Liberty University is one of the largest private religious affiliated colleges in the country. Famous televangelist Jerry Falwell was behind the founding of the school. While working for the Thomas Road Baptist Church, he determined that the area needed a school of higher learning that would allow students to learn more about religion and develop a solid religious foundation at the same time that they attended college. The school, then called Lynchburg Baptist College, opened in 1971. Five years later, the school changed its name to Liberty Baptist College. Though it operated under this name for nearly a decade, it finally became Liberty University when it began offering bachelor degree programs.
Founders of the university developed the LU School of Lifelong Learning, which provided adult learners with the ability to go back to school. It also established an External Degree Program. Both these programs allowed students to take classes and work on their degrees through courses that they took at home. These programs later merged and became Liberty University Online, which gives students the freedom to take classes from anywhere in the country without living on campus. LU received several national rankings in the past. U.S. News and World Report ranked Liberty as one of the best colleges in the American South, one of the best online bachelor's degree programs and as having some of the best graduate programs in nursing, criminal justice and business.
Liberty University Accreditation Details
When looking at the accreditation of Liberty University, it's important that you understand the difference between institutional accreditation and program accreditation. Institutional accreditation is a type of general accreditation that guarantees the university can award diplomas, degrees and certificates to students who complete all necessary requirements. This type of accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC). Program accreditation, which some call specialty accreditation, is available for select programs available through the university. Some of the organizations that granted Liberty University program accreditation include:
- Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
- American Bar Association
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
- Commission on Sports Management Education
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
- State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
- Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
Liberty University Application Requirements
Liberty University uses an online system that allows students to submit a completed application and receive an answer online without spending weeks waiting by the mailbox. The minimum requirements for acceptance include a score of 800 on the critical reading and math portions of the SAT or a composite score of 17 on the ACT and a grade point average of 2.0 on a traditional 4.0 scale. Those who want an academic scholarship must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a score of 20 on the ACT or a 950 on the SAT. Liberty also requires that students submit a transcript that shows they took four units of English, two units of a foreign language, math, life sciences and health sciences and four electives while in high school.
The online application consists of the application itself, which asks basic questions about your background, classes you took and any extracurricular activities you did. You will then need to complete a short essay based around the prompt or question given, which the university changes from year to year. You must then send your ACT or SAT score and arrange for your high school to mail in an official transcript. If the university accepts you, you will also need to pay a small deposit that holds your spot for the coming year.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition for students who live on campus is around $21,000 a year. Those who take graduate classes pay between $540 and $570 per credit of classes they take. Liberty University also charges set rates for students enrolled in select programs, including the graduate programs available through its School of Divinity. These programs come with tuition rates of around $2,500 a semester. Liberty University charges a tuition rate equivalent to the number of classes that students take for online students. Undergraduate rates start at $375 per credit hour and graduate courses start at $540 per credit hour. Part time students pay more for their courses than full time students do.
Liberty University requires that all students applying for financial aid complete four key steps. Completing and submitting the FAFSA is your first step. You will then need to explore the other financial assistance available for the university and apply for a Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant. The university also recommends that you look at the private and alternative loans that are available to both students and their parents. After you complete all the required steps, you can log into the financial aid website of the school and submit the necessary documents. Liberty University will then notify you regarding all the aid you will receive for the coming year.
Master of Science in Accounting
While you may find a job with an undergraduate business degree, you'll have even more career opportunities available you when you complete an advanced accounting degree. You will need to take some upper level courses before you qualify to sit for your state's Certified Public Accountant exam, which is required of all professional CPAs. The Master of Science in Accounting program at Liberty University provides you with the fundamental knowledge you need to take that examination and with the skills that will make you a better accountant. A national database ranked this program as one of the top three accounting graduate programs in the entire country.
Though the program consists of 30 credit hours, you can transfer up to six credit hours of upper level courses you took at another accredited university. If you have some practical experience, you can even speak with the university about obtaining some course credit for an internship you did or any jobs you held in the past. This is an online program that lets you take classes part time or full time and complete all your research, writing and other work when you can make time in your own schedule. Liberty University's MS in Accounting program prepares students for working in auditing, starting a business, performing tax audits and managing the finances of a large or small company.