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Grand Canyon University

678 Reviews

Locations:   Phoenix (AZ) 

Annual Tuition: $17,800

57% of students said this degree improved their career prospects
49% of students said they would recommend this school to others
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Reviewed: 11/10/2010


I began attending GCU in February 2010. I am in the Accounting Bachelor program. I wish I would have never signed up with the school. I get nervous because in 8 short months I have had 3 different academic counselors and 3 different financial aid counselors. If you were to seperate the academic and financial aid counselors, I would most definitely recommend the school if you are capable of teaching yourself.

However, the inconsistencies when it comes to money makes me nervous. I noticed that tuition... Read More


Reviewed: 11/9/2010


I am at the end of my matriculation at GCU pursuing a MS in Elem Ed with certification. I have one major concern and that is the consistent changes that we as students have to adjust to from class to class and handbook to handbook. I have a friend that begin her matriculation in January 2009 and I began in May 2009 and she is not required to take all of her content test prior to studnet teaching but since I began in May 2009 it is mandatory before I can student teach. I have to successfully pass... Read More

The coursework requires a lot of reading and research on your have a facilitator but teach yourself as you progress from one class to the other. The instructors act as facilatators. There are some that are really knowledgeable in the area taught.

Trudy Marcum

Reviewed: 10/26/2010


I have been attending GCU for two years. I am about to finish up in March 2011 with a masters in elementary ed. Early on I noticed that the field placement office had no real political clout as far as getting me observations in schools. There extent of help was to tell me to go to sylvan learning center if I couldn't work my own contacts.

They re-assured me I was not suppose to worry about student teaching because that is their expertise, even though they failed me at getting observations and I did... Read More

Now I am faced with them telling me that they cannot find me a student teaching position because the Columbus Public School district has currently changed their policy working only with MCATE certified schools. (what the hec is that?) I'm at the end of a mess. I would not advise anyone going to this school for an education degree, I can't speak to the other offerings.

The materials taught are up and quality reads and the classes are typical on line classes, never as good as a face to face class.

I made the most of it by finding my own observations in various schools that I work in as a sub but if you have no contacts your up a creek. Now I am faced with a hurdle that seems insurmountable. Don't put yourself in the same position.


Reviewed: 10/15/2010


I attend GCU online (majoring in English) because I have a work schedule that varies from week to week. Much of what I have to say is already covered in the other reviews, so I'll stick to things I didn't see mentioned.

First of all, be prepared to relearn the ANGEL system with every new class you take online. I've completed four terms now, and ANGEL changes every time. The alterations seem arbitrary, often making it more difficult to find things in the name of organization (which seems to truly be... Read More

Secondly, some of the professors' grading confuses me. I've seen full credit given to answers which barely relate to the discussion question so long as the student somehow manages to mash their faith into the response. I understand that it's a Christian university, but an incorrect answer is incorrect no matter what. This isn't true of every professor, but it's happened with more than one.


All of that said, I've enjoyed a few of my classes immensely. Some professors respond to answers twice per day in great detail, making the process a genuine learning experience.


Reviewed: 9/30/2010


I started at GCU back in 2008 in the MBA program. In early 2009 I was called back to active military duty for deployment to Afghanistan. Because of this I had to make a formal withdrawal from school. It was a real nightmare to get that done. I believe I had to send about two dozen emails and talk to about a dozen people to get that done. When returned early this year, I emailed the school informing them that I had returned and would like to finish the program.

I was informed that my Tuition had increased... Read More


Reviewed: 8/25/2010


I have been at GCU’s business program for a while now and I can tell you the teachers are great. You learn a lot and have a sense of accomplishment after you finish each class. I could do without all the CLC projects however I realize that working with people as a team is a part of the business environment.

My only concerns are the lack of communication between students and counselors, how GCU leadership often makes decisions without passing that information on to the counselor, and the high turnover... Read More

Again MY experience in the Ken Blanchard School of Business is great along with the instructors and students. Lets get the administrative side of the house fixed


Reviewed: 8/21/2010


I have been attending GCU for over a year. The only reason that I am staying is that I am very close to graduation.

One disappointment stems from the lack of support from the academic and financial advisors. I have had at least 3 academic advisors (I've lost count), and they have consistently been unresponsive and difficult to work with. They do not return emails or phone calls and often, are not able to answer simple questions when the advistors are available.

Another disappointment comes from the... Read More

I read with great interest, the review from the faculty member. It seems as though the faculty can be as frustrated as the students, but it makes me wonder why the faculty member would continue "teaching" at a unversity that is overtly disrespectful to their staff.

Regardless, my experience has been that most instructors "phone it in". I not seen a great deal of subject enhancement from the instructors, either through the discussion boards or through the papers that are turned in. The good thing, though, is that I get consistent positive feedback on my work, so that is nice.

As far as the schools reputation in business, I have seen that some employers are not interested if a degree is achieved online or not, and some that care. It just depends on the employer.


Reviewed: 8/5/2010


I am in my third year at Grand Canyon University at the Master's Level. I began getting my Master's in Addictions Counseling and recently decided to also get a Master's in Professional Counseling. I work full time as an Addictions Counselor now, and wish to become a licensed therapist.

The resources are very good--especially the textbooks. Some instructors are better than others at giving feedback and sharing experiences, but overall I enjoy the classes. Be prepared to do A LOT of writing--usually... Read More

Financial aid has been fine until recently when GCU changed their system. I usually get my refund around this time, and have not, which has caused a hardship for me, because I buy my books with that money. I contacted my financial advisor, Sara, who explained that there was a delay this semester. She called me the same day after I left a message, and explained that they are having to re-enter data and to watch when the funds post to my account..then it would be up to two weeks until the check is sent. Of course this is an inconvenience, and I would have appreciated some communication or notification that this was going to occur so I could have planned for it, but nothing is perfect. I was satisfied that she called me back quickly and explained the situation.


Suffice to say, GCU is a good school. You should be computer literate, like to write and read, and basically be motivated to be a self learner, and assertive enough to ask questions when necessary.


Reviewed: 8/3/2010


This school is not for anyone that does not know how to push themselves. You have to be proficent on the computer and willing to put the time in to read the material. I have one more class to go before I start my internship.

If you are depending on your financial aid to come to you in a timely fashion, don't. The class I am in now started over a month ago and I am still waiting on my financial. I have had to endure the entire class without a book. When I asked the academic department how was I to... Read More

I am a grad student in the addiction counseling major and the accredation falls a little short on Ohio standards, but mostly because of experience hours and not the curriculum. It is a good program just make sure you have the money to buy books and not have to wait on the financial aid. The lack of communication is sometimes nerve racking, but all in all for the most part my experience was good.


Reviewed: 7/29/2010


I am in my 3rd class online... My financial aid was to me halfway through the first class, my financial advisor always checks up on me etc. I had a problem because my high school is gone and it was a christian school so GCU was the only one that would take what records i had. Compared to another az based online school the financial aid issues are nothing my bf attends there and has been in 3 classes and they still havent done anything. We are still paying his student loans and his gi bill hasnt been... Read More

I will say the instructors sometimes are not great and some of the other students frustrate me because how can i reply to posts when they dont post but all in all i have no issues with them.


Reviewed: 7/22/2010


I can not believe the issues I am reading here from others. I am currently in my 5th class with GCU working on my Masters in Addiction Counseling and all online.

All the professors I have had have taken the time to give me feedback on each and every paper I have written. They have a library you have access to online. They have tutoring if you need it. Everyone has always answered my calls or emails.

If you choose to complete a degree online of course it seems like more work, you are reading yourself,... Read More

C Wilson

Reviewed: 7/20/2010


I think many are missing some of the nuances of the private verse public institution, cost, and quality of education. Firstly, one gets in what they put in. My experience was the classes were challenging, synthesis happen in all we did as long as we had the capacity for that level of thought and thinking.

Everyone of my classmate had a general interest in the subject matter of Leadership and the servant leadership model was emphasized throughout the program.

I was able to directly leverage my knowledge... Read More

Secondly, I have applied for a public university recently for a doctoral program and it has been a nightmare, nothing like my experience with GCU. The fact being they lost my application packet. This simply cannot happen at a private university because I have the power as a consumer and student to hold those people taking care of me accountable.

Public entities do not have the same accountability be it tenure or union contract. Also most of my instructors at GCU were retired military officers, two were generals. Many had real world leadership experience in both the military and private sector. Not strictly academic only experience. Also, my graduate degree was cheaper than my undergraduate due to a discounted tutition they offer veterans, which is awesome.

Having books to read rather than online books I felt was better as I have something to hold and share with others.

Lastly the graduation was next level at the Diamond Back field in Phoenix, speakers discussing servant leadership with all the stops pulled out. My experience was excellent with the university however I do not recommend the online university for everyone. Only those that are self starters and can handle the intense workload of writing and reading.


Reviewed: 7/17/2010


I've read tons of these reviews and it can be a good and bad school. I've just graduated from GCU with Masters in Education. Was it worth it? Yes!

Yes, much of the administration was disorganized, clueless, rude, unknowing in a lot of situations, but when you finally found the right person, it was excellent. I had a great principal that helped me with requirements for our state and in giving me a heads up when she thought I should question my GCU advisor etc.

Course work, You have to be prepared to... Read More

I learned more in my onlne GCU classes than in two of the ground Universities I received my undergraduate degrees from.

Some teachers were excellent and some were non-existent. The CLC work (collaborative) was a joke, but it is in any school setting. There are always one or two people who do all the work in elementary, MS, HS, or college.

Technical problems are automatically put through to India. You just have to decide how long you can hold out and actually make a phone call to the ground school. Sometimes the techs in India were great help, it depended on why you needed tech support.

Over all, would I do it again? Yes. It was hard work, extremely time consuming, and I had several problems with computer and online stuff. Just know going in you have to be persistent and willing to do what it takes to finish. Many of these problems are the same as ground universities.


Reviewed: 7/15/2010


I just graduated. GCU is the most unorganized institution I have been part of. I am flabbergasted that this place passes as a university. I am embarrassed that my degree comes from this joke.

"Where did you get your BA?", someone will ask. "Disneyland", I will reply. "How was your experience?" "Well, I got to talk with Mickey Mouse- he was my academic counselor."

I cannot say enough... there are other online programs out there. Be patient, do your homework and stay away from this place. It's like getting... Read More


Reviewed: 7/9/2010


I'm about half way through my Masters in Organizational Leadership.

The Angel Learning System had some major issues for several weeks, but those seem to be resolved.

Some professors are great, others are barely visible. Some classes are tough, others are a cake walk. Geee this is similar to my Brick and Mortor undergrad school.

You (yes that means YOU) need to be very sure to remember the cutoff dates for cancelling classes. On the other hand you are in College. You need to take on some personal responsibility!... Read More

GCU has been a very good fit for me as a mature learner. I've gotten a lot out of my classes. The class discussion boards are usually interesting. I've been able to relate a lot of my classwork and papers to real world problems.

It ain't Harvard, but in another year I will have a Masters and will have learned a lot. Overall, I'd give it a "Thumbs Up."


Reviewed: 7/8/2010


I have very mixed feelings about my experience with Grand Canyon University. My major is Addiction Counseling (BS Degree Program). The education is online. There have been a lot of unpleasant surprises for me with GCU.

The first was all my drug and alcohol courses are subcontracted to a local community college in Phoenix called Rio Salado College. My very first two courses had a textbook glitch.

I ordered my textbooks from the University Bookstore and yet the instructor and the course were written... Read More

Make sure you check your syllabus for the proper text materials and editions since you cannot trust the bookstore.

Be advised you will be a self-taught student. The instructors are just their to grade papers. They facilitate the course but no teaching is involved. This suited me fine since I can learn what I need from a book and write papers. This is why I took an online degree anyway.

One more problem I have to share is with financial aid. Everything went fine for me until here at the last just before graduation. I am still waiting for my excess loan money to come in. In previous modules it did work fine. It is two months overdue and I am getting the runaround.

Another problem that I have to call about tomorrow morning is a grade of 'A' and credit for one of my courses last module has not appeared in the grade records as it was supposed too. I believe this happened because the instructor did not summit her grades on time and the system is not registering them.

All the courses of the curriculum are good and apply to addictions counseling except for one---Spirituallity in Healthcare. This is a course written for nursings students not addictions counselors! You will just have to plod through it.

On the plus side, I have a 4.0 and will have an accredited BS degree in Addiction Couseling soon. I live in California and I found that Grand Canyon University is listed in the Drug and Alcohol Counseling licensing programs out here. So you can get what you want but you are likely to have more than a few bumps in the road. So I leave with the following words: You decide.

Perpetual Student

Reviewed: 7/5/2010


After a year at GCU, I can say that I wish I had never started here.

Some of the reviews below are quite accurate, you basically have to teach yourself. The instructors are all but non-existent, they are only there to grade your papers.

I cannot change schools now, I am too close to graduating. But if someone were to ask me, I would advise them to find another school.

I continue to be amazed at the students here, I am taking 300 and 400 level classes, and there are still a large number of students who... Read More

GCU at the campus is probably a good school. Online, it sucks.


Reviewed: 7/2/2010


I have been attending GCU for just over a year and I have had many experenices that would push someone out of GCU. I am not all that sure if I am going to stay. The classes are shorter (for me) 7wks now, but my husband is still at 8wks. The units have went up to 4. Yes, it may have increased the price but it also makes the over all general time frame is shorter.

The classes are half and half. Some are way out there and others are right on. It's all based on what you already know. Most of the time... Read More

As for students services. They are the downfall. Last summer, my husband joined and they messed up the pell grants. The sent my husbands to an address he had not lived at for 20 years and they just never processed mine. I fought for four months over this. I never had a visior over a month.

All I can say is save every email that you send and recieved. No they don't like calling you back or email you back. I keep calling, that is why they don't like me. I finally threaten higher issues than me calling they sent the refund and that was messed up so the next three months I received a check that should have been with the pell grant. They still did not have this done in Jan.

Again I had to fight over my and my husbands accounts. It really looks like there is problems again. If it goes to leave a message I just hit number two and wait for someone else.

With it being a Christian school they really push the christian schooling. They have come up with you need to satified Global warming christian studies. That does not make sense.

I do enjoy the ease of the classes, they are not so bad but this was not my first choice of school and I am sad that so much has went on that I feel this way over a school, I have met many wonderful teachers and students.

Valerie Farrar

Reviewed: 6/26/2010


I am a first year doctoral student at GCU. From the first day of class to right now, I am glad I selected GCU. The coursework is meaningful, rigorous, and interesting. The professors demand a high standard of writing. You get what you work for.

The support service of the library, the enrollment counselor, and financial aid counselor are fantastic. My enrollment counselor continues to keep in touch. I attended my first residency in June. GCU has an actual campus. More importantly I learned information... Read More

GCU is not for everyone. The doctoral program demands time, scholarly effort, committment, and the ability to think critically and write well. Organizational skills, positive attitude, and self evaluation are a must. This is a great school. I researched seveeral other before making my choice and I haven't looked back.

mad dog

Reviewed: 6/24/2010


I just finished my degree at GCU on Sunday. It's not a great school, but it's not bad either. It's okay.

If you are considering the online school, be prepared to learn the material by yourself. Except for a few classes, the discussions were not very enlightening. This is due to the students at the time and the engagement of the professors. It is not easy to make a blanket statement on this subject, however, quite often you will be on your own. This isn't Harvard, so don't expect really engaging conversations.... Read More

There are a lot of papers. One every week in every class. I appreciated this because I like writing and I improved from it. However, it does get tiresome. Yet, because this is the main source of the grade you have to buckle down and get them done.

There are good professors who really take care of you, but there are some who apparently are just pulling a pay check from their home computer in Ohio or some where that don't seem to give a rip.

The students are okay. I only had a few that seemed like they knew much about the subjects we were studying- that is, the ability to apply the knowledge in useful conversation and writings. I had a CLC thing where we had to write a paper together. I did the majority of the work and totally re-wrote my partner's work. Whatever. You do what you have to to get it done.

To the person who says that getting a hold of people doesn't matter- wait until you deal with GCU. If you need to get something done, as with almost everything at GCU, be prepared to push and pull for yourself to get what you need. I have had 4 different people that were suppose to be my academic counselor and 3 different financial aid counselors. The phone numbers change constantly. I have had to follow up on everything. Everything. For almost two years. Everything.

To that person who said that that isn't a legitimate issue, just wait to see how annoying it becomes.

The Angel system is really bad. It is constantly broke somehow and it is not easy to navigate.

You don't get a day off. Class ends on Sunday, the next quarter starts Monday. This was really lame at first, but then I realized that my degree is going really quickly. That was awesome. It keeps you engaged and tired and it is weird that I don't have class anymore.

I just graduated and last month I received my acceptance letter. This is an indication as to the logistics issues of GCU.

So, I would recommend this school for people who don't care about doing everything alone. I for one learned a lot, but only because I was proactive. There is a lot, a lot, a lot to say about why this school sucks. But, it is recognized in the graduate school level (for how long is questionable).

Apparently, GCU sold out somehow and is less stringent on its requirements. I'm done. GCU is okay, I guess.


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