit The Military?

Ashford University
Ashford University

Bridgepoint Education's Ashford University, the subject of controversy lately in Business Week and other national publications for its alleged exploitation of members of the military and veterans, and Cox Communications have awarded scholarships to five San Diego-area spouses of U.S. military service members. The awards are full-tuition scholarships that according to a news release released today will help the "unsung partners of American fighting men and women fulfill their educational goals."

The "Homefront Heroes" recipients are Danielle Brown, Temecula; Sheila Cabuco Butler, Chula Vista; Matthew Day-Reyes, Oceanside; Courtney Garcia, El Cajon; and Elizabeth Steinke, San Marcos. Four of the five spouses are U.S. Marines; Steinke's husband is in the Navy. The scholarship recipients were selected from a field of 120 applicants. The process involved submitting an essay about being married to the military, its effects on their life, and how they believed an Ashford University degree would enhance their plans for the future.

Ashford University, a for-profit university that offers online classes and also has a campus in Iowa, and its parent company Bridgepoint, based in San Diego, have been criticized for allegedly exploiting members and former members of the military by taking their money given to them as part of the GI Bill but not giving them a quality education. Business Week recently reported that credentials from online, for-profit schools such as Ashford can be less helpful in getting civilian jobs. Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers in Washington, which includes members from both nonprofit and for-profit colleges, told Business Week:


Mike Shields, a retired Marine Corps colonel and human resources director for U.S. field operations for Schindler Elevator, the North American arm of Switzerland's Schindler Group, says he rejects about 50 military candidates each year for the company's management development program because their graduate degrees come from online for-profits. He told Business Week: