College eliminates tuition for those in law enforcement
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Today’s challenging economic climate has forced many police and sheriff’s departments to curtail or eliminate tuition reimbursement programs for officers and deputies attending college. “To complicate matters,” said university CEO Joseph Schmoke, “many departments now require college degrees for promotion to command positions.” This dilemma prompted Schmoke and Andrew Jackson University president Don Kassner to come up with a program that effectively eliminates tuition for America’s law enforcement professionals.
“While the solution for many officers and deputies seeking a degree is to apply for a loan from the government, we don’t think it’s wise to accumulate debt, even for a college degree,” said Kassner. So he and Schmoke, with the cooperation of Advanced Public Safety’s Jeff Rubenstein, added Rubenstein’s company as a tuition sponsor for those in law enforcement.
“APS’s role as a sponsor,” stated Schmoke, “is to refer law enforcement personnel to Andrew Jackson University and by doing so dramatically reduce the university’s marketing and advertising costs. This allows us to pass significant savings along to our students who are police officers and sheriff’s deputies.”
When asked about the actual savings for someone in law enforcement enrolling under the sponsored tuition program, Kassner said the average undergraduate student enrolls in three courses per semester at $750 per course, or $2,250. Under the sponsored program that same student pays an administrative fee of $350 and can take the same three courses, saving $1,900. New students under all programs are responsible for application and enrollment fees totaling $200, but these fees don’t recur as long as enrollment continues.
Kassner said that he had been asked why a sponsored student was responsible for any fees at all. “My reply was that we had to pay our faculty and cover our online access costs,” commented Kassner. All courses at Andrew Jackson University are delivered online, which serving officers find very convenient as they can access the courses at times convenient to them.
The new sponsored tuition program has attracted additional sponsors, including the National Association of Police Organizations. To qualify as a sponsored student, said Schmoke, all one must do is apply online at http://tinyurl.com/cjokb6 .
Andrew Jackson University, an accredited institution recognized by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and similar organizations, offers eleven degree programs, all online. Law enforcement professionals make up a large portion of AJU’s enrollment.
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