Northcentral University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (188)
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.
NCU changed so much its policy that I felt like going after a moving target. The program is following a particular model, so students either enter in their model or are retaking courses. Never mind, you have to pay tuition constantly and are enrolled automatically without your input.
You are completly alone, receive a syllabus and write one paper of about 8 pages each week. Instruction is between you and the books and writing. Mentor are only correctors.
I would not recommend the school as it is a for profit school at its best.
This is not a school you want to go to. The circulum is not adequate that you would get from a community college let alone a University. The teachers and mentors will not give you the help when you need it and will find reasons to talk to the dean and get you in trouble.
Also they will sign you up for classes and state that you have the funding available and than weeks later come back and state that you are supposed to pay out of pocket for the classes. If you want a good degree and not to waste your time do not go to this school. I have requested transcripts for my new college and they wouldn't accept alot of the classes that I have wasted my time taking all believing they would move over FOR NOTHING but 2 wasted years and having to take the classes all over at another school.
I think you will find that most negative reviews are from those who don't make it through the program because it is too rigorous for them, but they are going to come up with other reasons other than their own abilities, to explain why they are no longer in the program. It is human nature.
Those of us who actually had what it took to make it through and earn a doctorate degree are much more likely to be happy with it.
NCU is tough and I think too many people, including some professionals with Master's Degrees expect everything to be handed to them, and expect it to be easy. They want somebody to hold their hand and guide them through everything.
Most online schools are not going to make those people happy, and NCU would be the extreme school where there is no hand holding. If you are not an independent learner with lots of self-determination, motivation, and self-discipline, do not enroll. Yes, policies change and not all professors are perfect, but I think that is to be expected and we must learn to roll with it. Overall, my experience was very good and I'm glad I chose NCU.
When I first enrolled the university everything seemed to be organized, clear and easy. They provided a flexible and comprehensive program.
I have personally read several negative reviews, saying it was a scam, and I don't know what, ... but I said to myself, how bad could it be. There are always a couple of people who will have something negative to say, right? I will just follow my program and I will be done with it in no time. It's not like it's the first time I am following an online program. So I went on, and enrolled.
The first thing that surprised me, that once you enrol, the so called academic advisor that helps you out with the enrolment process, the same person that sends you three e-mails a day to asks you where you're at, suddenly vanishes. Forget about having a single question or a request after that. You could send an e-mail to the accounting department, or someone, but of course, their job and answers are limited to their role.
Second, forget about a flexible program designed to fit your needs. All that nice marketing material. They have a wide range of programs, but after a couple of year, you realize that it’s all and all the exact same program. One three courses within the entire curriculum differentiate all courses. Once enrolled to a program you chose, courses down the line will start changing, and in time a new entire program will be imposed on you, and of course you will have to follow it exactly as they tell you to, when they tell you, and how they tell you. Forget about choosing courses from the curriculum you initially chose, or anything like that. In time everything will be set for you, dates will be fixed and they have your credit card. So good luck.
The first few courses were ok, motivation is high and like anyone you would live with some minor changes and constraints. But if you think the story ends there, well you're wrong. The further you go down the program, new rules and regulations suddenly appear, things you have to do and comply with, and things you can't do any more, making harder and harder for you to change your mind.
From a curriculum point of view, well, it's very simple and straight forward. You will have to write papers and more papers. If you didn't get enough, well you have to write more papers. There is nothing else on the program. FORGET about learning something. Every paper has a subject and you will write a paper on the topic. It’s relate to the course or not, well that doesn’t matter, you just need to write a paper and submit it. From an expense / cost point of view, NCU seems cheaper that other universities. You may enrol on that basis, but trust my word on it, the credit pricing will be quickly adjusted as soon as you’re up and running. You will end up paying exactly what other universities are charging. More, let's not forget that every three months, in a way for every course, a new dean, a new academic advisor and a new teacher, is appointed. After a while you start wondering what’s going on. You will have the impression that's a ghost university. Maybe there are three employees hired by a bunch of investors, that are running the whole show under different names. Let’s be clear on one point, NorthCentral University is not a university, it’s a business. It’s as simple as that, it was already bought twice since I have enrolled. So.
In a nutshell, this university is definitely not worth it. It will waste your time and your money. It is definitely not worth enrolling or graduating from. If you do, well good luck. That’s all I can say.
Prior to attending NCU, I had completed 24 credits beyond the Masters at a local state college. However, I was not able to continue at the state college primarily due to working a full time job. I transfered into NCU after several years of trying to find a regionally accredited college that offered a PhD part time/online. I found NCU to be very rigorous and writing intensive.
The program was well designed and the courses fit rather nicely with one another. I found the Dissertation phase to be rather demanding. There were tough times, and much effort was required. Ultimately, I completed my Dissertation and was awarded the degree. It took ten years from the time I started in the local state college to the time I received my Doctorate at NCU. I would recommend NCU because the program is flexible, rigorous, and well designed. In the end, I had a published Dissertation that I was very happy with. I found the degree to be rather well received by employers and it helped me to obtain a better job than I had previously. Finally, I would like to say that when you finish, you should attend the graduation in person. It is a once in a lifetime experience!
This school is definitely for independent and critical thinkers. The program is rigorous and I am learning a whole lot more than I have at traditional universities. I highly recommend this school if you are up for the challenge.