Graceland University-Lamoni Review

Graceland University-Lamoni is a 115-year-old private university offering quality online bachelor's programs in nursing and healthcare management.

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The Good

High level of student engagement:

In the most recent survey of online bachelor’s programs by U.S. News & World Report, Graceland University-Lamoni (GU-Lamoni) ranked among the very best programs in terms of student engagement. This rating is based on a range of factors, including instructor availability, class size, and the level of student collaboration within courses. As a student at GU-Lamoni, you can expect to learn from engaging instructors who are available to give you personal help if and when you need it. You can also expect to participate in collaborative courses designed to build teamwork and communication skills.

Good student retention rates:

Graceland University-Lamoni has reported very good student retention rates over the last four years, showing that most online students who get started at the school are satisfied with their studies and continue on to a second year. According to U.S. News & World Report, no fewer than 70% of first-year students continued into a second year of study in each of the last four years. Some of the top online schools struggle with bringing students back year after year, and the fact that Graceland University-Lamoni has been over 70% for the last four years definitely reflects well on the school.

Some credit granted for work experience:

If you have worked in healthcare administration in the past and you are interested in the GU-Lamoni healthcare management bachelor’s program, you may be eligible for up to 30 semester hours of credit for past work experience and job training. This is a significant opportunity, amounting to as much as one full year of course credit. Credit acceptance decisions are based on American Council on Education standards. You can learn more about your eligibility for credit by contacting a GU-Lamoni admissions counselor.

Comprehensive support services for online students:

As an online student at GU-Lamoni, you have access to several types of academic support personnel, including program consultants, academic advisers, and technical support specialists. Program consultants act as guides during the registration and enrollment process, helping you to navigate the GU-Lamoni application system, organize financial aid, and set up a student account. Academic advisers assist you with curriculum questions and course scheduling concerns. Once you are enrolled and begin taking online courses, you can contact the Graceland eCollege helpdesk around the clock for technical help with your courses and the eCollege course software.

The Bad

Limited online degree options:

While GU-Lamoni offers dozens of academic programs on campus, only two degree programs are available to online students, both in the healthcare field. The nursing program is designed for students who have completed prior nursing coursework and who hold a current registered nurse (RN) license. The healthcare management program is designed to prepare you for administrative positions in healthcare facilities, pharmaceutical companies, and other healthcare organizations. If you are not confident of your interest in one of these two fields, a school like Bellevue University might be a better option than GU-Lamoni. Bellevue offers both a nursing and healthcare management program, alongside many other online degrees, giving you the flexibility to change your major should your interests change after enrolling.

Nursing program requires a visit to campus:

If you are interested in the Graceland University-Lamoni nursing program, it’s important to understand that you must make a trip to Lamoni, Iowa, to participate in a four-day focused study session with your online classmates. Depending on your living and working situation, this requirement can become an expensive undertaking. In comparison, other top online nursing programs are carried out entirely online, including those at Bellevue University, the University of Illinois-Chicago, and Pennsylvania State University-World Campus.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 2001 - 2002
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Application Requirements: Transcripts, Test Scores, Letters of Recommendation
  • Location: IA
  • Number of Bachelor's Programs: 3
  • Region: Midwest
  • School Type: Private
  • Term Schedule: Trimester

Tuition Rates (Per Credit)

  • In-State: $495
  • Out-of-State: $495

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 73%
  • Average Student Age: 39
  • Gender Ratio: 88.1% female, 11.9% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 18
  • Total Enrollment: 143


  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 6 Years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 4
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 29

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 70%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 70%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2012): 73%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 78%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2009-2010): 75%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2010-2011): 74%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2011-2012): 77%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2012-2013): 78%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 128
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 51/100
  • Student Engagement Rank: 7
  • Student Engagement Score: 90/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 117
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 48/100

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