North Central University

North Central UniversityLocated in Minnesota, North Central University is one of the largest employers and sources of income for the Minneapolis area. Founded in 1930, it opened as the North Central Bible Institute with a deep emphasis on religion and faith. The college had a deep connection with the Assembles of God Church, which still exists today. Though it offered classes for both male and female students, female students paid for their tuition by working in the homes of some local church members, who also granted room and board to those students. It later changed its name to North Central University to reflect its university status and to show its higher education status.

NCU made a major change to its curriculum in 2011 after finding that a large number of its students had troubles graduating within four years due to the requirements for graduation. It reduced the number of credits students completed for a degree by six credit hours. Most of its programs now allow students to graduate after completing 120 credit hours of work. Around 1,300 students take classes on campus, which allows the school to keep its class sizes low and lets professors focus more on each student enrolled in their classes.

North Central University Accreditation Details

The Department of Education in the United States requires that students attend an accredited college or university to receive financial aid. It defines accreditation as an approval that comes from a leading organization that ensures a college meets the minimum standards for awarding degrees and helping its students. Most colleges go through a variety of different steps before receiving accreditation. A college may develop a board of professors to meet with the organization, establish a panel of past and current students to meet with representatives or gather evidence to show the organization the long history of success it has in meeting the needs of its students.

North Central University has accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Though the HLC is the head of the organization, it operates several different regional branches that are responsible for accrediting colleges that meet the requirements and standards created by the HLC. NCU also sought specialty accreditation for some of its independent programs. This allows students entering those programs to know that they will receive the best education and be fully prepared for working in their fields once they graduate. Those programs must meet the bare requirements established by accreditation organizations.

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North Central University Application Requirements

North Central University has just three steps associated with its application process. The university introduced a new online application system that went live in the summer of 2015. This system allows students to start and pause their application at any time and come back to complete and submit it. The application asks questions about the background of students, their hobbies and any volunteer work they did in the past. As NCU is a religious institution, it also asks students for honest answers regarding whether they used drugs, alcohol or tobacco in the past and if they had any criminal or legal problems.

After finishing the application, students must also request that their high schools send official copies of their transcripts to the university and arrange for the university to receive their scores on standardized tests like the SAT or ACT. Students who receive acceptance will also need to complete financial aid documents and a housing form if they plan to live on campus. NCU also requires that students put down a deposit, which the school uses to hold their spots. Students who attended a home school program will need to show proof that the program met the requirements for graduation in Minnesota.

Tuition and Fees

The cost of attending North Central University is around $10,500 per semester or $21,000 a year. Students living on campus can expect to pay between $1,600 and $1,900 each semester for housing and between $1,200 and $1,500 for a meal plan. The more expensive meal plans provide students with two to three meals every day of the week. Students will also spend between $300 and $600 each semester for textbooks and supplies. NCU offers future students and online calculator that lets them determine how much they will pay out of pocket once the school applies their financial aid and assistance packages to their accounts.

One of the first things students should do after applying to college is complete the Free Application for Student Financial Aid. The FAFSA asks questions regarding the income that independent students make or the income of dependent students’ parents or guardians. Their responses dictate the amount of financial assistance they will receive. Unsubsidized loans are available to most students, and many students may also qualify for subsidized loans. Those who demonstrate a higher level of need may also receive grants from the government. The university can also award students scholarships or inform them of scholarships they can apply for before starting classes.

Online Degrees Available

Since introducing its reduced credit plan, North Central University now allows students to graduate from any of its programs after completing 120 credits of work. This equates to 15 credit hours or five classes taken two semesters every year. Students can graduate even faster when they take classes during the summer session. Though the university offers a number of classes, many students elect to take classes in the social sciences area. NCU professors give students the opportunity to learn more about psychological topics and how their faith and religion relates to those topics. Gender diversity studies classes look at the ways in which people receive different treatment based on their genders and how society at large can affect gender roles.

NCU also offers a general psychology program and allows students to narrow down their filed of study on a specific area, including health or industrial organizational psychology. IO is a field of psychology concerned with ergonomics and the general welfare of workers. Psychologists might work for the government, a branch of the military, a nonprofit organization or a major corporation. Health psychology classes focus more on emotional health and the connection between emotional and physical health. North Central University encourages students to learn more about the university and its programs before applying.

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