Excelsior College Reviews

  • 174 Reviews
  • Albany (NY)
  • Annual Tuition: Not Provided
62% of 174 students said this degree improved their career prospects
64% of 174 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

Dave R.
  • Reviewed: 8/19/2017
  • Degree: Communications
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"My time with Excelsior was short due to having transferred in many credits from my military experience. The school was very good about awarding credits towards my degree based on that. So, in short, obtaining my AAS in Technical Studies with an emphasis in Electronics and Instrumentation was very easy. I am no rocket scientist, but I was able to get a 4.0 in all of my classes without very much of a struggle at all. The only negative comment that I would give is that I didn't feel that the instructors taught me a single thing. If you read the material and turn in your assignments on time you will pass the courses. Overall I felt that I taught myself the course material and all Excelsior did was lay it out in an organized format for me."
Alexia Campbell
  • Reviewed: 8/18/2017
  • Degree: Business
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"This college is a rip off. Do not go here, do not pay the application fee. Worst online school, please pick a state online school to go to. I should have known that it would be a rip off when I had to pay a registration fee which I expected, but after that fee they said I had to pay another $250 fee for printing that financial aid could not be used for. This is an online school why would I need a fee that involves printing."
WM
  • Reviewed: 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."
John
  • Reviewed: 8/8/2017
  • Degree: Nursing
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"Terrible experience - there is no teaching involved and the "tests" you take measure test taking skills, not learning. When you finally get to the CPNE (the practical), you have to wait about 14 months for a test date. The pass rate is about 58%, and that only if you pay many dollars to private teachers who teach how to 'game' Excelsior's system. Again it isn't learning nursing, it is memorizing tiny details unrelated to actual nursing. I would strongly recommend a 'brick-and-mortar' school that actually teaches nursing."
Paramedic Me
  • Reviewed: 7/28/2017
  • Degree: Nursing
  • Graduation Year: 1996
"The most dishonest bunch of thieves. This is not what nursing is about and they taught me nothing. The only thing they really taught was how to come up with strategies for them not to fail you on NON nursing issues. Everything I learned was from a nursing workshop NOT excelsior. Please do not go here!"
Anonymous
  • Reviewed: 7/28/2017
  • Degree: Nursing
  • Graduation Year: 2013
"This was the most unethical experience I have ever had with those who call themselves "nurses" and at that, I am talking about master degree nurses. The examiners I had at this place were dishonest, driven by money and did nothing more than to follow the leader to secure their own jobs with no regard for students of good moral character. How does one judge the difference between those characters if one is rotten to the core, dishonest and continues the pattern? Would not go here if just one honest person wrote it the way it is."
Richard
  • Reviewed: 7/25/2017
  • Degree: Health Sciences
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"Excelsior College is an outstanding online college with a competitive curriculum and professional staff. I don't understand some of the negative reviews, which all seem to be associated with Nursing. The Health Science curriculum was outstanding and the liberal arts and science classes I took as electives were equally rewarding. I am now pursuing my Masters in Health Sciences. Great experience overall and has made me much more marketable to employers. Thanks"
Student
  • Reviewed: 7/23/2017
  • Degree: Political Science
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"Overall Excelsior has been a great experience. The classes are user friendly and the instructors are always willing to go the extra mile to accommodate the students. I am in the military and ever since I started taking courses with this school all classes fitted my career. Like in most places, you get what you put into."
Jack
  • Reviewed: 7/20/2017
  • Degree: Public Health
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"Excelsior is a much better school than people think and the Nursing program seems to be giving them a bad reputation. I completed my BSHS in Healthcare Management from GWU in 2012 but decided to go into the Public Health field. After taking only 2 classes with GWU's online BPH program i transferred to Excelsior after researching their program and finding that it closely mirrored GWU's online BPH program. First of all, both schools are in the same academic region so all of my classes transferred over with no problems. To my surprise, the curriculum is almost exactly the same as GWU (same text books, assignments and outcomes) except Excelsior is 8 weeks versus 14+. Both use blackboard, however, Excelsior has recently switched to Canvas which seems just as user friendly (I am currently pursuing my MPH with them). Overall I find Excelsior's Public Health curriculum just as challenging and rewarding as GWU's Public Health curriculum if ample time is put into studying. With that said, the papers, quizzes and exams are easier at Excelsior versus GWU. The negative reviews I see are almost entirely related to the NURSING program, which may be understandable as this type of program involves hands on learning that cannot always translate well via online learning. Medical School, PA school and Nursing are probably best suited for class room environments only to allow for hands on learning. I would like to see Excelsior remove their Nursing program in the future for the above reasons. I would like finish by saying, the professors I have had thus far have been excellent and very qualified and challenging. Their are a couple professors who have public health positions outside of teaching that takes time away from their attention to the class rooms and this is usually addressed in reviews, however, this has been rare and feedback to students is usually prompt and helpful. Overall outstanding experience so far."
ZF
  • Reviewed: 7/19/2017
  • Degree: Nursing
  • Graduation Year: 2016
"If I had a choice between a traditional classroom Nursing school I would have chosen that over Excelsior College Online. But since I worked full time, Excelsior was my only option for the associate nursing program. I passed CPNE my first attempt, I got most B's in my classes. The course work seemed easy but I learned little and it did not prepare me very well for the NCLEX. I was enrolled into ATI NCLEX, but I feel Excelsior could have placed a lot more emphasis on NCLEX. But then again, I was focused on CPNE. So it was an overall okay experience. Definitely not the best, but not too terrible. I do have to say after seeing all these reviews about how bad it is. I think it's because they didn't pass."
Dr. Stew Sherman
  • Reviewed: 7/10/2017
  • Degree: Biology
  • Graduation Year: 2010
"I've seen a lot of bad reviews for Excelsior but I actually enjoyed it. Everyone was nice and professional. I've taken online courses from other colleges and I think that a lot of the negative reviews are from people who aren't/weren't prepared or mature enough to handle online classes. If you need THAT much instruction, you should really consider going to a brick and mortar school to earn your degree. No school is going to hold your hand and spoon feed you material. One has to find it within themselves. That being said, Excelsior does an excellent job."
Debbie
  • Reviewed: 7/6/2017
  • Degree: Psychology
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"I was shocked at the number of negative reviews. I started attending Excelsior in 2008 for a degree in nursing. I completed all of my classes and unfortunately was unable to continue working as a nurse. The advisors were fantastic. I was able to switch to Liberal Arts and obtain my BS in psychology in 16 months. The instructors and advisors were always there to answer any questions I had. I enjoyed this school. The only problem I have is I have to find another school to get my Masters in psychology as Excelsior does not offer it. If they did I would sign up in a heartbeat!"
anonymous
  • Reviewed: 6/13/2017
  • Degree: Nursing
  • Graduation Year: 2016
"Would not recommend this school to even my worse enemy. Terrible experience. They lie to you, telling you that it is self paced. Yeah getting your 7 nursing classes are self paced, but then you have to wait a lifetime for your CPNE. I managed to pass on my first attempt after waiting 9 months, but then you still are not done with their BS. They hit me with $600 of "graduation fees" 5 days before I graduated and if I didn't pay, I didn't graduate. I didn't even go!!! I paid so much money to this awful school and I wasn't even prepared when I was an actual nurse in my unit. It was embarrassing and stressful. PLEASE DON'T GO HERE! This place needs to be shut down."
Anonymous
  • Reviewed: 6/11/2017
  • Degree: Nursing
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"Do not waste your money. Go to a traditional college or a reputable 5 star online school. I did not get a return on my investment because the teaching in my opinion and some others lacked the needed information to pass the extremely hard tests done via testing centers. I feel they took advantage of my wallet. Which I believed they targeted from the beginning. Shame on myself and this school for guiding me into a shady only me learning contract that had binded me to a win for Excelsior/DLSI and a lose for me. Thanks for nothing Excelsior/DLSI."
Excelsior College
  • Reviewed: 6/11/2017
  • Degree: Nursing
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"Excelsior College was a perfect fit for me because I earned my degree online while still working full time in the army. The school was very accessible and the staff were accommodating to me. I earned the BSN this past April and it will confer in June. This was the best school experience because I had enough time for every facet of my life."
mary beth
  • Reviewed: 6/4/2017
  • Degree: Nursing
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. Excelsior will take your money and lead you to believe that their CPNE final exam is passable with just THEIR study guide and incorrect videos. The truth is, you will need to spend ADDITIONAL MONEY for OUTSIDE workshops just to understand how to fill out the paper work for your clinical exam and write care plans IN THEIR WORDS ONLY and perform the areas of care to 100% perfection. there is absolutely no room for error. You will not be allowed to deviate one single word, if they don't accept your care plan, BOOM you fail and don't get in the patient's room. You must perform labs to 100% their way, yet their videos demonstrating these labs show mistakes. THIS PROGRAM should not even be accredited or accepted by any state board. Their curriculum is substandard, students are given a study guide and that is about it. sure you can contact an advisor and get an ambiguous answer. Their curriculum is structured in such a way that you are TEACHING YOURSELF TO BE AN RN. Is that what you want? The program needs a shakedown. Avoid them."
MD
  • Reviewed: 6/2/2017
  • Degree: Nursing
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"Avoid like the plague! Don't even start the program which is expensive long before ever get to Clinical Performance weekend. Then, once you get to CPNE, $2295 nonrefundable fee first of course, you will be failed. Deliberately. Fabricated pulse rates, b/p discrepancies, oxygen mishaps and even as ridiculous as gelling your hands where it's not even a safety issue. In my entire academic career, I've never been so disappointed in a "professional program". Excelsior College, YOU FAILED!! You failed ethics, professionalism and honesty code of nursing. Shame on you and your deceptive, fraudulent practices. All for $2300 ?!? Give us our PASS PAPERS WE'VE BUSTED A** FOR!"
Jason
  • Reviewed: 5/30/2017
  • Degree: Nursing
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"Worst experience ever. Excelsior will frequently add on additional classes to extend the time it takes to complete your degree. I made the mistake of completing everything and paying the $4000 for their required "weekend clinical." After waiting/studying for 15 months and traveling more than 1000 miles, I was failed with every other student in my CPNE (0% pass rate) before noon on the first day. They will then charge you another $4000 for each attempt to retake their "clinical." I was on the paid waiting list for that first clinical for almost as long as it would take to finish the complete program at a brick and mortar school. Some states won't allow you to take your nursing boards if you're an Excelsior graduate. I am glad I discovered this prior to spending another $4000 to gamble again with their "clinical.""
Kyle Fesette
  • Reviewed: 5/25/2017
  • Degree: Business
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"I just graduated in April with my Bachelor's of Professional Studies in Business and Management. As a military member the accessibility and ease of doing my degree online was great. The curriculum was challenging but not overwhelming. The professors were helpful and knowledgeable. I see a lot of negative reviews but me personally I had a great experience. I am taking my degree and moving onto my Masters degree through the University of Arkansas. I highly recommend this school."
MadStudent
  • Reviewed: 5/22/2017
  • Degree: Electrical Engineering
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"For a full tuition refund ($1230/3 credits,) you must withdraw 7 DAYS BEFORE THE CLASS START DATE! Their refund policy is unlike any other college I have attended. If you withdraw within a week of the start date, it's a 80/20% tuition responsibility (80% refund & must pay 20%.) Class starts at midnight Sunday, so if you decide the class is not for you and withdraw the following Monday morning after the start date, you fail to withdraw within the week of the start date, which bumps up your tuition responsibility to 60/40%!!! I withdrew Monday morning at 9 a.m., so I'm being charged $492 for seven days and 9 hours of access to a class that was a circus show to begin with! I began attending Excelsior with good intentions and a positive attitude, so I did not search out their refund policy or the specifics of their syllabuses. These were basically not readily available to view. Knowing what the class was going to be like 7 days prior to the start date and withdrawing to get a 100% refund was not at the top of my mind. Their refund policy ruined it for me, and I will not be returning."