Northwest Missouri State University began classes in 1906 as the Fifth District Normal School by the Missouri Legislature on land that was formerly a Methodist seminary. In 1949, the Board of Regents renamed the college to match its growing mission after the V-12 Navy College Training Program of World War II. Known for wining four Missouri Quality Awards from 1997-2008, NMSU now holds university status as a public, co-educational teaching institution endowed for $25.5 million. NMSU’s 370-acre rural campus stands in Maryville just 25 minutes from the Iowa border. Led by President John Jasinski, Northwest Missouri State educates 5,542 undergrad and 943 post-grad Bearcats either on-site or online.

According to the U.S. News, Northwest Missouri State University is the 94th best regional college and 24th top public school in the Midwest with 69 percent retention. Washington Monthly ranked NMSU as the 119th best Midwestern bang for the buck. The publication also crowned Northwest Missouri State the 293rd top master’s-level university for contribution to the public good. On Niche, NMSU was deemed America’s 83rd “Best College Campus” and 125th “Top Public University” with B+ value. The Economist placed NMSU 266th nationally based on value-added education and salary potential. PayScale shows Northwest Missouri State University has a median 20-year net ROI of $163,000.

Northwest Missouri State University Accreditation Details

Reevaluated in July 2012, Northwest Missouri State University holds the maximum 10-year regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). Therefore, all NMSU bachelor’s, master’s, and specialist degrees have Federal Title IV eligibility under the U.S. Department of Education. Programs have also received discipline-specific accreditations from the following:

• Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

• National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

• National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

• Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)

Northwest Missouri State University Application Requirements

Classified as “selective,” Northwest Missouri State University had a Fall 2015 acceptance rate of 75 percent. Freshmen wanting to become Bearcats must have finished a 24-unit college-prep curriculum for a high school diploma. Passing the GED or HiSET equivalent is also acceptable. Based on their class rank, test scores, and GPA, Northwest applicants need an Admission Index score above 100. At minimum, first-years need a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in grades 9-12 and SAT score of 980. Transfers interested in online B.S. degrees must have completed an associate degree or 60+ credits graded “C” or better at accredited schools.

Online graduate admission will require verifying the completion of an accredited bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA above 2.75. Fulfilling curriculum prerequisites with a minimum “C” grade is essential. For example, the M.S. in Geographic Information Science requires undergrad study in biology, physics, and geography. Master’s programs generally seek a verbal plus quantitative GRE score surpassing 286. The Online MBA uses the GMAT exam for a minimum score of 440. All M.S.Ed. programs expect valid, state-issued teaching certification with EdTPA passage. Online graduates usually need at least three years of full-time, industry work experience too.

Undergrads applying to Northwest Missouri State University have rolling admission until July 1st for Fall, November 15th for Spring, and April 1st for Summer. The Graduate School establishes two annual deadlines of July 17th and November 13th. Create a CatPaws username and pin to complete the online application with the following attachments:

• Application fee of $50 in U.S. currency

• Academic transcripts for every institution

• Official test scores, i.e. SAT, ACT, or GRE

• Two references of students’ abilities

• Typed, two-page essay outlining career goals

• Resume or curriculum vitae of experience

Tuition and Financial Aid

Whether they’re studying on-campus or online, undergrads from Missouri are charged $319 per credit or $8,933 each full-time year. Bachelor’s students residing out-of-state will pay $537 per credit or $15,059 annually. Missouri graduates are billed $389 per credit or $7,003 yearly for full-time enrollment. Master’s candidates with non-Missouri residency pay $641 per credit or $11,555 each full-time year. Online courses come with an additional $40 Web-based technology fee per credit. Yet distance learners forgo the annual room and board cost of $9,770.

The U.S. News reports that 67 percent of full-time NMSU Bearcats receive financial aid for an average amount of $6,018. Students save nearly $7,200 over four years with textbook and laptop rentals. Online scholars could receive institutional awards like the Northwest A+ Scholarship, Green and White Advantage Scholarship, Multicultural Scholarship, Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship, and International Graduate Achievement Scholarship. Undergrads may obtain the Pell Grant or FSEOG Grant and aspiring educators claim the TEACH Grant. Show-Me State residents may earn the Access Missouri Grant or Bright Flight Scholarship. Online veterans resources, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill, are available. Students also cautiously borrow Perkins, Stafford, and Grad PLUS loans.

Online Degrees Available

Connecting non-traditional Bearcats since 1999, Northwest Missouri State University Online meets the Quality Matters (QM) Certification standards to deliver two bachelor’s, eight master’s, and two certificates online. Distance learners log into asynchronous, 15-week online courses on Blackboard and Coursera to study flexibly 24/7. Courses begin every Fall, Spring, and Summer with an average student-faculty ratio of 21:1 for personal engagement. Online students receive digital access to Owens Library, technical support, and disability services if needed. Two sample online programs are:

B.S. in Business Management

Accredited by the ACBSP, Northwest Missouri’s B.S. in Business Management is a 2+2 online program that’s offered to A.A.S. degree holders from community colleges in Missouri, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. The 61-credit, upper-division major teaches online undergrads the organizational skills to lead successful corporations. Expect courses like business law, negotiations, data-driven decision making, and human resources. Ambitious students could add an international experience in China or Austria and join the New Venture Pitch Competition.

M.S.Ed. in Educational Leadership

Spanning just 12 months full-time, the M.S.Ed. in Educational Leadership is a cohort-based, online program for certified teachers to advance their skills and disposition for fostering effective learning environments as school administrators. Accredited by the NCATE, the 30-credit curriculum blends 10 online courses like multicultural education, data literacy, school law, instructional technology, and visionary school reform. For capstone, the master’s involves seven weeks of K-12 administrative practicum with principals in teachers’ own school districts.

Other online offerings at Northwest Missouri State University include the B.S. in Marketing, MBA in Human Resources, M.S. in Geographic Information Science, M.S.Ed. in Special Education, and Instructional Technology Graduate Certificate.