Grand Canyon University Reviews
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I completed my BS in Public Safety and Emergency Management at GCU in December 2010 and graduated with a 4.0. That being said, you have to WORK for it. You must be a self-starter and stay on top of your work, if you procrastinate this school is not for you. I have enjoyed challenging classes with excellent faculty (all but one) and found the classroom environment to be easy to navigate.
I am now pursuing my Master of Science in Professional Counseling and doing well; again, it's hard work. The faculty and academic advisers were superb BUT the only complaint I have is the Office of Financial Aid. The FA counselors frequently change, no one seems to know what's going on, they can be incredibly rude, and you may as well forget attempting to get your stipend.
Those of you that are saying people are in school only to get the stipend? There are those of us that are adults with families that have to have those rightfully awarded funds to be able to go to school and manage continuing to work and the bills as well. However, don't hold your breath or believe when a check has been sent until you are holding it in your hands-my husband and I have both gone through a class without a book (no e-book available, though you pay for one anyway) because we have not gotten stipends in time. Could I have purchased my textbooks from the school? Of course, and at 2-3 times the cost of Amazon. Budget is important to us, and GCU does NOT help in that department.
My overall experience has been excellent, with the exception of FA. I also have an undergrad from another university that was earned traditionally, so I do have experience with which to compare my GCU experience and the education I have received from both was/is excellent.
GCU is a great experience and a great education-just don't expect anyone to take care of anything for you. You will have to work hard (15-20 hrs/week on schoolwork) and stay on top of your financial aid counselors, but overall it's worth it! (Though I can't figure out how a couple of people in my graduate classes graduated high school, much less obtained entry into a grad program...deplorable spelling and grammar-ugh!)
To begin, I was pressured into applying to this school. They made GCU sound like the best school in the world, despite being a Christian University. I sent in my application.
Then they told me that I was under a contract to complete 1 term of classes with them, and that they would be charging an outrageous $650+ per credit hour, with about a mile long list of fees to go with it. If I had been informed this to being with, I would never have gone here. But I was told what funding I would get, like scholarships and discounts, so it really didn't make it that much more.
The first two classes were laughable. I passed them with straight A's without even opening the text books, which are also outrageously priced, even for a college. The third class was so offensive and ridiculous that I had to drop. This is me paraphrasing something that was submitted to the online classroom:
"Student: I don't understand why people suffering from depression and schizophrenia don't seek help. They would be just fine if they had God in their lives.
,p>TEACHER: Yes, I know. People who haven't found God often suffer from things like that. This is why we have Psychology." No, I am not joking.
Finally, when I left, I thought everything was fine. I transferred back to my community college. Then I was informed that they still had a hold on my loans, and were refusing to release my transcripts. I had to make about 7, SEVEN, phone calls, because my messages were never returned, take out a personal loan to pay the balance for my third class, and almost had to file a complaint with the US Dept of Education. This entire process has taken a year. I am now told that I was under contract for 3 classes, and that they will now reverse my loans and I will have a balance of close to $10,000 for 2 classes. It is possible that they will not release my transcripts at all, and that this so-called learning establishment will have screwed me out of a proper education until I can pay off that $10,000.
I had a completely awful experience taking online class with GCU.
It was bad enough in the "classroom" that we were assigned group projects for online class and that trying to get my group to communicate to get the job done was like pulling teeth; I feel like that stress took years off my life.
(and yes, I got an A, but I don't feel like I learned much that was real, I wanted to take their classes so I could make business decisions based on good practices and hopefully some formulas, not by using my gut all the time, I was already doing that.)
WORSE was that they suggested that I could fill out the FAFSA to see if I could be awarded any pell grant money to help reduce my costs as a cash-payer (my place of work had agreed to pay for courses). I had an extremely difficult time trying to get in touch with my assigned financial advisor and eventually gave up, only to discover, months later, that the amount that I had asked my work to pay was a pittance compared to what I actually owed in the form of a direct loan that they had accepted on my behalf, WITHOUT my authorization, and they refused to do anything to fix the issue.
DON'T GO HERE!
I can't begin to tell you how horrible my experience was at Grand Canyon University. They have the worst communication which is extremely difficult when you are going to school online. They changed my program in the middle of my degree and couldn't tell me my new requirements for graduating. They almost didn't find me a student teaching spot in time. They are completely uncooperative. Biggest mistake of my life was attending this university. They are constantly changing your adviser so that nobody knows your case. I could go on and on for days about why this University is terrible, but please, just take my advice and don't go there.
I have read most of the reviews of my school and I would like to say that no school is perfect. There are many "traditional" schools that have the same bad reviews regarding financial aid and supportive staff.
During my time at GCU, I never had any major problems. My financial aid was always straight, and they never changed up my courses on me. I never had a problem with counselors because I never really needed to speak with them after starting my classes. I really don't know how much you really need to communicate with your counselor about after your initial classes began.
This University is not a diploma mill mainly because the classes are actually quite challenging. I learned so much in each class that I have benefited professionally from my education. Also, its a real university, which was one of the reasons I was comfortable with attending. As I have said earlier, every University has its downside. When finished up my Master's in Addictive Counseling, it took so long for them to document on my transcript that I had to start callling every single day. Each time they would send me to a new person. That was very frustrating. Finally, I recieved my diploma in the mail THREE MONTHS later. That was the one major problem that I had.
But, again, most of my experience was good. I have decided to further my education and pursue my Ph.D in General Psychology at GCU because I loved the teachers and the education was very challenging. I would definitely recommend this school to anyone.
I just enrolled at GCU to obtain my masters. I have not had the problems that other posters have referred to, with the exception of the financial aid office. My enrollment counselor has been great and very accessible--although I do agree with the earlier post saying that sometimes they will forget that they called or emailed you something. This has happened on a couple of occasions but nothing major. The subject matter of the courses seem interesting and I am already enjoying the online discussions.
I will say the financial aid office is a little disorganized. Since I applied 2 months ago, there has ALREADY been 3 fin aid counselors assigned to me, and the current one is hard to get ahold of. I had to call and email multiple times and then eventually ask my enrollment counselor to pass a message to my fin aid counselor. When I talked to her, it seemed like she was unsure of the answers to my questions. But other than that, I'm happy with what I've seen from GCU so far.
I attended GCU in order to obtain my Master's in Teaching. The coursework is basically busy work and the professors, in general, have no more knowledge than I already do. It is nearly impossible to get anyone to email or call back from the administration side of things and I don't think I ever talked to the same person twice. I faxed the same paperwork to them three times and finally had to stand next to the fax on the phone with someone on the other end to make sure it was received.
To top everything off, my billing got totally screwed up. I talked to someone about my billing when I completed my last class and was told my account was paid and up to date. Eight months later I got a bill for $3,200. The bill had absolutely no explanation as to what the charges were, it just said balance forward. When I called to talk to a person there, I was only told that they had not gotten me a bill because there had been so much turnover that it fell through the cracks and that they were really sorry, but if it were not paid in full in the next week, it would be taken to collections. I was told I could make payments, but that it would still go to collections and 33% would be added to the bill.
So, in the end, I got a very expensive degree that really didn't teach me anything and now I have hired a lawyer to fight the charges. Enroll at your own risk.
Getting in is the easy part! Once in, there is ZERO student support from "advisors or financial aid. After my first semester, my enrollment person refused to answer my calls. "My" advisor didn't exist except on paper alone. I found out several semesters later that they hadn't been with GCU but a few weeks years ago. Transferring to a professional school as I had already transferred in. I would loos what credits I was paying for. I stuck it thinking I was closer to the end than the beginning.
Not so! "Error" after "error" occured and kept cost ME money. Communication is IMPOSSIBLE with GCU, even at the directors level. GCU has NO accountability nor integrity. Otherwise A student's find themselves with B's and C's on a regular basis as individual students have no control over CLC's. A student is at the mercy of thier classmates to produce. One student cannot influence or correct another students work before final submission.
The entire grop takes a dive for the one incompetent student. Of course, this is never stated on the transcript. Some CLC's are worth 30% of the course grade! There is no consistency from one class to the next regarding "policy." "Reviews" never happen because there is no communication path available to the student. GCU simply ignores everyone but the prospective student. Even teachers can't get word to appropriate authorities! Save your money, time frustration and reputation, DON'T Attend GCU!
I wasted over $11.000 trying to get a BS. I was assigned 3 counselors who gave me a graduation date of 12-2010. During the course of my studies, the counselors were changed on me 3 times. Thier employees were coming and going like a revoloving door. I had 9 different counselors who would all request documents that were already sent. I ended up re-sending transcripts in on numerous occasions. They never knew what was going on and would not answer emails or phone calls for weeks at a time.
The classes are rediculous. All you do is read their way over priced books. There is no teaching going on. I found many of my books on ebay for 75% off of GCU's prices, and they were in new condition versus used from GCU.
December came along and my graduation never came around. I was told that they were still trying to review my transcripts. Meanwhile I had another 4 months worth of classes to take while they reviewed what was already accepted by my original counselors.
They tried to milk Thousands of dollars from me, and for what. They are worthless. I could get a better education from watching the Discovery channel. To top it off, they raised their tuition rates, then said that it will most likely raise again in July.
There are good schools out there, but GCU is NOT one of them. The good comments on this and other sites have to be generated from an inside source, that is probably not even students.
GCU is like a black hole that you throw your life savings into. I would recommend get credits from a local college, which is wasy cheaper, then transferring the credits to a real University.
I have had some bad times at GCU. Like many, I choose this school because it is regionally accredited. I have seen this school change curriculums, which cost me money, because I took classed that apparently are not required anymore. So it's like I had to start over, even after a year.
Now comes the bad part. The Financial Aid Department!!! I have another masters from another school in Louisiana and had no problems with their financial aid office. GCU on the other hand, is a nightmare. They have continully messed up my financial aid. Now they are saying, that somehow I was over-awarded and I owe the school $5228. Are you kidding me, I don't work for Financial Aid, they do. How do I get over-awarded, when in fact they are the one's requesting the amount needed for school. Also, this is my last class before graduation, so of course they need that last bit of money to help them out. They claim to be military friendly, I promise you they are not, because I am in the Military (U.S. Army-R). They care nothing about students and only care about money..The funny part of my financial aid problem is that they sent me my refund checks, and I was at a zero balance and now all of sudden I owe them $5228 (really). I guess because its my last class they need more money from me.
I was thinking about starting an Ed.D program with them, but after this, I will find somewhere else to go. THEY SUCK!!! Please stay aways, as I know that I will finish this course, but I will probably never see that Masters degree until they get $5228 they say that i owe them.