In 1907, a small college called the School of the Ozarks opened and later during the 1950s, it acquired over 1,400 acres to expand the facility. The Wall Street Journal labeled the School of the Ozarks as “Hard Work U” during the 1970’s because there was no tuition, just a work job program. Since 1990, when it was renamed the College of the Ozarks, this school has gone on to offer one of the most innovative tuition programs for local college bound students. The College of the Ozarks’ athletic teams is becoming well-known because in 2006, the Bobcats basketball team won NAIA Division national championship.
College of the Ozarks Accreditation Details
The College of the Ozarks is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (NCACSS). The education programs are accredited by Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The nursing program is approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
College of the Ozarks Application Requirements
First-time freshman and home educated students must submit an application that includes high school transcripts, their GPA of at least 3.0, their ACT scores of at least 20 and SAT scores of at least 950. Two reference letters and proof of applying for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program are required. Candidates must pass an interview with an admissions staff member. The College welcomes applications from transfer students who have a 3.0, but those who have completed a two-year degree may be ineligible for admission. Students who already possess a four-year degree are not eligible for admission.
All incoming students are expected to be in the top half of their graduating high school class. The admissions department considers the types and difficulty levels of high school classes taken. In order to be considered for admission, students must have proof that they lack the financial resources needed to pay for private education from a Christian college. Approximately 90 percent of incoming students have demonstrated financial need. The admissions department focuses on providing educational opportunities to students who are from the Ozarks region. Although all students are accepted, preference is given to students from certain counties within the states of Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Kansas.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Students at the College of the Ozarks do not pay tuition. That is, the tuition is covered by their work program, federal and state grants and the College’s scholarship. Every student at the College of the Ozarks is required to participate in the on-campus work program for 15 hours every week and for 40 hours during certain weeks. This is made possible through generous local donors who continually provide financial contributions. In essence, government financial aid and money earned from working on campus is first applied to the student’s tuition debt. Any remaining amount is covered by the scholarships that each student receives, which range from approximately $6,000 to $14,000 per student every year.
Full-time student who take more than 12 credit hours, regardless of whether they are residents or commuters, will work 15 hours each week at one of the 80 campus work stations. The work program provides flexibility, so students can choose to work in the computer, museum, medical and child development centers. Many students also take part-time jobs in the nearby cities of Hollister and Branson, Missouri. Employers appreciate how students have plenty of on-the-job experience, so finding a job is easy.
The College of the Ozarks’ business department offers popular programs in accounting and business administration. The goal is to provide vocational training in the target field while also focusing on Christian and patriotic values. Business majors are encouraged to apply for the College’s two business-based clubs, Phi Beta Lambda and the Business Undergraduate Society, so they can better improve their business skills and acumen. The business administration offers three specializations: marketing, management and general business.
The marketing degree exposes students to things like pricing wars, distribution issues, target markets and environmental factors. Courses include advertising, personal selling and retail management. The management specialization prepares graduates for the leadership challenges and supervisory dilemmas that business managers often encounter at all levels of a company. These students will take classes in communications as well as HR, strategic and global management. Finally, the general business specialization allows more flexibility, so students can choose among economics, administration and entrepreneurship classes.
As a Christian school, the College of the Ozarks also offers a degree in biblical and theological studies (BTS). This degree prepares students to service in local churches, urban ministries and foreign countries. Either way, students are prepared through faith-filled curricula that are deeply rooted in biblical teachings. The biblical and theological studies degrees are available in three concentrations: biblical studies, Christian ministry or Christian apologetics.
The class sizes are usually small and thus allow students to interact more with each other and their professors. There aren’t many Greek sororities and fraternities, but the dorms provide plenty of friendship and connections. While the campus housing for incoming freshman is sometimes considered Spartan, the housing gets better for senior students. Students feel extremely safe on the large campus because there are security gates at entrances and individual security departments.
The student involvement programs are very popular and offer weekly events throughout each semester. There are copious amounts of field trips to learn more professional skills and mission trips to give back to the local communities. The College’s sports teams are strongly supported by the student body and the school even provides buses for students to attend away games. Overall, it’s a great school for students who aren’t opposed to rules and afraid of hard work.
In the end, graduates of College of the Ozarks will start out their careers debt free with an excellent education and portfolio of work experience.