Excelsior outrageous fee

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Rohan, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. Rohan

    Rohan New Member

    Those who have attended Excelsior can may be answer. I thought Excelsior was a reasonable college but what is this:
    Enrollment fee - $895.00
    student service fee- $440.00
    Graduation fee - $495.00

    So, a total of $1830 just for getting into undergraduate program. Plus each credit hour. I don't understand that. Am I missing something. Any one ??
  2. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    That is why most do their coursework, get very close or complete all coursework for the AA or BS, then enroll. That way you only pay those fees once, rather than yearly.

    Many have existing credits to transfer in, as well as being able to take CLEP and DANTES tests for cheap credit. This lowers the cost greatly.

  3. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Have they always been that expensive? When I graduated from COSC it only cost me about $1,000 for all the fees. Maybe they went up to.
  4. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I'm pretty sure my Excelsior costs were a few hundred dollars at the most. Back then it was USNY.
  5. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef


    That's to cover the cost of the residency that you DON'T have to do. Consider an average BA/BS residency at around 30 credits, even if you could find a university for only $100 per credit, you'd be up >$3000.
    Excelsior and TESC and COSC don't actually expect you to enroll and complete 120 credits with them. In fact, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a degree at any of the big 3 that offers all the coures they require.
  6. The student services fee is an annual fee, one that you do not get charged on enrollment. It is more or less a renewal of services type fee. If you complete your degree in under a year, you don't have to pay it.

    Ultimately, going to Excelsior only saves you money if they either give you a load of credit that other colleges wouldn't, or, if you study in your spare time and don't have to adjust your work schedule to get a degree with them. It works for me... I'm planning on taking 2 GREs. :D
  7. Alissa

    Alissa New Member

    Excelsior charges those fees because they allow you to transfer in all the credits toward the degree. It can be very affordable to get a degree from Excelsior if you meet the degree requirements through much cheaper options. Excelsior also allows you to split the enrollment fee into six monthly payments. The Student Services fee is only paid if you are enrolled there for longer than one year, so if you have all your credits within one year of enrollment you don't have to pay that at all.

    Here's a cost comparison thread we did on another forum that shows some good examples of how Excelsior can be the cheapest option: http://www.degreeforum.net/excelsior-thomas-edison-charter-oak-specific/6781-cost-analysis-big-3-breakdown.html
  8. Don't forget about the HOPE tax credit. Because of it, I got my first RA degree *FREE*. Excelsior's charges fit nicely into the credit allowance, even more so if you split it between two years.

    Dr. Gary Shwinn, P.Hd
    Director of Public Relations
    University of Antonius
  9. Rohan

    Rohan New Member

    Thank you Alissa for the link.
    And cookderosa, I don't understand what you said about cost of residency. Are you saying that for online degree, we don't need to pay that. Please clarify ?
  10. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    Yes, that's correct. There are only 3 colleges, to my knowledge, that have a zero residency requirement. What that means, is that you are not required to earn any credit with "them" specifically. So, if you go to any college website, you will usually see a requirement called "residency" which doesn't mean physical time on campus in this instance, it means original credit earned with them. So, an average college residency for a bachelor's degree will be about 30 credits (or more). So, if you attended that college, you could - in theory- transfer in all EXCEPT 30 credits to earn your degree.

    The reality is that there are often a lot of other factors, but knowing the residency credit requirement is important because you have to pay that school's tuition. Say you attend University of Illinois. The tuition cost is $600 per credit. Since they have a residency of 45 credits, you are locked in to a minimum of spending $600*45=$27,000 as a base cost. Of course, the fewer courses you transfer in (or CLEP) the higher the cost. On the other hand, if you are sitting here holding 100 credits, you can't just transfer into Univeristy of Illinois and finish the last 20- you need a 30 credit residency. Excelsior does not have this restriction.

    EC (and Thomas Edison, and Charter Oak) do not have a residency. This is a HUGE cost saver. This means that you have the freedom to pull together a patchwork quilt of credits- you can search for credits that are inexpensive and simply ship everything over to them as you go.

    Another point about the "big 3" since students do transfer in nearly all credits, they are not really set up to offer extensive amounts of classes. For example, in the entire major of Hotel and Restaurant Management, they offer only 1 class. So, a student must take the other 12 classes elsewhere and transfer them in.

    Hope that helps a bit!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2010
  11. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    Even with the fees, Excelsior is a steal price wise if you have all your credits done before you enroll. (or can get them all finished in the first year)
  12. Rohan

    Rohan New Member

    Hi Cookderosa,
    I understand residency requirement. But, I think u misunderstood my question. How is residency linked to enrollment fee. Also, despite being so liberal, EC requires all BSIT students take Integrated Tech Assesment credit from EC. So, if i just take ITA at EC will I have to pay enrollment fee. Is my assumption correct?
    Also, my understanding is that enrollment fee has te paid even if you take all credits outside EC just to transfer them.
  13. Alissa

    Alissa New Member

    I think what she's saying (not to speak for her, though) is the enrollment fee takes the place of the residency requirement. At any other school besides the Big Three, you would have to pay for the last 30 credits from that school, which could cost thousands of dollars, or even tens of thousands. You don't have to do that at the Big Three, but they have to make money somehow since you're not paying hardly anything in tuition-hence the enrollment fee-no matter which degree program you choose or which classes you may take with them. They aren't going to give degrees away for free, but $895 for enrollment and $495 for graduation is as close to a free RA degree as it gets. :)

    If you take ITA with EC, it will still likely be cheaper than doing the last thirty credits at another school, even with the enrollment fee (which you do have to pay no matter how many classes you take from EC), if you can do the rest of your credits through cheaper options.

    Hope that helps!
  14. MISin08

    MISin08 New Member

    To further elaborate on the relationship of fees to residency, I am attending EC under a partnership agreement (Peace Officers Assn of Georgia, others, such as IEEE and the NCUA, exist) which reduced my fees significantly: enrollment for $150, for example. The "price" so to speak is I have to take 12 credits through them -- in effect, a residency requirement. EC gives up the fees but gets back tuition. I have employer reimbursement for tuition, but not fees, so this is a good deal for me.

    The loss, perhaps, is that I have traded off the opportunity to test out of 6 credits (I'm a business major, so I have to take EC's strategy course, plus I took managerial accounting through them as there's no convenient exam for it, that leaves 2 courses I could have tested out of had I not gone with Excelsior). I'm taking a senior-year stats class and either supply chain or information assurance, which for me have more value than alternatives such as the HR DSST (Zzzz) or Business Law II. Excelsior's classes are decent, by the way -- they are no MIT, but certainly as good as a state school's online offerings.

    For people like me who were inspired by bain4weeks.com, the fact that they now require a capstone class to be taken in residence is a bit of a buzzkill. If that helped them get their IACBE accreditation, I can't complain too much, I ended up taking far longer than 4 weeks anyway.

  15. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    Yes :) That's exactly what I meant.
    I didn't mean to imply that EC is literally charging a fee in place of a residency- I was making a justification, which Alissa explained very well.
  16. niptek

    niptek New Member

    I too attended EC under the partnership agreement and had just finished my undergrad business degree at EC. I took the Business Capstone course and 3 other advanced level business elective courses to satisfy the 12 credit requirement. I've done the comparison prior to enrolling and overall, EC was a good option for me (with the partnership agreement). The total cost one would have to pay under the partnership agreement is:

    $75 Application fee

    $150 Enrollment fee

    $3000 12 credits @ $250/credit

    $150 Graduation fee

    $3375 Total

    I also applied for financial aid. I originally was just looking for a student loan since I never got approved for financial aid before (I also had to pay for lunch in high school while lots of other students had free lunches!). However, I rec'd a pell grant of $800 and was also selected to receive a President’s Partnership Scholarship in the amount of $150.00. Thus my total cost paid to EC inclusive of application fee, enrollment fee, 12 credits and graduation fee was only $2425.
  17. aircon

    aircon New Member

    Actually, what's the difference between "applying" and "enrolling"?
  18. TMW2009

    TMW2009 New Member

    Applying is the first step that you have to take at Excelsior. You basically send them $75 and any transcripts that you have. 2-3 weeks later, they'll give you an initial (aka 'unofficial') evaluation as to where your credits will theoretically fit in a degree program. The admissions group can only give you limited feedback as far as questions you may have. *You must go through the whole application process before you can enroll... And waiting for that eval can be a killer... (In fact, my inital eval is supposed to be available today... *crosses fingers*)

    To actually have those credits applied to a degree program, you have to enroll (and pay the enrollement fee.) Once you enroll, after another 2-3 weeks, you'll get an official evaluation telling you exactly what fits where in your proposed degree program, and what you have left to complete the program. At this point, you also can sign up for financial aid, and work with advisors to find the answers to any questions about your progress, courses, or whatnot.

    And I don't recall if this was mentioned prior, but the $440 Student Fee for the 2nd year and beyond is waived if you take a minimum 6 credits per year through Excelsior. Also, (and I don't know if this is a limited time deal or what) but Excelsior will take $15 per credit off the graduation fee for each credit you take through them. (For undergrad degrees, but not for grad degrees)
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2010
  19. aircon

    aircon New Member

    Thank you TMW2009, that cleared it up, and other questions as well.
  20. Rohan

    Rohan New Member

    Hi TMW2009, are you saying it takes 6 weeks to get to talk to your assigned course advisor. 6 weeks is a very long wait . What to do until then . If I am plannig to take CLEP, DSST courses can I take them after getting unofficial evaluation or should I enroll then after talking to advisor move further. Please explain ?
    Also, enrolled students can you please share how long it actually took you to receive you unofficial evaluation. Is it really 2-3 weeks or less.

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