This is a legitimate degree program that holds a high value in the real world (unlike Univeristy of Phoenix and such). Is it a cake walk? No.
A quick word about financial aid: Had I known how easy it was to get financial aid for a graduate program, I would have done this years ago. The only requirements are that you must not have any drug felonies, not be in default of any student loans and you can't make more than $250K per year. As long as you meet these requirements, you qualify for up to $20,500... Read More
As I hold a full time job in addition to consulting work on the side, I needed a program that was flexible. Courses are 8 weeks long, begin on a Monday and end on a Sunday. There is only 1 break during the year. It consists of a few weeks between when the second half of the fall term ends (typically around the middle of December) and when the first half of the spring term begins (typically the Monday following New Year's Day). I'm not sure how this will work in a few years when the 1st falls on a Sunday.
Books are not included in tuition, but you may purchase or rent them from any vendor you choose. Class requirements can vary greatly by professor. Most professors will post the following week's required reading, discussion topics and individual or group assignments by the Saturday prior to the Monday beginning the new week as they are aware that the weekend is when people have the most time to do school work. So while the schedule is flexible in the sense that there are no strict required times to be online, there are deadlines.
Typically a discussion post based on the weekly required reading is due by Wednesday night. You are always required to respond to at least one other person's post (some professors want up to 3 comments) and respond to any comments or questions to your original post by Sunday night. If there are other assignments due for the week, they are usually due by Sunday night.
Term papers are typically due by the end of week 7 and exam schedules are clearly laid out in the syllabus (if there are any at all). The final for my last class was canceled by the professor because everyone was doing so well in the class. Term papers are typically required to be 8 - 10 pages long. For exams, you are given two hours (more than enough time if you've even paid the slightest attention) and are only available for a few days. Once you begin, you cannot stop and go back, so making sure you won't be interrupted is essential. You are given your results for multiple choice exams immediately and can see which questions you got wrong.
The only complaint that I have is that different professors have different requirements and it isn't always clear at the very beginning of the term. While some want short, concise answers, others want you to elaborate. I had one professor who didn't submit week 1 grades and comments until we were in week 3, so my week 2 work was similar to week 1 and by his terms, although I had correct answers, my answers were lacking in details.
Overall, I think this a great school. The advisors are always there to help with any questions you could possibly have.