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Colorado Heights University is one of the most unusual colleges in the United States. It bills itself as giving students the opportunity to study abroad without leaving the country. The university sits on the former campus of the Loretto Heights Academy, which opened in 1886. The Sisters of Loretto formed the academy and operated it as a high school for young women for a number of years. CHU's administrative offices now use the old high school building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The high school later became a college before Teikyo Loretto Heights University took over ownership of the property. That university operated a small college that emphasized international studies and became an accredited American university in 1989. Owned by the same parent company as that former university, Colorado Heights University opened in 2009.

CHU is unique because the university offers so many programs for international students. Many of its students take classes on its campus to gain a better grasp and understanding of the English language before transferring to another school. It also offers certificate programs for those who want to teach English as a second language. Students come from countries all around the world, including countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. The majority of students speak at least two languages, and many of its professors speak multiple languages and come from other nations too.

Colorado Heights University Accreditation Details

Though CHU does not have regional accreditation, it does have national accreditation. This accreditation comes from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. The United States Department of Education generally recommends that students attend schools with regional accreditation. National accreditation typically applies to vocational schools and for-profit schools rather than non-profit public and private colleges. Though the university does have accreditation, you may have a harder time getting financial aid and finding a job when you graduate.

Colorado Heights University Application Requirements

Colorado Heights University encourages students to speak with one of its admissions representatives before beginning the application process. This representative can answer any questions you might have, talk with you about the programs available and give you more information about the classes you can take. You can also schedule a tour of the campus and even sit in on a few classes. Domestic students refer to those who live in the United States. Those students will need to complete fewer steps to apply. International students typically need help applying for and obtaining a visa to study in the United States and with securing funding for their classes.

Domestic students start with the basic online application. This application features several sections that allow you to give the university information about your high school grades, why you chose CHU and what type of degree you want to earn. You will then need to supply the university with a copy of a valid and current photo ID like a passport or a driver's license and an official transcript that shows you had a minimum grade point average of 2.0. CHU also requires a personal statement of no more than one page that lists your reasons for choosing the university and what you hope to do with your degree and a $50 application fee. The university will contact you regarding any additional information it might need.

Tuition and Financial Aid

CHU charges $275 per credit hour or $825 per each standard three credit hour course that you take. Students hoping to complete their studies in four years must take 15 credits of classes each semester, which will cost them around $4,100 a semester. The fees that CHU charges adds nearly $300 to your costs. The university estimates that full-time students will pay more than $36,000 a year. As CHU increases tuition by a small percentage each year, you may pay even more when you enroll.

As Colorado Heights University has national accreditation and not regional accreditation, you generally cannot get government loans or grants to pay for college. CHU does offer some programs of its own that help students cover all their costs. Merit-based scholarships are available for full-time students who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and complete an essay as part of the application process. This scholarship pays up to 15% of their tuition. Other scholarships award students between $300 and $1,000 a year. The university also has a hardship grant that is available to students who can show proof they have a financial hardship. The size of this grant depends on the needs of individual students. CHU students may also qualify for alternative student loans.

Degrees at CHU

Unlike traditional colleges that offer dozens of majors and degree programs, CHU focuses on just a few key topics. The main degree programs that students enroll in are its international business programs. You can earn a Bachelor of Arts in International Business in four years as a full-time student. CHU hires professors who have experience in this field and keeps class sizes low. As you take classes with students from around the world, you'll gain a unique perspective on how companies operate in foreign territories. The program teaches you how to make important decisions, evaluate the resources that are available to you and take on leadership roles. Though CHU does have an MBA program for those who have a bachelor's in business, this program does not have accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

CHU also offers an interactive English program designed for students who need help learning and understanding the language. This program is available via eight-week sessions that students can take at any point but also as a four-month or 12-month program. The longer programs require that students work with each other and with their instructors to learn everything from proper writing to using slang terms in ordinary conversations. Some of those enrolled in these programs are international students who want to attend a larger university and those who hope to work in the United States. Graduates of the longer programs spend up to 1,000 hours working in the classroom and earn a certificate at the end of the program. Colorado Heights University created these programs as a way to help students who have a minimal grasp of English and those who do not speak the language at all.

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