NEW YORK, March 20, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aspen Group, Inc. (OTCBB:ASPU), a nationally accredited online postsecondary education company (Aspen University), today unveiled a monthly payment plan aimed at reversing the college-debt sentence plaguing working-class Americans. Effective immediately, Aspen will offer a bachelor's degree for $250 per month over 60 months ($15,000) and a master's degree for $325 per month over 36 months ($11,700), giving students the opportunity to earn a degree debt free.
Aspen's ability to offer students this low-cost, low-risk option is a direct result of having cut its cost-per-student acquisition to an industry low, as outlined in Chairman and CEO Michael Mathews' new book "Let's Change Higher Education Forever" (Aspen University; paperback/$9.05; http://www.ChangeHigherEducation.com) and comes without risk of compromise in either the quality of education or convenience of enrollment terms for which Aspen is known.
"Attending college shouldn't be the financial risk of a lifetime," stated Mathews. "It's time for the higher-education industry to focus on the fact that nearly half of the $1.2 trillion national student debt weighs on families earning less than $60,000 annually," he continued. "To make matters worse, 68 percent of individuals from the lowest income group who enroll in college will drop out within six years, a 'worst-case scenario' where crippling lifelong debt meets little prospect for income growth, landing them in economic jail. It's my contention that the prevalence of these scenarios is a result of targeted aggressive marketing and opportunistic tuition increases by a number of higher-learning institutions. The solution to the problem can only come from within."
In addition to outlining Aspen's plan for a debtless education that meets the needs of the modern student, "Let's Change Higher Education Forever" underscores the plight of those living with this worst-case scenario; explains how individuals dreaming of a better life unknowingly opened themselves up to for-profit universities' aggressive marketing tactics; and calls for sweeping industry-wide change.
Specifically, Mathews implores peers in the for-profit education sector to stop leading sales pitches with the promise of government financial aid as the primary solution for funding college; to bring their marketing function in-house in an effort to reduce overall enrollment costs enough to lower their tuition; and to adopt more stringent admissions standards to ensure that students are academically ready and capable of succeeding before they enter their chosen degree programs.
Aspen University is unique not only for its low-risk, pay-as-you-go tuition model, but also because its formula for student success includes performance-based admissions criteria combined with flexible enrollment terms. Undergraduate students must have graduated from high school with at least a 2.0 GPA and pass an English composition course before entering a degree program. In addition, Aspen's academic plan is designed to mirror the credits taken by a student against the monthly payments made. This way the student can withdraw and reenroll at any time, starting the monthly payment plan again.
"Aspen University looks forward to the day when the vast majority of our students will graduate without a penny of debt. Our monthly payment plan was designed to deliver that ultimate outcome," stated Mathews."
About Aspen Group, Inc. (OTCBB:ASPU)
Aspen Group, Inc. is an online postsecondary education company. Aspen University's mission is to offer any motivated college-worthy student the opportunity to receive a high-quality, responsibly priced distance-learning education for the purpose of achieving sustainable economic and social benefits for themselves and their families. Aspen is dedicated to providing the highest quality education experiences taught by top-tier faculty – 67 percent of our adjunct faculty hold doctoral degrees. The University recently announced the appointment of Dr. Cheri St. Arnauld as chief academic officer. To learn more about Aspen University, visit www.aspen.edu.
About Michael Mathews
Michael Mathews has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aspen University since 2011. Under his leadership, Aspen became a public company in 2012. Before joining Aspen, Mathews was CEO of Interclick Inc., a data-driven Internet advertising network, where he oversaw revenue growth from $6 million in 2007, when he joined the company, to $100 million in 2010. Yahoo Inc. acquired Interclick in 2011 for $270 million. He worked at World Avenue U.S.A., an Internet marketing company from 2004 to 2007, which was one of the largest Internet marketing firms providing leads to the for-profit higher education sector. He previously held positions at Internet Services firms CKS Group and Agency.com. Mathews graduated from San Francisco State University and holds a Master's in Business Administration from Golden Gate University.
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