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Prescott College is one of the most unique colleges in the nation. Founded in 1965 by the Ford Foundation, the nonprofit organization established by Henry Ford and its wife, the campus opened for classes the following year. The Ford Foundation brought together educators working on campuses across the nation. Though the college nearly closed in the 1970s due to financial issues, it bounced back and abandoned its campus in favor of a local hotel, which helped it bring down its operating costs. Named for Prescott, the city where its flagship campus now sits, the college has a small campus with buildings that it converted from their original uses.
The college divides its programs into different categories, including a residency undergrad program that requires undergrads study on its Prescott campus and a limited residency program that allows undergrads to spend less time on that campus. Its Ph.D. and doctoral programs are available in limited residency options too. The undergrad residency program requires that students spend three weeks completing an orientation session that involves some wilderness training. Prescott has an enrollment of around 1,200 students across all programs and maintains a low ratio of just seven students per professor in its on-campus classes.
Online Bachelor of Arts – Adventure Education
One of the unique degree programs available from Prescott College is its Bachelor of Arts – Adventure Education. This is one of the only degree programs in the world that focuses on adventure education. Students can take both online classes and hybrid courses. Hybrid courses require that students do some work on the Prescott campus and that they travel to Arizona.
All incoming students will first attend a three-week orientation session in Prescott. This session lets them meet other students in the program and find out more about what they’ll do online. They will also go through some wilderness and survival training, which they can use to teach their own students in the future. Though students will take 120 credits of courses, only 60 of those credits will come from the adventure education field. All remaining credits come from the liberal arts and minor classes they take.
This program specifically trains students for working in adventure education fields and fields that let them train students on surviving in different situations. Some of the graduates of this program work in state and national parks in the United States and in similar organizations around the world. The program also allows students to do some work in their own communities. They can work for parks departments and other organizations for course credit.
Prescott offers a Prior Learning Assessment that allows students to earn credit for the work they did in the field in the past too. All students can complete the assessment, which lets the college determine the skills and knowledge they already have. Depending on the credits granted to them, Prescott College can take fewer adventure education classes and graduate faster.
Prescott College Accreditation Details
The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS) granted Prescott College regional accreditation, which means that students can complete the FAFSA and receive any of the aid granted to them by the government. Regional accreditation also gives students the right to transfer credits into a Prescott program that they earned from another college or university. The NCACS is a division of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which has branches operating in all major regions of the United States.
Prescott College Application Requirements
Students applying to Prescott College must use different applications based on whether they want to apply to a residency program or a limited residency program. Some programs have specific applications too, including its online social justice program and its Master of Arts programs. The college does not have an application deadline. It uses a rolling admissions policy that allows students to apply prior to the beginning of any semester and start in that semester.
All online and limited residency students must write an essay of no more than three pages in length. This essay must explain any goals that the student has for college, whether the student plans on declaring a minor or studying other subjects and if the student has any connection to the subjects they want to study. Students should also talk about how they think they will thrive in a limited residency or online program and what strengths they have that will help them work on their own.
Those applying to Prescott College will fill out an online application and submit that application. The college does not charge an application fee. They will then send their official transcripts to the college. Prescott will accept a GED certificate in lieu of a transcript. Prescott College requires that students show they are computer literate prior to enrolling in any program.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Prescott College charges a tuition rate based on the number of credits that any student takes. This rate, which includes all fees, comes out to $578 per credit hour for online and limited residency programs. Students enrolled in on-campus programs and both graduate and doctoral students pay more for their classes. The college recommends that students factor in transportation costs too. Both online and limited residency programs will require that students spend some time on the campus. Students are responsible for paying their transportation costs. They must also pay for any supplies they might need and all their textbooks.
The college recommends that students file the FAFSA as soon as possible after it goes live on October 1. Undergrads can qualify for different types of financial aid, including grants and loans. They will need to file the FAFSA each year to keep their aid. Prescott will disperse financial aid at the beginning of each semester.
Students applying to Prescott College can also apply for one or more of the scholarships that the college offers. The Arizona Opportunity Scholarship reduces the cost that students pay to bring down their costs to the same amount they would pay to attend any public college or university in Arizona, while the Alumni Award grants incoming freshmen a $5,000 scholarship. Other scholarships available from the college cover the total cost of tuition. The college offers scholarships at all levels, including the doctoral and graduate levels. Prescott College also provides scholarships for students who transfer from another college.