Kyle Brown: All right, everyone. I think we can get started. Before we begin, I just want to go over a couple of items and just hit a couple of points. First off, participants are in listen-only mode, so if you have any questions throughout the webinar, you can feel free to type into the question and answer box, and we’ll try to address them on the fly, or certainly at the end of the presentation we’ll have a full question and answer session and we can circle back to them. We will also send out a link to all the participants with a recording of this webinar so you can go back and view portions of it later, and feel free to save any of this information. If you have questions as well that aren’t covered tonight, we’ll make sure that an enrollment advisor connects with you and you get all the information you need.
Kyle Brown: Just to kind of set the agenda and lay out what we’ll be discussing this evening, so we’ll do some introductions with our panelists first and get you introduced to everyone. We’ll share a little bit about Maryville, our background and accreditation, things like that. We’ll dive into some program overviews of the Financial Services program and the Accounting program. Once we thoroughly get through the programs, we’ll give you a preview of the online learning experience and just some ideas on how we kind of set up the online platform. Then we’ll get into the admissions process and requirements, tips and the best ways to get transcripts over to us, and we’ll also definitely touch on tuition and financial aid. We’ll wrap up then with the question and answer session that I mentioned before.
Kyle Brown: To get into introductions and introduce you to our panelists, my name is Kyle Brown. I’m a senior enrollment advisor here at Maryville. I’ve been here a little over two years. I got my bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology from Ripon College, a small, small school in Wisconsin, and I got my master’s degree from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. My master’s is in Higher Education Leadership. I look forward to hopefully touching base with you all and assisting you throughout this process, and I’ll hand it over to my colleague Somer Anderson to introduce herself.
Somer Anderson: Hi. I’m Somer Anderson. I am an assistant dean in the College of Business and I’m also an assistant professor of Accounting. I went to University of Missouri for both my bachelor’s and my master’s in Accounting, and got my CPA right after. Went into public accounting then, and I’m now working on my PhD in Financial Planning at Kansas State University and I’m almost finished. Welcome, everyone. We are so glad you’re here.
Kyle Brown: Thanks, Somer. We don’t have a picture for Jeannie DeLuca, but Jeannie is also here on the call and the presentation, so I’ll let Jeannie introduce herself as well.
Jeannie DeLuca: Hi, everyone. My name is Jeannie DeLuca. Really appreciate you all taking the time to join us tonight. I am the director of Admissions and Advising for Online Programs at Maryville. I have actually just started my 22nd year working at Maryville, which is pretty hard to believe. I’ve worked at two other institutions before that. Four years was my limit, so the fact that I’ve been here so long I think tells you something about Maryville University. I’ve been very happy here and it’s been a really exciting time to be part of Maryville, especially as we’ve grown so much. So, welcome.
Kyle Brown: Thanks, Jeannie. Jeannie and Somer have done just a wonderful job helping me learn things here and a very, very collaborative atmosphere here at Maryville, so it’s great to work with them. Now that we’ve introduced the panelists, I will get into some of the information about our school here.
Kyle Brown: Maryville University was founded in 1872. We’re located in St. Louis, Missouri. The university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The programs in our John E. Simon School of Business are additionally accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or the ACBSP. We’ve gotten many accolades and recognition over the years. We’ve been ranked among Forbes’ America’s Top Colleges, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranked us as a Best Value in Private Colleges. We also have been named as one of the nation’s top three fastest growing universities by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Kyle Brown: We have numerous corporate partnerships not only with companies local to St. Louis, but also national organizations. So we’ve been able to cultivate these relationships where employees of certain companies get discounts on their programs here and it also helps with career services after graduation, having these connections. Lastly, we’re also an Apple distinguished school, so we’ve just been recognized by Apple for the technology we use and sort of being an innovator with the different resources we’re using in the online platform here.
Kyle Brown: We do have over 9,000 students online currently enrolled and we have a very diverse student body. We have students representing all 50 states, which is pretty neat, and we have students from 55 different countries, so a very diverse student population. We’re also expanding a lot of the programs we offer. We currently have 115 plus degrees at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels. Over 25 of those programs are 100% online, so we have a lot of flexible learning options for online students. We also have 115 and looking to add more programs on campus as well. If you’re curious about options for blended programs or you want to know which programs are available maybe on campus, blended, or online, you can connect with an enrollment advisor. We’ll have some contact information at the end of the presentation and we should be able to get you all that information as well.
Kyle Brown: The first program we’ll dive into tonight is the bachelor’s of Science in Financial Services. This program, really we see a lot of students going into positions with insurance firms, commercial banks. Financial planning is a big area that graduates of this program go into. But the nice thing with this program is just the idea that it provides a lot of different career paths. You know, some students get into investments as well, portfolio management, financial consulting, which is a little bit different than a financial analyst, so a wide range of outcomes are available with this degree.
Kyle Brown: The Bureau of Labor Statistics actually projects that the field will grow by 15% by 2026. There are also projected to be a lot of opportunities for financial analysts, financial service sales agents, and financial managers, so the Bureau of Labor Statistics is just a fantastic website. Any of these career fields that pique your interest, you should be able to find a plethora of information on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website, so I definitely encourage everyone to check that out.
Kyle Brown: Just to dive in a little deeper to this position of financial advisor, this is probably one of the most popular career paths for graduates of this degree. Financial advisors consult clients on a wide range of topics from insurance, taxes, retirement, investments, mortgages, so it’s really difficult to be pigeonholed in this type of career path. There are a lot of different areas of finance that you’d be able to work with, and typically a personal financial advisor needs a bachelor’s degree, but of course a lot of students are hungry for additional career prospects and moving up the ladder, so a master’s degree as well is a great option to consider to move up in this field. We have noticed that financial advisors have a median salary of $90,640 and that was 2017, so pretty recently. Again, you can find a lot of this type of information on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website. That website is bls.gov.
Kyle Brown: To dive in, I know we talked a little bit about the careers and different outcomes for graduates of this program, but the program itself, really it’s designed for you to be able to personalize it to your interests and professional goals, so it’s kind of a comprehensive look at the field. I know I mentioned before insurance, taxes, banking, portfolios, investments, so this program is kind of designed to cover all of those areas. Again, because this program is part of the John E. Simon School of Business, it is accredited by the ACBSP. It is very flexible, so we have a lot of working professionals in the program. So it’s designed for you to be able to sort of manage your time for school in a way that works best with work and family, and we’ll get into a little more of the flexibility a little bit later on.
Kyle Brown: But the last aspect of this program, and we’ll dive into this more in a little bit, is the fact that it is stackable, so there are some early access options. Yes. The early access courses we’ll get into a little bit later, but basically you’d be able to look at potentially substituting in some master’s courses at the end of this program. To give you a snapshot of the curriculum I’ll pull up some of the courses involved, and I’m going to hand it over to Somer to kind of break down the course work here.
Somer Anderson: All right. Is that slide live? It looks like it is. All right, so this first slide really goes over our business course, so this is not unique to Financial Services. This business core will actually be used for any undergraduate major that you would do out of our Business School, and this really provides you with the broad base of knowledge and skills that you need to succeed in any business organization. So as you look down the list there you’ll see different types of Accounting, two types of Economics, Statistics, and Business Law, Management, Marketing, Finance, and some Operations Management and Business Policy. So all of those things you’ll use as the base for your Financial Services degree.
Somer Anderson: Then we move on to the actual Financial Services courses within the major, so we start with Personal Finance. I went too far there. Start with Personal Finance and then you’ll get really more into your Financial Institutions and Banking, your intermediates and investments, Portfolio Management, more money and banking, and then a finance senior experience. That’s a lot of cases, so you’ll look at real life cases and networking groups and discuss different financial aspects of those cases.
Somer Anderson: Then you get to pick three online courses. You can pick an internship, so we do give credit for internship. That is based on advisor approval, so if you do have a job or a special internship in the financial services industry, then you’ll work with your advisor to figure out how to get registered for that and exactly what those requirements will be, and that will just vary based on your advisor. You can choose Financial Planning, or International Trade and Finance will be available at some point soon. They are the topics in finance that the topic will change each semester and it’ll be based on whatever happens to be relevant that semester to whatever is happening in the industry, or you can take Consumer Market Behavior. So you can see that those electives, they’re a little bit different than your typical finance degree.
Somer Anderson: Don, I actually saw in the Q&A that you asked a question that specifically addresses this, so why financial services and not just finance? A typical finance degree will really train you in corporate finance and that’s usually the goal of a finance degree. We used to have that option, but then our employers were telling us, “You know, your kids know a lot about finance and we love that, but we also need them to be able to have a relationship with the customer and sell things to the customer and advise the customer.” So we really opened that up so you have a lot of opportunity to learn that, the little bit softer skills as well and not just pure finance.
Somer Anderson: Kyle, it looks like you are up next and then I’ll come back for Accounting curriculum.
Kyle Brown: Great. Thank you, Somer. That was really helpful. Now we’ll kind of compare the bachelor’s of Science in Accounting and kind of highlight some of the differences with this program.
Kyle Brown: An Accounting degree is going to be a little bit more different, a little bit more nuanced than Financial Services. This is going to deal more with students who want to work in settings like tax preparation, tax law, publicly traded companies. A lot of the different career paths we see students that graduate from the bachelor’s in Accounting go into would be more things like a budget analyst, an accountant or an auditor. Most students that go into this program kind of are looking potentially long-term to be like a CPA, get their CPA license. Accountants and auditors have had a median salary as of 2017 of about $69,350, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics also expects the accounting field to grow by about 10% by 2026, so the demand is projected to be there for this field as well.
Kyle Brown: To develop in a little bit more about what accountants and auditors do, really they prepare and examine financial records. They’re looking to ensure accuracy and ensure that taxes are paid properly, so in this field most employers are requiring a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. However, job prospects can improve even further with a master’s degree, and a CPA license is kind of like the gold standard in the accounting field, so our master’s program is an excellent segue after the bachelor’s to preparing for the CPA. It actually includes Becker CPA preparation courses, and Becker is one of, if not the leading, CPA review organization.
Kyle Brown: I think one of the biggest strengths of our bachelor’s of Science in Accounting is that our faculty members are licensed CPAs, so they have that real world experience. They’ve been in the industry, and with a lot of our students, working towards the goal of a CPA license, they can really speak to that as well and help students prepare for the exam. This program actually allows students to start every eight weeks, so there are six different entry points per year for this program. Just like the Financial Services program, students can explore early access classes, which would basically, for qualifying students, allow you to potentially substitute in up to three graduate courses at the end of your bachelor’s program. And that would serve as a very smooth transition for students that want to pursue their master’s after completing their bachelor’s.
Kyle Brown: Just to dive in a little bit to the curriculum, and we’ll have Somer again jump in and cover this in greater detail with the specific courses, but the program is 128 total credits. It has a core of business classes very much identical to the core of business classes in the Financial Services program. You’d have your Accounting major courses, and then of course your general eds and general electives. Students can pursue two different pathways with this program. One pathway would just be non-early access track, which would involve taking some courses in Accounting Information Systems and QuickBooks, and then we would give you some elective options in Financial Services courses.
Kyle Brown: The other option is the early access track, so you would still take Accounting Information Systems, but you would be able to add in three of the early access graduate level courses, so you could look at course work in Financial Statement Analysis or Tax Planning and Decision Making. Also, you could look at Financial Reporting 3 or Data Analytics. So all of those courses listed there at the bottom of the slide are courses from the master’s program, and you’d be able to work with your advisor to pick and choose three of those. I’ll hand it back over to Somer where we’ll dive into the Accounting courses.
Somer Anderson: All right, so as Kyle said, over here on the left you see that we have our business core and it is the exact same as Financial Services, so hopefully you’re also seeing this as an opportunity if you’re kind of on the fence and you say, “I want to go to Maryville, I want to go to Business School, but I’m not really sure what major I want to do.” That is okay. You can actually take pieces of the business core until you figure out what you want to do, because they’re all the same, so you could go ahead and get your accountings and your econs and your management done, and then decide, “You know, I think I do want to do Financial Services,” and you haven’t lost anything at all. There is that piece of it.
Somer Anderson: Then over here on the right we start with our professional accounting courses, so the top, those are all required and what we’re doing there is getting you completely prepared for the CPA exam, so you’ll see those courses just like Auditing, Tax, your Financial Accounting and Reporting, your Cost Accounting. Then we also have Forensic Accounting, which is a little bit special and it’s because we happen to have someone on faculty who is kind of one of the foremost forensic accounts in the nation, so it’s really neat to be able to learn about her experiences and have her teach you how to do what she does.
Somer Anderson: Then you add on what we kind of call the capstone courses, so you’ve got your Accounting Theory, is the capstone. That’s where we just bring it all together and you see everything again and you’re able to kind of take that to the next level. Then we give you an opportunity for three electives, and if you can, so we’ll talk a little bit more about what early access really is in a minute, but if you qualify for early access, this is the way you want to go, because those three electives right there, that three credit hours, will count towards both your undergraduate degree and your graduate degree, so it actually double counts. So if you were just doing a regular major and you didn’t have this opportunity for early access, then you would just be doing your whole undergrad and then you would start your whole grad, so you would have the two separate programs.
Somer Anderson: These are a little bit more combined to help you get through it a little bit faster and more efficiently. The way that works, I know you’re not here for the master of Accounting, but I did put that in there just so you could see how that works. The three courses that we left for electives for you, you can actually go over here to the right side at the top. You can take almost any of those classes, so we usually say, “You should probably go ahead and take your Financial Statement Analysis, your Data Analytics, and your Financial and Reporting 3.” You can actually take those three classes, apply them to the undergraduate, and then you’re already nine hours into our 30-hour master’s program, so it’s a really neat program and I encourage you to take advantage of it, if you can.
Somer Anderson: Moving on to early access. We’ve been talking about it a lot. What is it? It’s an option for many of our graduate programs. It lets you earn up to 12 hours of graduate credits while you’re completing your undergrad degree, so you’re saving time and money, because of tuition. The eligible programs are our Marketing, Business Administration, Financial Services, Accounting, Management Information Systems, and Cyber Security. Any of those undergrad majors can use some of these early access courses to apply to our MBA, our MS in Cyber Security or Software Development, Health Administration, or our Data Analytics program.
Somer Anderson: The rules, when I said that you can qualify for this or not, you have to have completed a minimum of 75 hours towards your undergraduate degree and at least 20 of those have to be at Maryville. So once you get to that 75 hours with 20 of them at Maryville, you’ll want to apply to the program. You have to have at least a 3.25 grade point average, because we kind of see this as a benefit and it’s something that you should be able to succeed at, so we want to make sure your GPA is in good shape before you get there. And like I said, you will submit an application and apply, and you’ll include your admission essay with that application, so make sure you’re taking time with that essay, because we actually do read them. Especially if you’re really close on that GPA, we want to see exactly what you’re planning to do with those early access courses or with your graduate degree. Then you must have at least 90 credit hours before you actually can begin the early access courses. De, do you have anything to add to that?
Jeannie DeLuca: No, not really. I just think it’s a great thing for students to do. I want to just clarify that for the 3.25 grade point average, it is just your Maryville grade point average and your grade point average does start over when you’re at Maryville. So once you have your 20 hours earned at Maryville and you meet the criteria, your grade point would just be looked at for the Maryville courses that you’ve had, which I know a lot of students appreciate, especially if they may have gone a long time ago and they kind of get a fresh start once they come to Maryville.
Somer Anderson: Thanks, Jeannie. Kyle, I’ll turn it back over to you to finish us off.
Kyle Brown: Thank you. Thank you. I know the early access program is a little bit intricate and you really made it very clear. I know that we’ve kind of discussed a lot about each program and the background of the university, but if you’re going to be taking these courses online, I’m sure many of the participants are wondering what to expect with the online courses, so this is designed to be pretty personable, pretty interactive. You’re going to have an enrollment advisor with you along the way through your first week of classes and then by that point you will have connected with your student support advisor, who is with you throughout your program, so we’re all about giving you steady points of contact. You’re working with the same person to reach out to throughout your program, and your student support advisor will be there to assist you with any questions throughout your courses and into your degree. They help register you for upcoming semesters, and really kind of become your advisor, basically. We do have a lot of engaging interactive experiences in the online platform, recorded lecture options, video resources.
Kyle Brown: The instructors are very good here about getting back to students in an efficient, timely manner, so it is a pretty tight-knit community, and we have a lot of students locally that still take the online classes but come on to campus for meeting instructors face to face or using the library, so I think those are some of the perks of the online program. It is asynchronous, so there’s never a set time you have to be online. There’s never a set amount of time you’re required to spend. Essentially, you can develop your schedule for school in ways that fits best with the other commitments in your life, and we’re all about flexibility for working professionals and parents, so I think that’s another strength of the program.
Kyle Brown: The learning management system we use, again we’re an Apple distinguished school, so our learning management system really puts course information right at your fingertips where it’s very concisely organized, and we’ll be able to get all of the participants of the webinar a link of a recording of this webinar and also I’ll be sure to make sure that all the participants get a link to Canvas orientation as well, which Canvas is the online learning management system we use. Lastly, we have developed some flexible options for mobile learning as well, so you can even access the student portal and virtual campus from your phone.
Kyle Brown: I know I touched on this a little bit earlier, but you will have a personal online program advisor. Your enrollment advisor will be there to assist you with any questions you have initially with the program, so that’s kind of my role as a senior enrollment advisor. I help students determine if the program is a good fit for them, provide any information, and answer any questions students have. And I would work with students all the way through the application process, setting up the portal after potentially being accepted, make sure you have your courses registered for your first semester, make sure you have all the information on getting your books, and make sure you’re getting connected with the financial aid department to set up your funding plan. So I’d be your main point of contact. You’d work with your enrollment advisor through your first week of class and, like I said, by that point you’d have connected with your student support advisor as well.
Kyle Brown: We do have a dedicated tech support team, so it’s 24/7 technical support. We get all of our students the direct line to call tech support with any issues with logging in or any issues with the online campus. We also have an Office of Career Success & Professional Development. I know I touched on that earlier with the corporate partnerships, but we also have an extensive alumni network that we can plug students into, and the Career Success & Professional Development office will help you with resume editing, mock interviews. You can set up things like that, so there are a lot of resources for job sourcing and internships and more information on that as well.
Kyle Brown: We also have an online writing studio, so it’s basically a writing support center. You can submit rough drafts and get feedback, different tips with citations and bibliographies, and basically any editing of your papers that you need help with. The online library is available. I know I mentioned we have a lot of students that come to campus to use the library, but all of the resources in the library are available in the online platform, and we actually have a dedicated research librarian online that can assist with inquiries. The main thing is just that this is designed to be an immersive environment, and we really try to develop the online platform here at Maryville to a point where there’s some form of each resource that you would have as on campus student available in an online format. Now I’m going to move into discussing the admissions process. We’ll cover admissions requirements, transcripts, and what’s required for you to submit from any high school and college background, and then we’ll cover tuition and financial aid.
Kyle Brown: There’s going to be a little bit different admissions requirements based on if you’re an incoming freshman with no previous college experience or if you do have some previous college background that you’re looking to transfer in. So the first offer for incoming freshmen, we will need an official transcript of your high school or your GED. With your high school GPA we’re looking for a minimum of a 2.5 from your high school background, and students with below a 2.5 GPA in high school can be considered for admission on a probational status. One of the nice things about this is there are no standardized tests required, so you don’t have to submit ACT scores or SAT scores or anything like that.
Kyle Brown: The difference with transfer students is when students have previous college credits, we’re looking for a GPA of 2.0 or higher based on your previous college work. And just like incoming freshmen with a high school GPA below 2.5, transfer students with college experience and a GPA below 2.0 can also be considered for admission on a probational status, so no standardize testing is required either. Students with an associate’s degree may be able to come in with all of their general education requirements fulfilled. When students apply to the program and submit all of their transcripts, within a few days after the admissions decision we should be able to get you an online program planning sheet that will break down all of your potential transfer credit, and then it also gives you a really good snapshot on what you have left to complete for your bachelor’s. Jeannie, is there anything that you wanted to add to that?
Jeannie DeLuca: No, I don’t think so. I would just say if you are hesitant at all about applying based on your academic background, please don’t be. We really do look at every file individually. As Kyle mentioned, we do the provisional acceptance for students who may fall below that. We understand that, sometimes in the past, life happened, so we are really all about giving students second chances and that’s really kind of our motto, is to be acceptable for adult students in particular.
Kyle Brown: Yeah. Absolutely, Jeannie, and I tell the students I work with that if your GPA happens to be a little bit lower, it’s a great option to write an addendum essay. I have my students submit an addendum and just speak to a little bit of what happened before, what led to having a little bit lower GPA, and then students can kind of outline their plan to be successful now.
Jeannie DeLuca: I would say that’s a great idea, Kyle, and I would also say students can submit anything else that they want us to consider in terms of like a letter of recommendation. That is always good, or a resume or anything else.
Kyle Brown: Great. Thanks, Jeannie. Now to move on, just in regards to how do you go about applying? The first thing you really want to do, even before starting your application in most cases, is request your transcripts. Different schools really just take different amounts of time, and especially if your previous institution or multiple institutions only offer mailed transcripts. So I have all my students inquire about mailed transcripts and electronic transcripts, and if electronic transcripts are offered, that’s definitely the preferred option. Typically, electronic transcripts can get to us in like two to three business days, and a lot of times mailed transcripts can take like one to two weeks, and especially if you’re looking like at the spring term coming up, you really want to get on the transcripts, with holidays approaching and a lot of schools shut down for the holidays. So that would be the first thing.
Kyle Brown: When you work with your admissions advisor, they can give you a direct email address, and typically you can just contact your previous schools and provide your advisor’s email address, and your official transcripts get sent directly to your enrollment advisor. But you can see there, there is an address that you can give to previous schools as well if they only mail transcripts, and if you do need high school transcripts, usually those are for most part mailed still, so you can give the address to your high schools.
Kyle Brown: The step two, there’s just an online application. It’s not intensive. It usually takes students about 20 minutes, from what I’ve heard with the students I’ve worked with, so it’s pretty non-intensive. Then if you do need to write an addendum essay, or you want to attach anything else like your resume or a letter of recommendation there, there are spots in the application where you can attach those items. Lastly, there are no application fees, so there’s nothing upfront. You’re not get charged for applying to any of our programs. The next term is the spring term 2019. The classes start January 14th. We have an application deadline of December 3rd, so while there is still plenty of time, if this is something you’re thinking about, you’d probably want to get to applying relatively soon, again, just with holidays and having to get transcripts in and things like that.
Kyle Brown: I know I kind of jumped the gun a little bit about on this, but again just the tips with your transcripts, so if you have previous college experience but you have less than 60 credits, we’re going to need your high school transcript. If you have more than 60 credits, you will not need to provide a high school transcript. However, when we have students that have attended multiple colleges, we need a transcript from any college or university you attended. I’ve had students from all kinds of backgrounds. I’ve had students with military transcripts. I’ve had students that earned massage therapist certificates. We still need a transcript, so we need a full picture of all of your previous work after high school.
Kyle Brown: I mentioned before you can send transcripts to your advisor’s email once you connect with an advisor, but if you also just want to jump on this process right away, you can send electronic transcripts to the general admissions box, and we’ll make sure that they get moved to your advisor or we’ll make sure a file is created for you. Again, the electronic transcripts really make life a lot easier, so if that option is available, definitely would encourage you to go that route, but most schools will also offer the mailed option as well. Again, if you have them mailed, we’ll still be able to ensure that a file is created for those transcripts.
Kyle Brown: So just to cover a few tips with the application, number one, the link to our online application is listed under the resource list. One thing that students trip up on a lot is the location. A lot of students think they should mark themselves as a transfer student. We’re still going to evaluate all of your transcripts for transfer credit, but you want to make sure that for any of the undergraduate programs you’re applying to or even a graduate, you want to make sure you select the online option. The other thing is you want to be careful as you’re filling out your application, because once you submit your application you can’t go back and edit things on it, so you want to just take your time and again, it will probably only take you about 20 minutes, so there’s really no need to rush through it. Your advisors can also get you out an admissions checklist that will just allow you to sort of check off all of these bullet points as you apply to the program.
Kyle Brown: The last thing we’ll jump into before the question and answer section is just covering tuition and financing. For both of these programs the cost per credit hour is $500, so for our transfer students we would have to see how many credits potentially transfer in and then what you have left before being able to give a set tuition for you, but each program is 128 credits. If you think your employer is one of our partners, one of our corporate partners, your advisor can verify that information and ensure any discount that you’re eligible for from that is applied.
Kyle Brown: We also have a one fee, so this is the only student fee that we give students, and it’s $350 per semester. This covers your access to all online services and resources. It’s kind of our way of making it a little bit easier for students to budget. We used to have different student fees charged at different points in the year, and it was causing students problems with budgeting for different fees at different points, so the $350 fee you would get three times per year at the beginning of the spring, summer, and fall semesters.
Kyle Brown: We do have a Financial Aid Department. Most of the students we’re working with are using some form of financial aid. You know, grants, student loans, so your enrollment advisor should be able to send you a financial aid checklist that would have all the information you need if you’re looking to apply for financial aid, and you can see the school code is listed right there at the bottom of the slide. We also work with students on plenty of other financing options. We have students that apply for scholarships. We have students that have military tuition assistance or are working off of like the G.I. Bill or post-9/11 benefits, so we do have a VA rep on campus that we can make sure that you get connected with if you’re looking to utilize any of those options.
Kyle Brown: Then we do work with a lot of students that may not have a corporate partnership with their employer and our school, but the employer offers some form of tuition assistance or reimbursement, so we can make sure you have everything you need to get that set up as well. The last thing I would just say about that is our Financial Aid Department is really adept at working with students to combine options, so I’ve had students that have used financial aid, personal funds, and employer tuition assistance, for example. So we can really work with you to try to structure a funding plan that you’re comfortable with.
Kyle Brown: Now we’ll open it up for the question and answer session, and I know a few of you have already typed in some questions during the presentation, so thank you for doing that. Let’s see what we have. Okay, so I think this question would be great for Jeannie to kind of speak to. “If I start the program online, can I transfer to campus or vice versa?”
Jeannie DeLuca: Sure. I’ll take that question. You can start as an online student and you can also move to take some courses on campus and vice versa. However, I will say that you will find less and less major courses offered on campus. We’ve just found that most students, even students who are more local, really do prefer the convenience of the online program. So often times when we offer a course on campus in the evenings, it just doesn’t fill up, so we end up having to cancel. Not always, but it’s starting to happen more often. I think students really like the idea of being able to work their class in at their own time in the evening and not drive to campus, so I would caution you. I can’t guarantee that every course would be offered on campus in the evenings. In fact, it’s getting less and less but … and I know that’s a very long answer to say you can kind of mix and match a little bit and do it in the blended format for now. I just don’t know how long we’re going to continue offering the courses in the evening format.
Kyle Brown: Great. Thanks, Jeannie.
Kyle Brown: Here’s a question that I could kind of, I think, speak to. “Do most students pursue full-time or part-time?” That’s a great question. The way our program is structured is we have three 16-week semesters each year, the spring, the summer, and the fall. Each semester is split in half so that there are two eight-week terms, and for any eight weeks students can choose to take one class at a time, which would technically be part-time, or they can take two classes at a time, which would be full-time. So most of the students in the undergraduate programs, from my experience, want to stick with full-time as many as possible, and this is for a couple of reasons.
Kyle Brown: First off, just for efficiency. It’s a pretty traditional timeframe start to finish if you’re a full-time student. So once you start taking more and more terms with one class, it really starts to drag out the degree. The other reason would just be for financial aid reasons. Students want to stick with full-time, because typically financial aid options diminish or go away with the part-time status.
Kyle Brown: The last question I see here, and I think Somer is going to be answering it here, is do we offer a five-year master’s program for Accounting?
Somer Anderson: We do, so the bachelor’s of Science in Accounting and the master’s Science in Accounting are thought of as a five-year program, so it might not take you five years if you factor it for credit, but a lot of schools, you’ll hear, have that kind of combined bachelor’s and master’s. We did it a little bit different where we don’t make you do the fifth year. We do let you get out of here if you just decide you want a bachelor’s, or if you come in with so many credit hours that you already have your 150 hours to take the CPA exam and don’t need a master’s. But if you do want to combine those, that’s really where the early access starts coming in handy for you, because you get to do up to 12 hours that will double count within the five-year program.
Kyle Brown: Great. Thanks, Somer. I think we’ll wrap this up now. I see that we’ve got a few attendees left, but hopefully we were able to get to all your questions. Again, we’ll make sure that the webinar does get sent out to everyone that attended tonight, and that phone number there at the bottom of this last slide, you can contact us at any point. That will connect you with an enrollment advisor, so if you have questions that we weren’t able to get to tonight, your enrollment advisor will be sure to cover those. But I just want to thank everyone again for participating. Really appreciate your interest, and we look forward to assisting you throughout the process. Hope you all have a great evening, and thanks again for your time.