Northcentral University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (184)
This school is a train wreck- disorganized, at best. The school originally offered flexible assignment submission schedules- basically, work at your own pace. Under pressure to hold on to its accreditation, the school switched to mandatory due dates and did not grandfather existing students under this policy. If you signed up for this school because of its flexibility, you're done.
Quality of instruction is nonexistent. There are no presentations to review, no guidance on understanding content, nada. You order your books and tackle the work alone with no instruction- each course is self-taught, with a mentor who grades assignments and, if you're lucky and get a decent one, will answer questions if you have them. And the books are just about useless, because you'll be spending the bulk of your time writing papers, and will have to research everything.
So, about these research papers. Papers, papers, papers! Papers for everyone! Finance major? Write a million papers! Accounting major? A million papers for you too! I could have had a flipping PhD by now with all the research and writing I've done at this ridiculous school. If I wanted to write a million papers, I'd have been an English major. As a working adult with a family, I don't have time to write a dissertation on every subject. Lastly, syllabi are generic, loaded with errors, and rarely updated... and if you ask for clarification, the mentors will cite the syllabus and tell you they didn't write it but have to enforce it, and so you're pretty much S.O.L.
If the quality of education isn't enough to scare you away, beware of the financial pitfalls associated with this school. Tuition is constantly increasing, with no changes to course content or the school's technology (by the way, the university's website is outdated and nearly useless). The financial aid department is slower than molasses to process your funds, to the point where you'll wonder if you're going to be dropped before your courses are paid. They're also constantly coming up with new excuses to hold students' stipends... hope you aren't looking to buy food or pay your rent with your stipend, because you'll be starving and homeless before you actually get the money. The University also set up a nice deal for itself with Sallie Mae (another horrible business) wherein students either have to sign up for an account with Sallie Mae in order to get electronic disbursements to that account, or wait five billion years to receive a paper check.
I wish I'd listened to the negative reviews that called this university a correspondence school, because that's exactly what it is.
If you choose to enroll here, I wish you luck because you're certainly going to need it!
Northcentral University snagged me up back in 2009 when a friend of mine told me I could get my doctorate without having a residency. This was a huge draw for me because I was raising 3 daughters and didn't want to miss a moment of their exciting lives. I'm also very picky about the impact my actions have on my daughters lives. Getting to graduation before they graduated high school would mean they'd see the true value of the accomplishments.
I transfered from University of Phoenix (where I had received my BSM) and re-started my Masters. At first I thought I would transfer my credits, but when I realized how much more knowledge I was retaining by having a much more focused learning experience, I knew I needed to complete all of the coursework for the Masters. It was only 10 classes and it ended up taking me less than two years to get it.
I was so proud walking across the stage having my then 15, 14, and 12 year old girls cheer for me. It was a great honor to be a role model to them. I will continue into my doctorate program at NCU and hope to have the same success and impact on those around me.
It doesn't really matter if the mentors all have PhD's if all they do is focus on APA style. I'm not trying to obtain a degree in APA and yet if I get any feedback at all it is almost consistently on nitpicky little APA style problems.
This isn't the biggest issue though, please take note! The issue is that the instructors have no input on the syllabus and are not held accountable for what is in the syllabus. Several of my instructors seem to think that they can ignore the syllabus and hold me responsible for requirements not listed therein.
The syllabi were rewritten when the school went from a 12 week to an 8 week format for the courses and I have found issues with sloppy syllabi yet my mentor will not take my concerns seriously whatsoever. I filed a grievance with the school and have not received any response that would indicate they are dealing with these issues. I cannot wait to be done, and I will never have dealings with this institution in the future.
I am currently enrolled at NCU. I am currently in my 7th course, one year in to the degree. Up to now my experience has been positive. Enrolling was easy. Very friendly personnel helped me to start, we set up a phone call and I was shown step by step how to deal with the web site, submitting assignments, etc. My first course, which was sort of a "welcome to doctoral studies" type of thing was very good and I had a very nice mentor.
It is for self motivated people. You have to do things on your own but your mentor is there to answer your questions and provide guidance if needed. Some students may have more interaction than others. Some mentors are more involved than others and provide more extensive comments than others. But this is normal in any kind of learning experience. My bachelors and masters degree from a traditional and highly regarded university was also an "on my own" experience. Traditional universities don't guarantee hands-on and willing to teach professors.
My experience with NCU has been very good up to now both administratively and academically.
I believe the organization is not operating with integrity or following their own policies. I have been enrolled in the Ph.D. Program since 2008 and it seems that once a student is almost near completion of the Doctoral program problems occur which either prevent them from graduating or cause them to drop out of the program for fear of retaliation by the University and the Mentors. I do not believe the University is acting within good faith because if a student files a grievance, a concern, or a complaint the school sides with the Mentor even though the student compiles documentation to merit their complaints. There seems to be accreditation issues at Northcentral and multiple students have complained to various agencies, however, Northcentral will not change their unethical behavior towards students. Northcentral should have their accreditation revoked due to the high number of complaints the University receives, the unethical behavior they display toward their students, and their failure to adhere to their own policies and procedures.
I believe the Higher Learning Commission should look closer into the practices and behavior of Northcentral in order to fully grasp why the University has a high student turnover rate and why so few students graduate from the Doctoral programs. I have attended and graduated from other Universities that were accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and I have never attended a University as unethical or with as many problems as Northcentral University. Nor have I seen a University which was accredited by the Higher Learning Commission have so many negative reviews from its students.
It seems that with all the students negatively complaining about Northcentral University a governing body needs to take a closer look into the schools actions and unethical treatment of their students.
Until NCU finishes hiring enough full-time chairs, think twice before starting one of their doctorate programs. Depending on the chair they assign you...you are on your own and no one seems to care. Do not make the mistake I did and fall for the 1:1 marketing. You are truly on your own. In retrospect, I should have paid more attention to the negative reviews ;( They are well deserved.
I am a doctoral student and was suppose to finish 2012. I have ethical issues with them as in 2010 they required students to start paying dissertation fees with general coursework. Then a couple months later, they designed a "full pay" comprehensive program.
A student can complete classes quickly, but when you get to the dissertation stage, you really do not know what is happening. You are ASSIGNED a full time chairperson who has the total authority to decide if your concept paper (not dissertation proposal) is ready to be submitted to the Grad School for approval. There is no continuity between what is written or what is expected once you get to the dissertation stage. Though they claim flexibility, there is little in class choices. You have no options regarding your dissertation chair or team and they generally will not let you change. They state that everything they do is in the best interest of the student, which is not true.
The school is motivated by money and not student interest. The faculty turnover is great and there are few ways for students to contact each other and no continuity. The mentors (instructors) generally only correct papers, so you teach yourself. Had I known, I would have chosen another school or none at all.
I enrolled at NCU in 2007 for the PhD in Business Administration. At first I loved it...100% online, no residency, and tuition was low. I only needed 51 credit hours to finish the PhD, including the dissertation.
5 years later, I had to withdraw from the school. I had finished the Comps exam, received my "ABD" letter, and even finished the first 2 dissertation-specific courses with a 3.9 GPA. Why did I quit?
1. Too many changes in the school policies. For example, originally it was my responsibility to choose my next course, choose my start date for it, and request my academic advisor to enroll me in it. They nixed that...the school chooses your course path and they automatically enroll you in your next course on the date they choose 2 weeks before your current course ends. Originally you could take 30 days between courses...not any more though. Originally you could take a leave of absence for personal reasons...not any more. Originally you could submit your assignments on any day you chose, as long as you got them all done in order and before the course ended; but now every assignment has a fixed due date. These and many more policy changes have rendered the school NOT flexible. They blame all the changes on accreditation requirements, which is false.
2. High turnover in faculty. The school can't keep quality instructors very long. My dissertation committee changed several times, and they kept assigning members without consulting me. Once they changed my instructor halfway through the class because the original instructor never showed up.
3. Increasing tuition. They raised tuition EVERY year while I was enrolled there. They invented new fees for nothing, such as technology fees even though they provided no technical support to students, and the only "technical" aspect of the student experience was using a web site that was unchanged for 5 years. When I finally had enough, I notified my academic advisor that I wanted to withdraw. The academic advisor went ahead and enrolled me in the next course, and I contacted her again to protest it and demand withdrawal. She submitted my withdrawal, and then the school charged me a $100 fee for failure to enroll in a course. Now they are threatening to put it on my credit report because I refuse to pay it.
In the end, it had nothing to do with how challenging the course work was...I was making steady progress toward graduation and was not struggling. I left because the 2012 NCU was not the same NCU I enrolled in back in 2007.
Having completed an online Masters at New England College (great school, an example for others to follow) I know the ropes of online education. I expect steep workload and rigorous grading.
With NCU, you get the workload at a premium price, with zero support. The education is what you take away from the readings and reviewing 20-year old articles, no interaction with others to include the mentor. The mentor is there to grade, period, they offer no value to the educational process, and the several that I had were unqualified to teach at the Doctoral level.
I have been in the PhD program for 4 years. After thousands and thousands of dollars, hours, and gallons of sweat and tears, they keep moving the target. I submit my dissertation, they edit, I fix, resubmit. Repeat. Every time they set the bar, I meet it, they move the bar. They have no incentive to help me finish my degree. The longer I stay, the more money they make.