American Public University is a for-profit university with headquarters in Charles Town, West Virginia. Since 2002, APU has been part of the American Public University System, which provides alternative higher education programs to working adults. To make education more attainable, APU offers competency-based undergraduate degrees. These programs do not rely on traditional credit-hour standards.
Many APU students come from military and public service backgrounds. In comparison to other for-profit schools, APU's tuition and fees are low. The average annual costs are just $7,324, and 89% of enrolled students receive grants or scholarships.
Despite low costs and a wide range of educational programs, APU is not immune to criticism. Like other for-profit schools, APU has low graduation rates. They also received backlash for their competency-based degrees, which often leave students ineligible for federal financial aid.
Many APU students provide thousands of dollars to the university only to face unfair dismissals due to conduct or academic issues. National academic-misconduct attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento is here to educate you on your rights during misconduct procedures. Here's what you need to know about APU's conduct policies.
Misconduct Policies at American Public University
APU has separate disciplinary procedures for different types of misconduct. All students must abide by the APU Honor Code, which states that they will uphold university policy, practice academic integrity, and accept responsibility for their actions.
As part of the American Public University System, APU also enforces the APUS student handbook. The handbook includes policies prohibiting various forms of misconduct, including the following:
Academic Dishonesty. APU students must demonstrate honesty and personal integrity. The university prohibits dishonest behaviors that give students an unfair advantage. The APUS student handbook prohibits plagiarism in all forms. Plagiarism is incorporating another person's ideas without attribution. To prevent plagiarism, APU requires students to submit assignments to the plagiarism checker Turnitin. Sanctions for academic dishonesty include warnings, failing grades, and loss of honors. You may face expulsion for repeat or flagrant violations, such as cheating on exams.
Student Misconduct. The APUS student handbook includes a list of prohibited student conduct. If you violate conduct rules, the university will issue a letter of student misconduct. Consequences include a notation on your student record, loss of honors, suspension, or expulsion. Examples of conduct violations include:
- Using a student's coursework without their consent
- Using obscenities or verbal racial, ethnic, political, or gender attacks
- Harassing university members
- Disrupting classroom learning
- Publishing damaging or false information
- Attacking or vandalizing university websites or networks
- Accessing student records without permission
- Submitting falsified student information to any third party
- Submitting fraudulent information on applications, medical documents, or appeals
- Failing to return material loaned by university staff or faculty
- Conducting human subject research without approval
- Failing to comply with university orders
Title IX Violations. Effective August 14, 2020, any university that receives federal funds must comply with new Title IX regulations. Title IX forbids sex discrimination in education programs. Prohibited behaviors include sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual harassment, stalking, and other forms of gender-based discrimination. Title IX violations can result in reprimand, suspension, expulsion, and more.
Academic Progress. APU requires students to meet academic progress standards to remain enrolled at the university. Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA, and master's students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA. Failing to progress results in academic probation and limited course registrations. If you fail to raise your GPA during probation, APU will place you on academic suspension or academic dismissal.
Misconduct Procedures at American Public University
APU students must follow disciplinary procedures outlined in the APUS student handbook. APU allows students the right to due process and to dispute their charges. Here is an overview of the procedures for student misconduct.
Academic Dishonesty. APU's academic dishonesty policy states that instructors will forward violations to the academic appeals office for review. If confirmed, the registrar's office will add a notation to your student record and invoke sanctions. You can appeal the finding by submitting an official academic appeal request. You will then follow the APUS appeals process to overturn the decision.
Student Misconduct. The APUS student handbook lists the procedures for responding to misconduct allegations. You will receive a letter of student misconduct, which also goes on your student record during the investigation. If you receive a second letter of student misconduct, the university will place you on suspension pending review of your case. You must also follow the appeals process to challenge any sanctions.
Title IX Violations. Like other universities, APU follows federal Title IX investigation procedures. A Title IX Coordinator will conduct an investigation to address a Title IX complaint. Both parties have an equal opportunity to present witnesses and evidence during a live hearing. You can also use an advisor of your choice to assist with the hearing.
Academic Progress. APU will notify you if your cumulative program GPA drops below minimum requirements. They will place you on academic probation, which provides you a chance to raise your GPA. The university will review your GPA after the completion of six credit hours for undergraduates and three credit hours for master's students. Failure to raise your grade will result in academic dismissal. You have to file an appeal within 30 days of academic suspension.
An Attorney-Advisor's Role
You might feel intimidated when facing APU's misconduct policies and procedures. Attorney Joseph D. Lento of the Lento Law Firm is an experienced national academic misconduct advisor who can help you navigate the disciplinary process. APU allows students to use an attorney-advisor in misconduct proceedings. Joseph Lento can help you successfully push back against allegations by collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and identifying opportunities for appeals.
As a fierce defender of student rights, Joseph D. Lento will hold APU accountable for following its policies. He can challenge any infringement of your rights that threaten a fair investigation. Whether you face an academic dishonesty, misconduct, Title IX, or academic progress charges, Joseph Lento is here to help. Call 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation today.