Liberty University sits on 7,000 acres in Lynchburg, Virginia. This university in central Virginia, started in 1971, holds the distinction of representing one of the largest Christian universities in the country. LU is also one of the largest private, non-profit schools in the country. There’s a lot Liberty University offers, and it might work as the right fit for new students and those seeking career advancement alike. One of the major draws of LU is its robust online offerings. In fact, many, if not a majority, of LU’s students attend through Liberty University Online (LUO), now one of the largest online colleges in the world.
Is Liberty University Online a Good School to Consider?
Liberty University Online offers undergraduate, graduate, and even doctorate programs. That alone makes LUO an excellent school to consider. The general benefits of online degrees also apply.
Generally, online courses cost less to attend, and come with a lot fewer auxiliary costs. For example, students won’t need to pay for the things that come with a need to travel to a campus, maintain and park a vehicle, and various other costs associated with needing to attend classes in another location.
Online courses also offer a lot more flexibility. Many online courses will allow students to build schedules that aren’t as strict as traditional university schedules. This can work nicely for those who must work, maintain a home, or take care of other responsibilities while they earn their degree.
Taking online learning courses also comes with some personal benefits, such as an increase in self-directed motivation, time management skills, and learning new technology necessary to attend traditional classes.
Is Liberty University Accredited? What Does Accredited Mean?
Yes, Liberty University is an accredited university. Accreditation means a university or a program within the university has the approval of independent institutions. This means the university holds to specific bare minimum standards and maintains those standards to maintain its accredited status.
Accreditation is often a minimum requirement for those looking for a university or educational program because it shows that, at the very least, the school or program will adhere to industry standards and offer an education that meets the requirements of professionals, businesses, and others in any field.
LU has regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). This means the nationally recognized accrediting body sanctioned by the US Department of Education in the southern region of the country has given the school its seal of approval. Regional accreditation also helps if a student wants to transfer credits to another regionally accredited school.
In addition, programmatic accreditation exists to accredit specific programs within a university. It ensures that graduates of the accredited programs or courses will earn a degree that’s recognized and readily accepted by professional institutions within that industry. LU has several program-specific accreditations.
It’s important to note that accreditation status for a degree program within a university doesn’t always equate to accreditation for the online version of that program. Liberty University Online has accreditation for many of its online programs.
Is Liberty University Legit and Worth It?
Liberty University is a legit and recognized school of higher education. In fact, the maintained accredited status of the school and its programs point to the fact that a degree earned at LU is a degree that businesses and industries will recognize. What makes LU worth considering will differ from person to person.
As with any university, online or offline, the criteria for selection will come down to personal goals. It’s possible to look through LU’s catalog of classes and see what they offer. It’s equally possible to look around to see what real people say about the university and look at what the alma mater of the school has been up to.
How Does Liberty University Rank? What Do Students Say About Liberty University?
Since LU has been around for so long, there are several ways to gauge how it ranks with other schools from year to year. The longevity of the school also means there are many people who have reviewed the school or talked about their experience with the school.
Obviously, prospective students should be aware that Liberty is an explicitly conservative, Christian, evangelical institution, and should make their decisions accordingly. While not all Liberty students are Christian – particularly online graduate students, who often choose Liberty for the affordability and convenience – Liberty is still based in conservative values. Online students who are atheists, belong to another religion, identify as LGBTQ, or otherwise do not jibe with conservative beliefs will very likely feel uncomfortable at least some of the time.
For instance, many online classes will still have a religious component, which may be restricted to a single assignment or, depending on the instructor, be threaded throughout the course. Students are expected to come from a Christian background and to understand and use biblical references. In other aspects, such as healthcare or law, students may be expected to take a conservative stance to satisfy the requirements of the assignment.
Many non-Christians have reported in reviews that they had satisfying, if somewhat awkward, experiences as students at Liberty, so consider how that may affect your choice.
How Does Liberty University Rank?
Sites like Forbes offer more in-depth statistics concerning rankings and other aspects of the university. The Forbes list changes yearly, but as of the most recent report, LU ranks #585 in top colleges and #371 in private colleges. The Niche website offers many rankings based on differing criteria.
How Do Students Rank Liberty University?
Sites like GradReports typically show LU as a middle-ground university in rankings and reviews by students. The most recent numbers there show that around 66% of students report their degree from LU improved their career prospects, and around 59% would recommend the university to others.
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