University of St. Francis Review

The University of St. Francis is a private, Catholic school that offers a variety of advanced degree options, but is best known for their accelerated online bachelor's degree completion programs designed for working adults.

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The Good

Multiple national recognitions:

The University of St. Francis (USF) has multiple programs recognized in the latest U.S. News & World Report. Current rankings include the number 86 spot for the online graduate nursing program, while the online education program comes in at 36, and the online graduate business program at number 80. In addition, The Princeton Review identified USF as one of the Best Colleges: Region by Region, helping St. Francis stand out as a quality academic institution.

Corporate partnerships:

Online graduate students can take advantage of tuition discounts if they are employed at one of the many companies and organizations partnered with the school. USF has a full list of companies and organizations, in various states across the U.S., that are affiliated with the school’s Corporate Educational Partners Program. If you live in Illinois or work for a company based in the state, you have the greatest chance of having your employer included on the list of partners. The tuition discount likely varies by company or organization, but it usually is substantial enough to motivate an affiliated employee to pursue an advanced degree.

Access to online doctoral programs:

Few online colleges offer online doctoral degrees, but USF has two PhD options including a doctor of education in educational leadership and a doctor of nursing practice (DNP). The DNP program does have some residency restrictions, as students must live in one of a few states where there are affiliated clinic locations, including Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. Both programs are delivered entirely online, and allow you to choose a concentration that best matches your interests.

Family discount can lower tuition bill:

Tuition rates at the University of St. Francis are high when compared with many other online schools. However, one unique way the school makes up for tuition costs is with a family discount. If you enroll at USF as a full-time undergraduate at the same time as one of your immediate family members, both you and your family members are given a 5% discount on tuition each semester.

The Bad

Limited availability in some states:

Due to various education regulations, not every online degree program is available in every state. The majority of degree programs and concentrations offered by St. Francis are available in most states, but before you apply, it is important to check what is available in your state. For example, none of the school’s online courses are available in Arkansas and Massachusetts. State by state availability varies the most with the RN to BSN fast track program since it has program restrictions due to state board of nursing regulations and a shortage of clinical placement sites. Also, online student who wish to enroll in MSN or DNP programs must reside in Arizona, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico, or Wisconsin.

Bachelor's degree completion programs only:

The school only offers four bachelor’s degrees, all of which cannot be earned entirely online from start to finish. Instead, the school offers bachelor’s completion programs, also referred to as adult undergraduate programs. Completion degree options are ideal for adult students who want to finish a degree that was started at another school or community college. However, this type of program is not for you if you are looking to attend college for the first time. The completion programs at USF require students to transfer a minimum of 64 credit hours, and up to a maximum of 80 credits may be accepted.

Tuition is on the higher side:

Private universities are notorious for pricey tuition costs, and the University of St. Francis is no exception. The cost per credit for online undergraduate, online graduate, and online doctoral programs is higher than many other online colleges. Also, USF does not have a uniform tuition rate for undergraduate and graduate level credits. Instead, tuition rates vary just slightly by program.

The Details

General Information

  • Application Fee: $120
  • Location: IL
  • Region: Midwest
  • School Type: Private
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Number of Programs

  • Online Bachelor's: 3
  • Online Graduate Business: 2
  • Online Graduate Education: 1
  • Online Graduate Engineering: None
  • Online Graduate IT: None
  • Online Graduate Nursing: 5

Tuition Rates (per credit)

  • Online Bachelor's (In-State): $585
  • Online Bachelor's (Out-of-State): $585
  • Online Doctorate (In-State): $705 - $710
  • Online Doctorate (Out-of-State): $705 - $710
  • Online Master's (In-State): $705 - $710
  • Online Master's (Out-of-State): $705 - $710
  • Online MBA (In-State): $750
  • Online MBA (Out-of-State): $750

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