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Aspen University is a private, for-profit institution located in Denver, Colorado. Established in the 1960s as the International Academy, it now offers online associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as online certificates. Options are promoted as being budget-friendly and easy to schedule.

The university is dedicated to offering motived students the opportunity to receive high-quality, well-priced, distance-learning education. It strives to help graduates achieve sustainable economic and social benefits for themselves and their families. This is done by transitioning learners to higher levels of productive citizenship by enhancing valuable knowledge and skills. Aspen University also seeks to offer these opportunities at low enough rates that most students do not incur debt in the process.

Overview of Aspen University

Accreditation is retained with the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and the institution is approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). Several programs maintain additional accreditation as well. The undergraduate and graduate degree programs in nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Bachelor and master’s degrees in psychology and addiction counseling are approved by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).

General Information

School Type Private for-profit
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing No
Student Faculty Ratio 20:1
Graduation Rate 18%
Year Founded 1987

Student Enrollment

Total Students5,424


Undergraduate Student

Male 474
Female 2,915

Graduate Student

Male 285
Female 1,750

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Female   NA


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Acceptance RateNA

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Enrollment NA

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Application Fee $0
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 NA
Common Application Accepted NA

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The cost of earning a degree or certificate from Aspen University will depend on the type of program selected. Tuition for an associate degree is $9,000, while most bachelor’s degree programs cost $18,000. Master’s degree options range in price from $11,700 to $18,500 and the majority of doctoral degrees cost $27,000. Certificate programs are much less, with one priced at $2,900 and the other at $4,900. Additional academic fees may be anywhere from $800 to $2,900. Because this is an online institution, there is no difference in price for in-state and out-of-state students.

It’s important to note, however, that the prices listed above do not include the cost of books, education supplies, technology expenses, housing, and food while enrolled. As a distance-learning institution, students must account for all of these aspects themselves.

Aspen University is approved by the United States Department of Education to offer federal student aid to students who apply for it. The institution also offers a monthly payment plan, which is a private education loan with a 0% fixed rate interest and no down payment.

Average net price 2017-2018
Net Price $14,492
Average Total Aid $2,635
Students Receiving Financial Aid 100%
Room & Board $10,488

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $3,920
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $3,920
  • Books and Supplies - $1,300
  • Room & Board - $10,488
  • Other - $1,248


Aspen University offers a variety of academic opportunities at multiple levels, from associate degrees and certificates to masters and doctoral degrees. There are four schools: Business & Technology, Education, Nursing & Health Sciences, and Arts & Sciences.

The total undergraduate and graduate population is right around 6,900, with the majority of students attending classes part-time. In fact, only 18% of those enrolled at the university take classes full-time. There are just over 300 faculty members with an average of 25 years in the field. The resulting student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1, which is very low and means students will have many opportunities for one-on-one interactions with instructors.

The retention rate for first-time students pursing bachelor’s degrees was 80% for full-time students and 75% for part-time students in a recent academic year. Knowing a university’s retention rate is important because it provides some insight into overall student satisfaction. These statistics show that the majority of those enrolled chose to continue pursuing classes the next year.

In addition to the retention rate, prospective students should also take into consideration a university’s graduation rate. This tracks student progress at the institution and shows the percentage of individuals who graduate with degrees or certificates.

Student Population Total

Student Population 5,424

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Health Professions and Related Programs 664 Total Graduates / 87%
Public Health/Community Nurse/Nursing 661 Graduates
Medical Office Management/Administration 3 Graduates
All Education Majors 39 Total Graduates / 5%
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 39 Graduates
All Business Majors 27 Total Graduates / 4%
Business Administration and Management, General 27 Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 17 Total Graduates / 2%
Criminal Justice/Police Science 17 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 15 Total Graduates / 2%
Counseling Psychology 15 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 1

Outcome & Salary

There is very little data available concerning specific Aspen University graduate outcomes for students earning associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees. The institution has graduated over 10,000 students since its founding.

The university does provide a list of projected personal and professional outcomes for graduates.

These include:

  • Ethical Professionalism
  • Effective Communication for Creating Change
  • Active Leadership
  • Critical Thinking and Analytical Reasoning
  • Technological Literacy
Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary NA
College Grads Average Salary $86,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary NA
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $860,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential NA
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $57,968
10 Year Projected ROI $802,032
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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