A Message from the President
March 28, 2019
Dear ACE family,
In the last several months, it seems there has been no shortage of “bad news” about higher education, from the sudden closing of universities, to admissions scandals at some of this country’s most high-profile institutions, to spiraling costs and a declining value proposition. At American College of Education, our first reaction to these stories is always compassion and sympathy for the students who are negatively impacted. The most central part of ACE’s mission is putting students first, and when students suffer – even if they are not our students – it cuts to the core of who we are and what we believe in.
That said, these recent revelations have also caused us to reflect on how American College of Education truly is different, and how we fill a unique and critically important role in the higher education ecosystem.
One of our newest team members described ACE as a “unicorn,” and that description fits. The facts alone tell the story:
- We continue to grow in an otherwise contracting market: A recent USA Today article stated that enrollment at four-year proprietary institutions had decreased by 15 percent since the fall of 2017, yet student enrollment at ACE has seen a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent over the last five years.
- We don’t rely on federal funding for our economic stability: ACE has always been proud of the fact that we do not rely on or accept Title IV federal student loan funding. Why the pride? Because we believe in making education affordable through industry-low tuition, not by raising tuition and directing students to a federal loan program that has fueled what is nothing short of a crisis of student debt. Title IV doesn’t just put students in a precarious position; it is a causal factor for institutional failure. The closure of institutions such as Argosy University is most often precipitated by irregularities or changes regarding the handling of Title IV student loans. Any interruption in the Title IV revenue stream causes the institution to founder or fail. That is a scenario in which ACE never has, and never will, find itself.
- Our admissions are quick, efficient, and fair: Do you have the transcripts and grades to enroll at ACE? Then you’re in, and you can start taking classes almost immediately. End of story.
- Our tuition is at industry-low levels: High quality and low cost are our mantras, which makes the value proposition of ACE one of the best in higher education: Tuition under $8,000 for a master’s degree in education, and under $20,000 for Ed.D. or RN to MSN.
- Our students thrive: Our Student Right to Know statistics reveal a 95 percent “overall satisfaction” rate for our students; 96 percent say their professional skills are stronger after attending ACE; and employers rate ACE graduates as “above average” or “excellent” 88 percent of the time.
- Our employees are happy, too: ACE continues to annually receive national and state recognition as being one of the best places to work because we value our people.
Like all institutions, ACE is challenged daily with the task of continuing to grow our programs and enrollment by offering the best degrees for the lowest price. The fact that our very structure and mission eliminate some of the biggest negative forces and trends affecting higher education makes us proud, happy, and committed to continuing to do what we do best: putting students first in a stable and safe environment that sets them up for success.
We are proud to continue our mission every day.