Aurora University is a large institution of higher learning located in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1893 as a seminary, the college originally had an affiliation with the Advent Christian College and provided future religious leaders with the skills necessary for assisting parishioners across the Midwest. Just a few years after its establishment, the founders decided to shift its focus from a seminary school to a liberal arts college. Local citizens came together to raise funds to build a new campus and construct new buildings for that campus, which moved to Aurora. After severing ties with the Church in the 1970s, the university chose the name Aurora University to reflect its commitment to the community at large.
The university made a number of other changes in the coming years. It formed a partnership with George Williams University, which allowed students to take classes on either campus and transfer to the other campus later. The two schools later merged to become one large university. Aurora University also established a distance learning program for students who could not live on campus or commute to campus. Its distance learning program later became its online learning program, which consists of more than 10 bachelor and master degree programs today. Between online students and traditional students, Aurora University now boasts a total enrollment of around 5,000 students.
Aurora University Accreditation Details
The Higher Learning Commission granted accreditation to Aurora University and frequently checks back with the university to ensure it deserves its accreditation. Many students are unsure of what this term means but know that they need to look for schools and programs with accreditation. The HLC and similar organizations preform frequent inspections on campuses as a way to determine how much those schools help students. Schools that receive accreditation must show that the majority of students graduate from the school and that most students gain employment after graduating. In addition to the HLC, there are other regional and national organizations that grant accreditation.
Aurora University also has accreditation from other specialized organizations for some of its select online and campus programs. Its RN to BSN program, which helps nurses earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, has accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education awarded accreditation to all of its online and campus teaching programs. Students can contact those organizations directly to find out when the university’s accreditation will come up for renewal and to find out if the organizations identified any potential problems during a previous renewal inspection.
Aurora University Application Requirements
Aurora University gives potential students the chance to learn more about the campus and its online classes. All students have the chance to meet with an admissions representative over the phone, by email or in person. The representative can answer any questions they have, explain the application process and offer any other help as needed.
Students applying for admission right out of high school must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 and an ACT test score of 19 or higher or an SAT score of 910 or higher. Those who submit an SAT score will also need to show that they scored 410 or higher on the English section of that test. Transfer students may not need to take one of the standardized tests, but they will need to show that they received a minimum GPA of 2.5 at an accredited college or university.
As the university has a rolling admissions policy, students can complete an application online and begin classes the following semester after receiving an acceptance letter. Though Aurora does not charge an application fee, it does require that all students fill out an online application, submit transcripts from their schools, submit standardized test scores and fill out the Free Application for Student Financial Aid.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The first step towards getting financial aid at Aurora University is the completion of the Free Application for Student Financial Aid, also known as the FAFSA. This free form is available online from the federal government. Students who are dependents of their parents or guardians will need to submit tax information regarding those adults. The only students who can complete the form using their own information are those who are emancipated, in the military, married or meet other requirements. Aurora University offers a number of types of financial aid for online students. Students can qualify for federal grants or take out loans. There are also private loans available for students and loans designed specifically for their parents.
Many students will find that they need help paying for their tuition. Aurora University charges a set rate of around $11,00 per semester for students who take a minimum of 12 semester hours up to a maximum of 17 semester hours each semester, which the university considers full time. Those taking fewer than 12 semester hours of classes each semester are part time students who pay more than $600 per semester hour. Online students must also pay a technology fee each semester that covers their usage of the online system and any necessary software.
Online Degrees Available
Aurora University offers six different online bachelor degree programs and seven graduate degree programs. It also has a few certificate programs available for those who want to take classes on a specific topic without earning a degree. Online bachelor programs include:
- Business Administration
- Criminal Justice
- Social Work
- General Studies
The general studies program is a program designed for students who prefer graduating with experience in a wide range of topics rather than one specific field. Students take courses on art, humanities, history, sociology, psychology, math and life/health sciences. The criminal justice path prepares students for working in government agencies, local police departments or for going on to law school.
Aurora University keeps its costs down and allows students to take classes on their own time. Many students work in jobs that relate to their chosen careers at the same time that they earn degrees through the university. Students also have the option of selecting a minor in a field like social work or business and develop a wider base of the skills they will need in the future. Aurora University is one of the only schools in the country that offers a minor program for online students.