Rockford University is one of the few schools in the nation that started as a female school before going coeducational. Established in 1847, the campus opened for classes as the Rockford Female Seminary. Beloit College, which opened in 1846 in Wisconsin, created the school as a way to give female students access to the same opportunities that male students had. In 1890, the board of trustees decided to move beyond seminary courses and offer classes in other topics. That led to the school changing its name to Rockford College and admitting its first male students. The population of male students expanded from just a handful in the 1950s to a larger amount in more recent years, which is when the school became Rockford University.
The University now offers majors in programs ranging from art and history to nursing and business. It also developed an accelerated learning program designed for adult students who wanted to earn a management studies degree. Though not nationally ranked, RU does have a strong reputation in the Midwest. Both U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review named RU one of the top schools in the Midwest. Though the University started life with an enrollment rate of less than 100 students, it now has more than 1,200 students taking undergraduate and graduate classes.
Rockford University Accreditation Details
Students entering college or graduate school may want to research whether the college has accreditation. Valid accreditation will assist them when it comes to applying for a graduate or PhD program and when looking for a job later. Rockford University has two different types of accreditation that students should know. This first is its regional or institutional accreditation, which comes from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It also obtained program accreditation for its nursing program from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Incorporated. The Illinois State Board of Education gave the university accreditation for its teaching and education programs. Other types of programs come from groups and organizations such as:
- American Chemical Society
- International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)
The IACBE granted Rockford University accreditation for all of its upper and lover level business programs, including its programs in accounting, business and management.
Rockford University Application Requirements
The general requirements for applying to RU are the same across all undergraduate fields of study. Though the University does not charge an application fee, it does ask that students complete the online application. This application consists of two different areas. The first is a short section that asks students questions about themselves, including their name, birth date, home address, social security number and family. The second section focuses on their education. It asks them about the field they want to study, where they went to high school and the activities they participated in while in school. They must also complete the FAFSA, send in an official high school transcript and submit scores from the SAT or ACT.
Those applying for graduate school must meet other requirements, which vary from program to program. Most departments require that students submit letters of recommendation from people they worked with or learned under in the past. Most departments require scores from the GRE as well, though some programs may ask for scores from another graduate level examination. Students will also need to obtain and submit an official transcript that shows they earned an undergraduate degree, the grades they received in their courses and an overall grade point average.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The total cost of undergraduate tuition at Rockford University is around $28,000 a year. All students must also put down a $100 deposit after receiving an acceptance letter to hold a spot in the new class of students and pay a $135 student activity fee. Students who take more than 18 credit hours of work each semester are responsible for paying an additional fee for each credit hour they take. A meal plan and room will add a minimum of $7,300 to their total costs. The Rockford University Graduate School charges $710 per credit hour, and most students pay $6,300 or more per semester.
Rockford University will only offer financial aid to students accepted into one of its programs. Students should complete the FAFSA and submit it when applying for college or immediately after receiving an acceptance letter. The packages the University offers vary based on the amount of help a student needs. Grant programs are available to help bring down the cost of tuition for those taking classes part time, and some scholarships are open to undergraduate students. Many students at Rockford receive a combination of aid types, including subsidized loans, government grants and unsubsidized loans.
RU is one of the only colleges in Illinois that offers a unique program designed for adult students. Its adult accelerated degree completion program allows those who never attended college or adults who never finished college earn a BSMS degree in management studies. This program is also available to adults who have a degree in another field. The program allows students to transfer up to 45 credit hours of work they completed elsewhere to RU and finish a degree in just two years. Students take classes in small groups that meet once a week for just five weeks.
Those who prefer using their hands and creating unique artwork might consider enrolling in the studio art program offered by the university. This program allows students to concentrate on graphic design, 2D art or 3D art. Studio art is also available as a minor for students who want to major in a different topic. RU has a strong teaching program as well, which includes a special education program. This program combines classroom learning with practical experience that students gain as they work with real students with special needs in the field.
Rockford also offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program that has accreditation from one of the country’s top organizations. This program allows students who currently hold a nursing license and those who completed a two year nursing program to earn a higher level degree while gaining some additional practical experience. Rockford University now offers majors and minors in more than 80 topics.