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Most APU Seniors Give High Marks for Learning Experience and Would Return, According to 2016 NSSE Report

Charles Town, WV, November 17, 2016 — More than nine-out-of-ten American Public University System (APUS) students continue to rate their overall learning experience as “excellent” or “good,” and would return there to study, according to the 2016 Engagement Insights report from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).

Ninety-two percent of seniors gave APUS top marks overall, while 91% noted they would “definitely” or “probably” return, compared to 86% for peer Institutions, 84% for private for-profits and 82% for all schools participating in the 2015-16 survey. The positive differentials of six and nine percent between APUS and all other schools measured in these categories compare favorably with the previous 2012 assessment,  notes APUS Senior Vice President  and Provost Dr. Vernon Smith.

“While these findings are a testament to our continuing focus on providing outstanding learning outcomes, they only tell part of the story for APUS,” he said.  “We’re very pleased that both our first-year students and seniors rated the quality of their interactions with peers, advisors, faculty, student services and other administrative staff higher than the national comparison group of all 500+ schools. They also rated their APUS experience higher than the comparison group in significantly contributing to their knowledge, skills, and personal development in written communications.”

APUS has a long-standing commitment to student success, through participation in such key industry initiatives as the Gardner Institute’s Gateways to Completion and Foundations of Excellence programs, the Higher Learning Commission Academy for Student Persistence and Completion, and numerous recognitions by the Online Learning Consortium for quality online education and effective practices.

NSSE’s recently-released report is based on data from more than 300,000 first-year and senior students -- those with less than 30 credits and more than 90, respectively -- at 512 four-year colleges and universities in the U.S.  It indicates that getting help made a difference over and above study time and learning strategies, signaling the imperative to provide accessible and effective learning support services and to ensure that students who encounter academic difficulty get the help they need. The report also found that while retention and graduation were positively related to student engagement, the strongest association was for the amount of time students spent preparing for class.

About American Public University System

American Public University System, recipient of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education and four-time recipient of the OLC Effective Practice Award, offers more than 190 online degree and certificate programs through American Military University and American Public University. More than 65,000 alumni worldwide have benefited from APUS's relevant curriculum, affordability, and flexibility in pursuing and earning degrees in such areas as business, information technology, and security and global studies. For further information, visit

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Brian Muys

Brian Muys

Associate VP Public Relations