Excelsior outrageous fee

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

  1. MISin08

    MISin08 New Member

    It's a good idea to take as many exams as possible before you register. It increases the odds of graduating in less than a year to avoid paying the student services fee :) The trick to this is to do your own unofficial evaluation using the catalog. I also found it beneficial to look at a couple other schools' catalogs to get a sense of what colleges expect, how typical majors play out. I didn't have anything particularly challenging for them to review, like obscure subjects, but I did do my entire MIS concentration w/o their advice, and all the classes fit where I expected they would.

    I took 2-3 exams after my unofficial eval with no problem but I would suggest avoid too much change between unofficial eval and the real one, just so you don't confuse people.

    In my case:
    Application 7/3/09 -- unofficial evaluation done 8/4.
    Enrolled 8/21 (Friday); I have advisor email from 8/26 saying she would finish my official eval in 2-4 weeks, but it was done two days later.

    Hope this helps

  2. Rohan

    Rohan New Member

    So Philip, did you take any outside courses between your unofficial evaluation and enrollment? Because if it 6 weeks of waiting, I can certianly knock out 3-4 CLEP courses.
    I thought unofficial evaluation is to start the degree and when you ready to graduate is when you need official evaluation.
  3. TMW2009

    TMW2009 New Member

    For some people it's taken two weeks for the initial eval and less than a week for the official eval. I'm still waiting for my initial eval to finish, and it hit the three week mark today. They told me that it should be done sometime this week when I called this afternoon. I'm in the 'final stages'. But then again, I might be a 'special' case, since I'm transfering in about 10 certifications along with 10 classes that were taken 18 years ago. Also, while waiting for the eval to get done, I took the 1 credit Information Literacy course through Penn Foster that EC requires, and had the transcript sent when I was done. Even though this was not on the list of expected transcripts that they make you give during the application, that might have pushed me back as well, which I think is utterly ridiculous.

    If you think about it, CLEPs, DSSTs, and classes like PF's Info Lit that are taken by a sizeable amount of students should be pretty much No-brainers as far as evaluation, especially for the unofficial one. They know what credit they give for them, they know what duplicates those credits, so on and so forth. It just boggles my mind at times, but they're a business and any sizeable business ends up with a bureaucracy, especially when dealing with requirements to maintain things like regional accreditation, I'd guess.

    As far as 'what to do til then'... I'm just taking my time bashing my head against the wall. I'm going to take at least two classes through EC if they ever get around to letting me enroll. One I need for my major through them, and the other just to cover a small amount of credit I'm missing and to get me to the point where I'm considered half-time so I can get my financial aid going. I'm also preparing for my GRE subject test in April, and trying to prep a little more to take the UExcel College Writing test to cover my Written English Requirement. After those four, I should be pretty much ready to go, unless I bomb the GRE Subject test.

    Just keep knocking out the credits while waiting for your official eval. It doesn't hurt to get the credits applied after you're enrolled.
  4. MISin08

    MISin08 New Member

    I didn't take courses during that time. It was funny, I wanted to take EC's Managerial Accounting in the 8-week format -- starting in September; I had scheduled the prerequisite Accounting CLEP for just days before. I took the CLEP and signed up for the class and ended up telling the advisor "this is what I'm planning. OK?" just before the class started.

    I think unofficial evaluation is to have your credit looked at (sort of a tire-kicking exercise) so you can have an idea of what EC will do before committing. If you have lots of standard sorts of credit and have a good idea of how its going to play out this step may feel sort of redundant. I suspect that if you have 6 months of college, corporate training from 3 different employers, and a portfolio of your experience building houses in Ecuador, the unofficial eval may be a lot more critical.

  5. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    I guess I was lucky. I pretty much figured out what I was going to need for my degree and finished many of the CLEP exams before I even applied. I think I might have had 12 credits to complete when I started, all of which I tested out of in a month or two of officially enrolling. They didn't have any required EC courses when I attended back in 2003.
  6. MISin08

    MISin08 New Member

    I registered at -30 credits, which may have been a bit optimistic for the 1-year timeframe. If I had planned to test out of all 30, it would have been a snap.

  7. aircon

    aircon New Member

    How is it possible to figure out what exams are needed? I've applied to Excelsior for a BS in Liberal Arts and waiting for the evaluation from ECE.org. I would be keen to do a few exams while waiting
  8. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    You should be able to look at the requirements as well as what you currently have completed and make some educated guesses. It's easier to do if you aren't almost at the 120 credit mark. Everyone needs some sort of a math, english comp, etc. so you can knock those out pretty safely. If you are going for a BS in Liberal Arts degree, then you'll also need a good chunk of humanities courses like history, etc. as well. If you only need a few credits to graduate, it gets trickier as you'll want to make sure they fit into gaps.
  9. aircon

    aircon New Member

    I see, thank you bazonkers
  10. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    If you create a separate thread listing your current credits and asking about what you might need at Excelsior to finish, I'm sure many of us can offer suggestions for exams, etc. for you to take.
  11. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef


    It's also worth pointing out that advisors generally don't write you a plan- they usually review your own plan, so you can certainly benefit by starting on a plan now.

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