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Title IV Funding at ACE

You know the statistics: Americans owe nearly $1.4 trillion in student loan debt spread out among 44 million borrowers, according to a recent study by the Brookings Institute. That’s $620 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt and the second highest consumer debt category, only behind mortgage debt.


One of the ways American College of Education (ACE) is able to offer affordable online graduate-level degree programs to its students stems from a founding policy of not participating in Title IV federal financial aid programs. These loan types too often burden students with crushing debt that can pose a real threat to their long-term professional and personal success.

“ACE puts educators and their success above all else, and helping to keep them debt free is a crucial part of this commitment,” says Shawntel Landry, president of ACE, and a former teacher. “Founded by teachers for teachers, ACE is focused solely on its students making an immediate impact in their classrooms and districts. That is achieved through the education experience we provide at ACE: one that is accessible and affordable for a teacher’s budget.

Landry says ACE’s emphasis on affordability keys better outcomes for its graduates throughout the country because:
  • It allows educators to focus on serving their students when they are not worried about debt repayment.
  • It encourages more educators to pursue higher education, which in turn serves their students.
  • It promotes retention so educators who start degree programs at ACE are more likely to complete their degree.
Among its competitors, ACE is the only institution eligible to take Title IV funding who has elected not to accept these loan types. ACE believes adopting its policy regarding Title IV programs could serve as a model solution across the country to alleviate the ongoing U.S. college debt crisis and help students achieve their goals without saddling them with debt. In fact, it is a solution that could be implemented across all realms of higher education, not only within the discipline of education.

ACE is committed to a tuition model that is based on the real costs of what it takes to create and deliver a world-class education. This approach has allowed ACE to focus on what matters most: delivering an education that is not only affordable but also exceptional.