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American Public University System (APUS) is a four-year, private, for-profit institution located in Charles Town, WV. The university maintains a virtual campus that is the intellectual home of 39,000 undergraduates and over 9,000 graduate students. In total, 88,000 students are working hard on APSU's 55 bachelor's degrees, 25 associate degrees, and 43 graduate degrees. The university also offers a large number of certificate programs, 111 to be exact, at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Overview of American Public University System (APUS)

APUS' online approach is a boon to its older students, who average age 32. They can pursue their undergraduate degree free of the typical scheduling difficulties that plague many students. The school has also been ranked in the 11th percentile for return on investment.

APUS offers students a wide range of academic options. Their top ten most popular programs include sports and health sciences, psychology, environmental science, cyber security, and business administration. Thus, a hard-working and determined online student can achieve everything that their friends can on a traditional campus.

General Information

School Type Private for-profit
Campus Setting Town: Fringe
Campus Housing No
Student Faculty Ratio 21 : 1
Graduation Rate 40%
Year Founded 1991

Student Enrollment

Total Students45,249


Undergraduate Student

Male 23,894
Female 13,441

Graduate Student

Male 5,065
Female 2,849

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Top Rankings For American Public University System

APUS Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male NA
Female NA


Male NA
Female NA

Acceptance RateNA

Male NA
Female NA

Enrollment NA

Male NA
Female NA
Application Fee NA
High School GPA NA
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts NA
College Prep Courses NA
Recommendations NA
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) NA
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted NA

APUS Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Though APUS is a for-profit, private institution, it offers students terrific value. Its online courses don't require expensive buildings, and the physical location in Charles Town, WV is less costly than many other locations. The low overhead brings the cost of tuition, books, and other academic costs to a mere $7,500.

Given that APUS is an online institution, it's hard to determine students' cost of living and a total gross price for a year of study. After all, students could live in a high-cost city such as New York City or San Francisco or they could enjoy a more affordable cost of living in rural Idaho, for example.

In any case, the best estimated net price tag for a year of study came to $11,000, including room and board. Naturally, this accounts for the grants and scholarships the financial aid office arranges for students. Also, since APUS targets military students, some of those costs may be handled by the government. In any case, students from the highest earning demographic saw an average net price of a mere $17,000 per year.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $10,995
Average Total Aid $5,493
Students Receiving Financial Aid 100%
Room & Board $7,480

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $7,324
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $7,324
  • Books and Supplies - 0
  • Room & Board - $7,480
  • Other - $2,352

Popular Academic Programs at APUS

American Public University System (APUS) is known for breaking the mold. Not only are they an online institution, but they also report terrific academic statistics. Our researchers were somewhat skeptical, but they discovered that APUS is able to retain over 90% of their first-time, full-time students for a second term. Such a high retention rate is unusual for any institution of higher learning, much less one that conducts its courses online.

The school also reports a graduation rate of 50%. When compared with many traditional institutions, this is a strong graduation rate. Unfortunately, APUS didn't post their transfer rate, which could perhaps boost projections for college success.

Perhaps the key to APUS' success is its student to faculty ratio. The average class size at APUS is 22 students, which would be a bit high for a traditional campus but may work perfectly well in an online learning environment. Faculty members aren't overloaded with grading duties and students have easy access to their instructors, who are an email (or chat) away. It may also help APUS that the average age of its student body is 32 years old. More mature students may be better equipped for an intense focus on earning a degree.

Student Population Total

Student Population 45,249

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 1,757 Total Graduates / 29%
Business Administration and Management, General 1,273 Graduates
Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management 274 Graduates
Accounting 60 Graduates
Hospitality Administration/Management, General 50 Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 1164 Total Graduates / 19%
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 447 Graduates
Homeland Security 327 Graduates
Crisis/Emergency/Disaster Management 183 Graduates
Securities Services Administration/Management 95 Graduates
All Computer and Information Sciences Majors 613 Total Graduates / 10%
Computer and Information Systems Security/Auditing/Information Assurance 242 Graduates
Information Technology 200 Graduates
Information Technology Project Management 171 Graduates
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, Fitness, and Kinesiology 433 Total Graduates / 7%
Exercise Science and Kinesiology 378 Graduates
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management 55 Graduates
Military Technologies and Applied Sciences 357 Total Graduates / 6%
Intelligence, General 313 Graduates
Military Technologies and Applied Sciences, Other 44 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 29%

Outcome & Salary

APUS students are a bit older than most traditional college students, so they are very interested in learning how well their degrees will pay off in the employment market. While there are never any guarantees when it comes to academic achievement and career success, researchers surveyed graduates to find out how they fared. The top-earning graduates from APUS were from the computer and information technology management degree program. They reported a median salary of $80,000. Meanwhile, the fifth highest earning graduates were from the mechanical engineering degree program, who reported a median salary in excess of $72,000.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary NA
College Grads Average Salary $68,716
College Grads Mid Career Salary NA
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $687,160
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential NA
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $43,980
10 Year Projected ROI $643,180
20 Year Projected ROI NA
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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