Marist College Review

Marist College is a private liberal arts school with a great online program designed for students with professional work experience.

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The Good

Focused on returning students:

The Marist College online bachelor’s program is specifically designed to meet the needs of students who are returning to school after spending time in the workforce. In fact, a minimum of two years of professional work experience is required to enter the program. Given this focus on serving working adults, it’s not surprising that the average age of Marist online students is 38 years old, between five and eight years older, on average, than students at other top online programs. If you are a returning student, you can expect to work with Marist College instructors, academic counselors, and student support staff who are accustomed to the special needs of working adults.

Selective admissions standards:

According to U.S. News & World Report’s most recent survey of online bachelor’s programs, Marist College admits just over 50% of applicants to its online bachelor’s program. While many top online degree programs admit 85% or even 95% of applicants, Marist College maintains strict admissions standards and only admits the best students. As a Marist College online student, you can expect to be part of a high-quality student body that brings real-world experience to the online classroom.

Exceptional student retention rates:

Marist College really excels when it comes to keeping their students enrolled and on course toward a degree. According to U.S. News & World Report, Marist boasts some of the highest first-year student retention rates among all top online programs in the country, with no fewer than 83% of first-year students progressing into a second year of study in each of the last four academic years. These are exceptionally high rates for an online degree program, and should give you confidence in the quality of Marist College and its ability to motivate students.

Active alumni association:

As a Marist College graduate, you become one of more than 30,000 alumni around the world. The school’s official alumni association is active around the U.S., with more than a dozen regional chapters from coast to coast. Networking events and fundraisers are held regularly, allowing you to keep up with classmates and build professional relationships with other Marist graduates. As an alumnus, you are also entitled to specialized career development programs through the Center for Career Services. The center also oversees the Marist College Alumni Career Network online.

The Bad

Must meet age and work experience requirements:

If you are a recent high school graduate, you are not eligible for the Marist College online degree program, which is specifically designed for students over the age of 22 who have at least two years of professional work experience. While prior college coursework is not a requirement for enrollment as an online student, many new enrollees enter the program with as much as two years’ worth of course credit earned from another two- or four-year institution. In fact, the program targets returning students who have left school in the past and are looking to return to complete a degree.

Tuition on the high side:

Marist College online tuition rates fall behind most other top programs in terms of affordability. At $600 per credit, Marist College is within range of many good schools that charge around $400 or $500 per credit. However, there are several solid programs that charge between $250 and $350 per credit, significantly cheaper than Marist. If you are especially concerned with cost in your search for a good online school, you should be able to find several options that rate better than Marist College on that count.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 2003 - 2004
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Application Requirements: Essay, Transcripts, Test Scores
  • Location: NY
  • Number of Bachelor's Programs: 10
  • Region: Northeast
  • School Type: Private
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Tuition Rates (Per Credit)

  • In-State: $600
  • Out-of-State: $600

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 57%
  • Average Student Age: 38
  • Gender Ratio: 65% female, 35% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 25
  • Total Enrollment: 254


  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 5 Years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 26
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 20

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 88%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 86%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2012): 83%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 83%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2009-2010): 30%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2010-2011) : 34%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2011-2012): 64%
  • 3 Year Graduation Rate (2012-2013) : 46%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 52
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 72/100
  • Student Engagement Rank: 34
  • Student Engagement Score: 75/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 50
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 58/100

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