Comparing the Cost of Your Investment

Tuition shouldn’t be a guessing game. If you want to earn a degree, you need to know how much that degree is going to cost so you can compare your options and choose the school that is best for you—not only in terms of your education and career goals, but also in terms of your educational investment.

Very rarely will schools list the Total Program Cost on their tuition or financial aid pages. Instead, you will likely see educational costs listed as Cost per Credit or Cost per Course. You may be thinking to yourself that you can simply compare each school’s Cost per Course or Cost per Credit rate, but that won’t give you the full picture in terms of total investment.  Even when comparing very similar degrees—MBA to MBA or PhD in Psychology to PhD in Psychology—schools may have different course and credit requirements to complete the degree, and in most cases, it is up to you to do the math and calculate how much your program will really cost.

NCU’s Tuition and Fees

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate below, we let you know up front.  Currently, items not directly related to your program, such as your cap and gown, transcript copies and books are not included in the Cost Per Course Rate.    

School of Business and Technology Management

School of Education

School of Social & Behavioral Sciences: Department of Psychology

School of Social & Behavioral Sciences: Department of Marriage & Family Therapy


How to Calculate the Cost of Your Program Say you have narrowed down your education search to three schools. They all offer the program you are looking for, they have the flexibility you need, and your decision really comes down to price. How much is the degree really going to cost you?  Here are some helpful tips to help you calculate the Total Program Cost based on Cost per Course or Cost per Credit tuition rates. 

  1. Find the total credit requirements for completion of your desired program.  There is no set number of credits that all schools require for a certain degree program. In other words, the PhD in Business Administration program at NCU can be completed with a minimum of 60 credits, but that number may be different for a similar program at another school.
  2. Know the total credits for each course in your desired program.  Credits per individual course can range from 1-6 credit hours.  This is where published Cost per Credit rates can be deceiving. A lower cost per credit hour could be attractive until you realize that it is based on a 6-credit hour course as opposed to a 3-credit hour course. 
  3. Determine the total number of courses you need to complete the program. If the school calculates tuition based on Cost per Course, you need to know the number of courses you will have to take to complete the program in order to calculate the total program cost.
  4. Consider the potential for transfer credits, if applicable. All schools have policies concerning credit transfer. See NCU’s Transfer of Credit Policy. You will not know how many of your previously earned credits will transfer until your transcripts have been evaluated, but you can make an educated guess by comparing similar course descriptions and subject matter. 
  5. Take additional costs or fees into consideration.  You would be surprised the amount of fees that some schools charge: application fees, registration fees, lab fees, technology fees— the list goes on and on. These additional fees can quickly increase your cost of attendance. If the additional costs and fees are not included in the cost of tuition, you will need to ask for a comprehensive list of fees you will have to pay and factor that in to the cost of your program.
  6. Calculate the cost of books and supplies.  Does the school require that you purchase books from their bookstore or do you have the freedom to shop around for your own books? Books can be very expensive, so you need to know what options you have for purchasing them. 

“Northcentral University is one of the best institutions. I have friends who go to other colleges. Northcentral is ranked high because of the rigor that the program entails, and also 100% online is great. The cost is – I would say competitive. It's reasonable to attend Northcentral University”
—Alexander Nworji, PhD in Business Administration, Management Information Systems

Save Money on Textbooks

The Course Materials Fee (CMF) is a benefit to you since you will have all your materials at the start of each course. Gathering your course textbooks and resource materials will not be your responsibility. NCU will take care of it for you. Students who receive Title IV funding do not have to wait for stipends to purchase textbooks and all students are better prepared for each class from the start.

Preferred Tuition Rates For Students in the Armed Forces

Northcentral University is uniquely suited to serve the diverse education needs of the men and women who serve in the military, as well as military veterans and reserves. Wherever you are in your military service, we can help you earn an advanced degree online at a competitive, preferred tuition rate. Visit our Military Tuition page for more information.

If you have questions about tuition or financing your education, please do not hesitate to contact us. Call 1-866-776-0331 to learn more. 

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