Capella University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (459)
I graduated from a traditional undergraduate University (a prestitious top rated University, actually), joined the Army for student loan repayment, was deployed for long durations, but still wanted to pursue a graduate degree. I was accepted into a graduate program at Georgetown University, but simply could not commit to the physical requirement of attending a brick-and-mortar structure due to my military duties.
Then, I found Capella University. I was hesitant and quite suspicious at first, but figured I'd give it a try. It offered the flexibility I needed and the course offerings appeared reasonable. I completed my MS at Capella and, overall, had a good experience. I found the curriculum appropriate and the required reading relevant. I did, however, go over and above by seeking outside sources and conducting personal study. That was a personal choice and not something all students choose to do.
After completing my MS, I applied again to Georgetown University for a PhD, and again, was accepted. While it would have been nice to earn my PhD from Georgetown, I simply couldn't commit to the physical attendance. During the PhD years I had a family, a job, and other commitments that demanded even greater flexibility.
Overall, my experiences at Capella were quite good. I found the instructors to be engaging for the most part. Like any school, some professors are better than others; and some classes will be more interesting than others. The only complaint I have is the high financial cost of an online education. You do pay for convenience.
Enrollment office was great and gave such a false impression of how they really operate. I had a medical emergency and had to with draw from class. They refused to credit my semester even though I dropped the second week of class.
I sent doctors notes, hospital forms and insurance forms but they still tried to bill me. They even lied and tried to say I didnt drop until one month later , lucky for me I kept the notice from federal loans which showed the school reported I with drew on the on the right date , Even with that the student care center tried to find a loop hole to still get me to pay for a semester I was not active in.
Funny thing is with out asking they re-enrolled me in the same course for the next term I found out when they billed me for that too.
I hear over and over again about negatives and online schools. Complaints ranging from student service, to curriculum, and so on. I actually watched the PBS Frontline: College Inc. In many ways this review is a response to all of them.
No one cares about students going to "traditional college" and coming out not able to get jobs, or with high student loans. No one listens to their complaints about their professors, or how they failed out. Suppose I went to Georgetown or OU or Harvard and said they were a degree mill... would anyone believe me?
No. Have a "for profit program" that offers a degree to ANYONE who has the drive and talent to get it and you have congressional hearings, pbs investigations, and other activities of similar stripe.
I went to a "traditional college" when I came out of high school. I did not mind my studies and left after two years. I got a job, met a girl and got married. I did well. I opened my own business and things were going great, until I made a few mistakes and 2008 came. That ended my business. Well I had saved up some money and my wife had a good job, so after a few conversations I went back to school.
I tried to apply to a "traditional university" and did not have enough hours to transfer. My previous transcript was an embarrassment, my fault, but I had to move forward. I applied to a local Community College and they didn't care. I called, nothing... So I called Capella after researching online options. Odd how all the "traditional universities" that didn't care about me being a "traditional student" wanted me to attend THEIR online program...
Capella seemed to care. They helped me get started, talked to me about costs, loans, and everything. Yes it was going to cost something but all colleges do. I told the guidance counselor that I wanted to graduate in 2 years, she said that it was possible, but it would be tremendous work. Well guess what, IT WAS and I DID. Everything they told me was the truth. They cared about my feedback. My professors acted like every other professor I had ever had. Everything about the school was challenging.
Online schools, especially Capella, take a LOT of self discipline, but then again so do all colleges. That is what I was missing the first time around.
Good luck to you. IF you choose Capella, and you try hard, engage the course room, read, and stay disciplined; you will do well.
I am in the fieldwork phase of the Masters in counseling program. My experience with this school is that it advertises itself as a school for professionals who happen to students but their expectations are that you will be a professional student.
During the years I have been studying here, the school is constantly changing the graduation requirements; creating more hurdles for the students. The latest change for counseling students is that the supervision they have with their instructor (on a weekly basis for 90 minutes) may no longer be done over the phone but must be done thru a webcam.
The times for supervision are during the work day and require the students to sit at a location for 90 minutes with no interruption and where privacy is guaranteed. A working student cannot accommodate this requirement because very few workplaces will excuses you for 90 minutes and give you a private space with a webcam. This was a change made without any discussion with the students and it is typical of the school. The school will expect that working students make school the priority in their lives.
Some student actually quit their jobs to complete the internship, but for some of us, giving up steady income, health benefits, and retirement accounts is simple not an option.
The "academic advisors" are bachelor's level student who have not completed the graduate programs and will only try to pacify you; they will not act on your behalf and will be reluctant to pass you on to anyone of authority in the actual department. The school demonstrates ivory tower syndrome, where people are making decisions without considering how this will practically impact student lives. A traditional school will be quicker, more rewarding, and more appreciative of the students’ time.
I've only attended Capella for 3 classes now, and I find the workload to be more than enough. The coursework has been immediately useful for me. The good thing about online learning is that the student must do the work themselves, so you actually learn something. The bad thing is that with online learning, the student must do the work themselves :) If you coasted by with friends notes, or cliffnotes, or whatever means before, it won't work here. Cost? bearable in my case, the average MSIT class is just over $2000 per class.
I'll post again when I've done more than 50% of the work.
Student services is good enough too, that they don't warrant any high praises or low marks, they just do their jobs, and keep the wheels going. They check up on you frequently. I was given all the information upfront about when to expect to pay, when to expect a refund, etc. I had trouble once when I expected my loans to get disbursed to a class, and they hadn't disbursed 3 weeks into the class. I called and it was handled right away.
I have been to one other online university setting for my undergraduate work - Devry University. I left them for Capella because I wasn't to excited about Devry's Graduate level work. Capella has amazing teachers, who are experienced in the field as well as students that put alot of effort into their work which enriches your learning enviroment. Another thing I like about Capella is the fact that you can do your homework and discussions in advance. though be careful, if you dont read ALL discussion postings by others you will get deducted, thus very time consuming.
What I DONT like about Capella is their Student Services. You can hardly ever get the same person, especially with Financial aid, if you live off refunds from tuition etc, they dont come in till your class is over. You better have money for your books because they dont offer a student account that lets you pay it back with your student refund.
Capella is a very organized online school. Every facet of your learning is computerized-there's the library, tutors, any and everything you can imagine to help is there except time. The sessions are quick 9 weeks and its on to the next course which is great if you don't need time to think.
For 4 years I did online classes at Iowa State University where online was just like being there on campus with thanksgiving break, Christmas break, spring break etc, etc, etc 4 months and then I graduated and decided to go for my Masters at Capella. !st and foremost the courses are only 9 weeks, you have to buy your books from them and you have to go to class for 3 weeks BEFORE you get your Fi-Aid which is only $1700 just enough to pay my cable, electric, gas and water bills. Capella's ready for you BUT are you ready for Capella?! You have to be on your toes and have a part-time job because the financial aid won't get you on top of your utility bills to stay home and study. There is NO testing just writing papers 8-10 pages, 8-20 pages and 8-25 pages and all must be peer reviewed, and APA style and postings, postings, postings required OF 250 words always. I felt like stepford student. If you're not interested in a race to the Degree do not choose Capella.
Capella University has a complete disregard for their students. They do not care about you as a student they only care about you as $$$$. I have spent 5 years and $120K and they told me today "we do not design our classes for licensure" which means my counseling psychology degree is worthless!
When I spoke to an adviser a couple of years ago about licensure worries I was told I would be OK. But now that they got my money they told me "the only option is to transfer to another school". I have to basically give up on my dreams of being a counselor or start over. They duped me and are frauds. Do not attend this school. Do yourself and your wallet a favor and find another school. There are much, much better ones out there.
I received an associates and then a B.S. from bricks-n-mortar (the B.S. from good traditional university).
I wanted to pursue my masters degree and started taking some graduate courses in a Big 10 school. It was okay, but trying to enroll in classes, finding parking, etc. were a real pain. I was getting really discouraged by the paperwork, lack of communication/contacts and also with the generally poor learning experience. Many of the instructors were too focused on their research & writing & too busy to bother with improving their teaching. Many of my classmates were pretty ignorant.
So I took a Capella class & that was it. I went in whole hog. Most of the classes were right on -- perfect for the field I wanted to go into, very challenging, but exciting, inspiring, etc. My MS at Capella changed my life. I was totally in a dead end job, destined to be a secretary type and now I have a great job with no limit in my career. I know this all sounds corny, but its true.
I think the difference for me was that I love learning and I totally threw myself into my studies. I would sometimes stay up all night trying to get things right. Some people took short cuts. I did not. The products from my class assignments were really professional quality I used as examples in job interviews.
I only regret not spending enough time with my kids during that period, but they are reaping the benefits with the job income & my new job pays their tuition.
I am totally disappointed with Capella. I chose online learning because of good experiences I had with technology at other schools, but I was disappointed to learn that Capella does not use a lot of technology to teach counseling. I would be ready to graduate soon, but I discovered that Capella does not teach students to counsel at the six day residencies. To learn how to counsel, one must do volunteer work and attend the residencies to show Capella what they learned on their own or get lucky at the residency.
If you are unsuccessful at counseling during the six day residency, you must do volunteer counseling then repeat the residency to show Capella that you can counsel. You can complain about Capella to Capella, but everyone at Capella knows what's going on. Capella is not concerned that you are a busy adult, nor do they treat students like adults.