The American Public University System and its two universities, American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU), are using the U.S. Army’s new online portal to help soldiers receive tuition assistance.
According to the American Public Education, Inc., the two universities are the first nationwide to “successfully enroll” students through the new portal, which is called Army IgnitED.
“Now that Army’s new platform, IgnitED, has restored access to [tuition assistance] for soldiers, we are actively helping service members begin and regain academic momentum,” said Dr. Wade Dyke, president of the American Public University System [APUS]. “We remain committed to providing soldiers access to the education benefits they earn by serving our country so that they can reach their academic goals.”
Though its name may suggest otherwise, APUS is not a public university system. It is a private, for-profit, online learning university system whose mission, according to its website, is to provide “respected, relevant, accessible, affordable, and student-focused online programs that prepare students for service and leadership in a diverse, global society.”
Much of APUS’ student body is composed of student veterans. In fact, in 2015, approximately 56% of APUS students reported that they served in the military on active duty at initial enrollment. Additionally, based on tuition assistance and enrollment data from Department of Defense and Veterans Administration, APUS advertises itself as the foremost provider of higher education to veterans using GI Bill benefits.
“APUS has built its reputation on serving the military, veteran and public service communities,” writes APUS.
In 2020, the system said it awarded over $31.7 million worth of proprietary-funded scholarships to roughly 54,000 U.S. Armed Forces members through its Freedom Grant initiative, which “covers tuition above the military TA cap of $250 per credit hour for undergraduate and master’s-level education, provides course textbooks and ebooks at no additional cost, and waives technology fee charges.”