University of Northern Colorado Review

The University of Northern Colorado boasts some well-ranked bachelor's and graduate programs at affordable tuition rates, but students in a small number of states cannot be accepted.

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The Good

Top 50 online bachelor's program:

The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) is the number 48 ranked school among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs according to the latest ranking from U.S. News & World Report. There are four different online majors available to choose from, including nursing, sign language, sociology, and didactics. Some of these options are bachelor’s completion programs, so you need to already have some transferable college credits to apply to your UNC degree.

Top 10 online education graduate program:

In the most recent rankings of online graduate programs, UNC earns the number eight spot for the Best Online Graduate Education Programs from U.S. News & World Report. The graduate education program at UNC offers 13 different degree options, allowing you to concentrate in areas like special education, educational leadership, educational psychology, or a number of other disciplines. All coursework can be completed entirely online, but students have some synchronous, or live, class sessions which require you to be logged on at a specific time. The online graduate education program usually takes two fall and two spring semesters to complete, and some concentrations require you to travel to campus for sessions or a comprehensive exam.

Reasonable tuition rates:

UNC has reasonably priced tuition for both undergraduate and graduate degree levels. Tuition is one flat rate regardless of which state you live in so there is no out-of-state price increase if you live outside of the state of Colorado. Graduate level credits are especially a bargain compared to the pricing of other online graduate programs. Bachelor’s and graduate online students are eligible for financial aid, but to be eligible you need to be enrolled in a minimum of six credits per term as a bachelor’s student or a minimum of five credits per term as a graduate student.

The Bad

Online program not available in every state:

The beauty of online education is that it is not bound by geography, but the online programs at the University of Northern Colorado are not available to residents of a few specific states. If you are a prospective online student residing in Arkansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, or Tennessee, you should know ahead of time that you cannot be granted admission to UNC. Changes in accreditation have been effective since December 2011 and restrict applicants to UNC’s online programs only, however there is a possibility that the regulation can be changed in the future.

Unsteady retention and graduation rates:

With nearly two decades of experience delivering online education, UNC could be expected to have perfected the online class model, but some of their programs do not have the best track record for retention or graduation rates. The graduation rate for the online bachelor’s program has made an improvement this last academic year, with 64% for 2011-2012, compared to rates of 34% and 46% for years previous. The online graduate education program has steadier graduation rates in the 60th percentiles, but the retention rates are rocky. The retention rate numbers for the last four academic years have swung dramatically from 49% to 75%, back to 48%, and most recently 75%. These unsteady figures may be indicative of problems within each program.

The Details

General Information

  • Application Fee: $60
  • Location: CO
  • Region: West
  • School Type: Public
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Number of Programs

  • Online Bachelor's: 4
  • Online Graduate Business: None
  • Online Graduate Education: 13
  • Online Graduate Engineering: None
  • Online Graduate IT: None
  • Online Graduate Nursing: None

Tuition Rates (per credit)

  • Online Bachelor's (In-State): $370
  • Online Bachelor's (Out-of-State): $370
  • Online Doctorate (In-State): $507
  • Online Doctorate (Out-of-State): $507
  • Online Master's (In-State): $507
  • Online Master's (Out-of-State): $507
  • Online MBA (In-State): N/A
  • Online MBA (Out-of-State): N/A

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