Excelsior College Reviews - Bachelor's in Liberal Arts

4.32 out of 5 stars
(22 Reviews)
  • Albany (NY)
  • Annual Tuition: Not Provided
93% of 22 students said this degree improved their career prospects
91% of 22 students said they would recommend this program to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

1.8 out of 5 stars
40 yr.old Mil. retire - 9/21/2017
Degree: Liberal Arts
Graduation Year: 2017
"Very disappointed in the advisement or lack of. After the official evaluation informed of five classes to complete for degree completion. Four month and four classes laser informed I had four to five more classes required. Seems like some ethical issues with class requirements, advising and possible bating students for money. I would not recommended this college."
5.0 out of 5 stars
WM - 8/11/2017
Degree: Liberal Arts
Graduation Year: 2011
"For those who don't know, EC is know as one of the "Big 3" (Thomas Edison State College & Charter Oak State College being the other two). These 3 regionally accredited (RA)institutions of higher learning have a unique structure. Unlike the vast majority of RA traditional and online colleges/universities, the residency requirements at these colleges are at the absolute minimum. What does that mean? How is that an advantage? In general, most colleges/universities require that you earn X number of credits from them in order to obtain a degree. I want to say that most require 30 or so credits to be earned by taking classes from that college/university. As far as I remember, the only course that needs to be taken from EC is a 1 credit hour online Information Lit course. The remaining 120-125 credit hours that are required for a particular degree can be satisfied externally. This is a huge advantage over other colleges/universities. Limits on credits transferred in are common at most colleges. With minimal exception (how long ago you took the course and if it applies to your particular degree plan), EC allows you to transfer in as many as you want. This is a fantastic benefit that saves time and money. Testing out options. Traditional institutions limit the number of courses that you are able to test out of using CLEP/DSST and other sources of college level credit. At EC you can basically earn an undergraduate degree completely by "testing out". This is not to be confused with credits for "life experience". I don't think that EC awards credit for life experience by itself. I think TESC has a program that allows you to "challenge" credits/courses based on life experience, they are called portfolios or something. If I remember correctly, you have to document why you feel that you should be awarded college credit for particular topics you have advanced personal knowledge in. Then a committee reviews and accepts or denies. I believe the process is more difficult and expensive than testing out. I was able to piece together an undergraduate degree, with a decent GPA, largely through "testing out": 15 traditional courses at various community colleges and four year colleges. 15 DSST Exams 5 CLEP Exams 5 EC exams The way the process works: you enroll in the college, have all your previous transcripts and CLEP/DSST scores sent to EC. You pay a first year fee/tuition, something around $2k or so if I remember correctly. Your advising team evaluates your previous credits and then tells you what courses/exams you will need to take to complete a degree. Then each year until you complete your degree you pay an annual fee/tuition of $500 or so. At this point you determine, with the help of your advisor, which CLEP/DSST/EC exams you want to take to satisfy your requirements. Your first avenue, in my opinion, is to take as may CLEP/DSST exams as possible. They are inexpensive, around $100 each for a 3 credit exam plus the test center fee of about $20. Finding a test center that is open at a time convenient for you is most likely your biggest challenge. Most community colleges offer these exams at their test center. You don't have to be enrolled at the school to use their test center or take exams. When you take exam you will be asked where you want the exams results to be sent, EC has a code number you provide before taking the exam. For further discussion on the individual exams go to: Degree forum.net Once you have used as many CLEP/DSST exams as possible, for cost reasons. Figure out which EC exams you can take to satisfy the remaining credits. EC exams are more expensive, $200-$300 I think, but cover more of the required upper level required credits. Your advisor will do a better job of explaining this than I just did. These exams are not easy, nor are they difficult. You will read on forums and bain4weeks.com of some individuals taking a ridiculous number of exams in a very short period of time. I remember reading about some guy taking 10 exams in one week, that's heavy! The most I took in a week was 4 DSST exams. My point is, for short money and in a reasonable amount of time you can complete an undergraduate degree. A real one. Without going to class. It takes a lot of work on your end but, it is completely possible. The only down side I see is name recognition, or lack there of. I highly doubt that you will see EC bumper stickers while driving down the street or people bragging that they attended EC. I do believe that they have a better reputation than univ of Phoenix or DeVry. I also think EC looks better on a resume than UOP. In the end, my EC undergraduate degree was enough for me to gain acceptance into some decent graduate programs. 5 Years later, I've completed an MBA and am about 1/2 way thru the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program at U Mass. I'm currently in the process of applying to a few PHD programs for when i'm done with the MSF. I can't say enough about the doors Excelsior College (EC) has opened up for me. **I've read the negative reviews on Yelp and elsewhere, mostly related to the nursing program. In defense of EC, YOU have to do the work. YOU have to take the initiative and be proactive with everything (Enrollment, classes, advising, studying, staying on top of things), just like everything else in life. These types of nontraditional programs are designed for adults. If you are not willing to take responsibility for your own education then EC might not be for you. But I will argue that if you can't make EC work, I don't know where you will find a more flexible situation. EC is not a scam, EC is a legitimate "Regionally Accredited" (the highest accrediting body in the US) College. EC has been granting degrees since the 1970s. EC is not some fly by night college with a questionable past or profit motive. Take a look at the alumni list, read the stories of the 1,000s of graduates (including nursing students who have had success), read the newsletter, call and speak with an advisor. If someone can't see the opportunity EC presents, then they will have trouble finding a better solution to their education needs. Stop complaining, take responsibility, do the work, and join the vast vast majority of EC Alumni (myself included) who have EC to thank for everything they have helped us accomplish."
4.8 out of 5 stars
George Smith - 12/27/2016
Degree: Liberal Arts
Graduation Year: 2016
"The University is an outstanding school for working members of society. The professor understand about job and life will come up. They work with the individual to ensure you can finish the course and your degree. There are degree paths for everyone to select the path they want. You can start a two-year degree and progress all the way to a Masters."
4.8 out of 5 stars
Thomas - 10/11/2016
Degree: Liberal Arts
Graduation Year: 2016
"Excelsior College is great for those who desire to set a class schedule that conforms to their daily habits. Moreover, the college is regionally accredited and the MBA program I am transitioning into has specialized accreditation with the IACBE (International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education). For those that do not know, IACBE is one of the top 3 accreditation agencies in the business world. To sum things up, my experience has been absolutely wonderful and my education is definitely opening doors in my career. If you are on the fence, get off of it and get started!"
5.0 out of 5 stars
Casey - 9/29/2016
Degree: Liberal Arts
Graduation Year: 2005
"I had a lot of credits from four different schools and was told to go to Excelsior because they would take them and they did! I had to take one online class, pay a lot less than a semester somewhere else and I got my degree. Since then, I have been able to get a new job and promote. Its really been a great experience."
3.0 out of 5 stars
Sharon - 9/2/2016
Degree: Liberal Arts
Graduation Year: 2013
"Excelsior College is great for a student who wants the flexibility of going to school online. While the material was at times challenging, the process was very simple. If I could change one thing about this school, I would add a video segment to make the instruction more personable. I never even spoke to my instructors and I did not like that. Though the education was adequate the networking potential was lacking."
4.3 out of 5 stars
Rob - 8/6/2016
Degree: Liberal Arts
Graduation Year: 2016
"Sadly, many of the poor reviews on Excelsior come from nursing student who struggle with the final certification. Fortunately, I am not one of those students. My experience with Excelsior has been fantastic. They are regionally accredited, so most of their classes and degrees are transferable. I did not attend the B&M side of Excelsior, but all classes were readily available and had vacancy. Class sizes tended to be around 25, which is large enough for diverse interaction, but not large enough to be cluttered. This is not a "degree farm", such as a few popular for-profit schools; they are focused on academics, which is evident in the course curriculum. That being said, they are also flexible in their acceptance credit through CLEP, DSST, and Excelsior Exams. To me, Excelsior blends Academia and flexibility in way that's both challenging and attainable. On a side note, I do not recommend this college's online program to young students. The courses are too-the-point, and designed for adults. The curriculum can be challenging and young student may be overwhelmed with the amount of reading in the excellerated time line of an 8 week online course."
5.0 out of 5 stars
chase washington - 7/16/2016
Degree: Liberal Arts
Graduation Year: 2014
"Great school, great program! was able to work full time and earn my degree. staff is very supportive, they were always available to assist with any issues i had, while trying to earn my degree. i remain grateful to the school and their flexible program that allowed me to earn my degree. i totally recommend Excelsior to anyone serious about earning a college degree and getting good quality education"
4.7 out of 5 stars
Michael S. - 7/15/2015
Degree: Liberal Arts
Graduation Year: 2015
"I have nothing to mention but good things!!! I cannot provide a review for any nursing program for this school, but I graduated May 2015 (B.S. in Liberal Arts) after a 13 year break of study from a brick & mortar university (I was a senior when I began my studies at Excelsior College). I'm not sure of other students' experiences, but mine was just fine. One must be self-motivated and pay attention to time management to study at this school. I would be biased to recommend this school to new students, but I can state that as an undergraduate, I enjoyed my studies, professors, course content, and available resources. I did have a bit of "trial and error" being new to online courses, but once I got the hang of it, I was on track. The college requires active engagement throughout the week via a few discussions. If your discussions are mediocre, lack creative thinking, and are written just to have an entry logged, you probably won't perform very well. College is meant to learn and build skills in creative thinking, communication, and in-depth concentration in study. I feel that my experience with Excelsior College has been very positive, and I highly recommend (especially to students in the military, as Tuition Assistance really paid everything for me, minus a couple of books). In retrospect, I would prefer to attend a brick & mortar school, but Excelsior really made things quite flexible and shorter to graduate than through my former university. Furthermore, all of my previous credits were accepted, and Excelsior College has the regional accreditation I was looking for! I FULLY RECOMMEND!!! I urge any prospective student to closer consider the validity of other comments if they happen to obviously appear to be biased, one-sided, or full of grammatical errors. Thanks for reading my review!"
5.0 out of 5 stars
MVQ - 3/31/2014
Degree: Liberal Arts
Graduation Year: 2013
"Excelsior College was a great experience, and it's a school that is under the University of State of New York umbrella, which means it's well respected in the education community. I don't regret attending this school and would recommend the school to everyone. The advisors and professors are very respectful. I was able to transfer my previous credits as well."
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