University of the Cumberlands Least Expensive Doctoral Program?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Garp, Jul 23, 2022.

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  1. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Looking at US based online doctoral programs the University of the Cumberlands seems to be about the least expensive at $375 per credit hour (of course depends what you are interested in).

    https://www.ucumberlands.edu/tuition

    I get why some people are tempted by the places like Newburgh and Azteca.

    I know someone doing a doctorate through Grand Canyon and loves the experience but that too comes with a hefty price tag.

    For people just trying to meet a life goal of earning an accredited doctorate you really have to weigh borrowing 40,000 plus (or six figures at some for profits). Some people haven't and have had a rude awakening when the student loans come due.

    Michael Burgos situation made me think of this when he mentioned the affordable Dutch program was at capacity. From what I gather a number of non US countries have perhaps subsidized education better so that it is more affordable. In the US tuition is relatively high and we have an unusual situation with VERY high tuition (compared to return and quality) for-profits tied to the ability to borrow large sums through students loans. These for-profits account for a significant percentage of outstanding student loans.
     
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  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Is the magnitude of this known? Also, I wonder what the difference is between for-profit and not-for-profit universities in this regard?

    I really agree with this. While I insist that the cost of the program is hardly the most important factor, it's hardly a non-issue. And, risking the creation of a dumb typology, I think sources of distance degrees can be broken down like this:
    a. Schools with a national (or international) reputation
    b. Schools with proper institutional recognition
    c. Schools without it, yet fill a niche (like the old California-Approved schools)
    d. Diploma mills

    Note that (b) above is a wide-open bunch. That's because most schools are schools no one's ever heard of and seldom make distinctions among. This is especially true in practice; I can't speak authoritatively about academia.

    Also, (b) is highly debatable, as anyone involved in the myriad arguments about national accreditation or degree-granting-authority-for-rent schemes can tell you.

    The number of schools in (a) is quite small, IMHO. And not all of them are there because of academic quality. Football helps, for example.

    This is why we can't take ranking too, too seriously. Yes, some distinctions can be made, and a few might even be useful. But most are not.

    I think what is most important is to take the degree you need for your present and (anticipated) future needs, one that will not come back to embarrass you. I think that is hard enough without causing yourself undue hardship by making a less-than-wonderful decision, either based on indistinct criteria or self-delusion, and by trying to discern real differences among mere distinctions.

    I'm reminded of a story in the Washington Post a few years ago. The subject was a woman who was brilliant in high school and earned a spot at Harvard in the Engineering program. In short, and for many reasons, she was failing. She decided to drop out and enroll in the University of Maryland's Engineering program instead, where she graduated and became an engineer. The bottom line from her perspective was that she had two choices: Harvard drop out or becoming an engineer. She went to the UofM to become the latter. She felt overwhelmed at Harvard, but at home at Maryland. It was her path to her real goal.
     
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    That seems to be the price for the EdD program. The DBA, according to that page, is $500 per credit. The "executive" programs--whatever that means--are $700 per credit.

    Or perhaps I'm reading it wrong.
     
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  4. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

  5. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Rich's story about Harvard reminded me of something a couple parents told me about their kids. Both said their children were high achievers at their high school and got into top Universities (if I recall correctly it was Stanford and MIT). The experience at those schools caused both some anxiety because they went from being at the top of a pool of students to being in a sea of high performing students where the level of academics and competition was higher (ie now you are average). Both graduated.

    Some of the California Approved (and whatever the other equivalent of accreditation standard was) schools were innovative. The offered a chance at an affordable and scholarly experience at a time when there were so few options. Now, there a probably some unaccredited schools (few) filling a similar niche but the question always seems to be is it accredited. Many don't spend the time to evaluate further than that and so would place an academically unchallenging for profit ahead of one of those schools.

    I think Graduate Theological Foundation may be or have been trying for something similar in terms of innovation and there is debate over whether they have achieved it. They seemed to have lost some of the early environment they had and their doctorates are over $20,000 now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2022
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  6. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Correct. The Ph.D. in Leadership is also $375. I think the executive programs are for international students only.
     
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    That's true, although their EdD in Educational Leadership and their PhD in Leadership are the same cost per credit and essentially the same program, as the PhD just as two extra courses.
     
  8. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    I would go for the PhD. Generally, more mileage out of the degree.
     
    Dustin likes this.
  9. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    The Jacksonville University DBA I was admitted to was going to run me $100,000. It would be an AACSB Accredited doctorate but in the end I could not justify it.

    Some people just jump into a program regardless of the cost to find out 3+ years later that it was not worth the cost.
     
    Garp likes this.
  10. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

    Just chiming in to add, as a UC graduate, that the $375/credit cost applies to the Leadership courses. If you do other courses in the 18 hour concentration, those costs may vary. I did History, and the tuition for those classes were something like $250 or $225 per credit. Granted that was 8 years ago (gosh!) so there may have been some fluxuation since then. Either way, that doctorate is super affordable in comparison to others, and I'm glad Steve Foerster introduced it to me!
     

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