Founded in 1856 as a seminary, Niagara University initially only offered courses designed for future church leaders. All that changed in 1883 when it adopted its current name and added to its existing programs. Though the university now offers dozens of degree programs and hundreds of courses, it continues its affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church. Many of the students starting classes each year are Catholic. While sometimes called a commuter school, approximately half of its students live on campus in one of its five dormitories. The university also has community houses and apartment complexes that are open to students.
Niagara University is a strong liberal arts college that also offers courses on technical subjects, including computer science and engineering. All incoming students and transfer students must meet the basic requirements for graduation, which include the completion of core classes. Those core classes include health sciences, behavioral sciences, mathematics and social sciences. Students may also find that the university requires they take one of more religion classes as well. Niagara University has a strong reputation for its commitment to students due to its high completion rate among students who enter as freshmen and finish their studies.
Niagara University Accreditation Details
The United States government does not grant financial aid to students unless those students enroll in a college program with accreditation from either a national or regional organization. The U.S. Department of Education places a higher level of importance on regional accreditation over national accreditation, but most regional organizations do work under the guidance and supervision of a national agency. After receiving accreditation, colleges must agree to meet with the organization for renewal of that initial accreditation at least once every decade. This ensures that the college or university continues meeting all the requirements necessary for accreditation.
Niagara University has accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Prior to applying for accreditation, the university created a review board that determined the university met the necessary requirements. NU continues working with that board to better prepare itself for renewal phases later. The university also has some specialty accreditation from organizations in specific fields of study. Its business program has accreditation from one of the top business accrediting organizations in the country, and it also has accreditation for its education and nursing programs, including an RN to BSN program designed to help nurses earn a more advanced degree.
Niagara University Application Requirements
Niagara University has a rolling admissions policy that allows students to apply and start classes during the fall, spring or summer semester. Unlike other schools that have a long list of requirements, Niagara only asks that students have a solid education and that they complete the online application. Students with an undergraduate degree can start classes as a freshman after applying and showing that they have a high school diploma or a GED. Graduate students can apply and start classes after showing that they completed an undergraduate degree program. Niagara requires that students submit transcripts from their former high schools or colleges after completing the application.
Students can complete that application after logging in with a registered Facebook account or after they create a separate account with the site. They can choose their own user names and passwords, start the application and come back to finish it at any point in the future. Those transferring from another college will need to contact the university and submit an official transcript. Niagara will then determine which credits will transfer to the student’s degree program. International students will also need to submit the scores they received on a standardized test to show they are proficient in English.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The cost of attending Niagara University is around $14,250 per semester. Students who take more than 18 credits of classes will pay an additional fee of $950 for each credit hour they go over the maximum 18 hours. Students attending part time pay $950 for each credit hour of classes they take as well. Programs in nursing and other select topics charge by the credit hour and range from $300 to nearly $700 per credit hour. Those who live on campus are responsible for paying for their own room and board. All students must also pay laboratory, technology and other miscellaneous fees, and those who commute must pay for a parking permit, too.
Though the cost of attending Niagara is fairly affordable, some students may need some financial assistance, which they can get after completing the Free Application for Student Financial Aid. The FAFSA determines if students qualify for government grants or for federal loans. Unsubsidized student loans charge interest while the student is in school, but subsidized loans do not accrue interest until students graduate or quit school. Niagara also has some scholarships available to students who meet the necessary requirements, and those who live on campus may also qualify for work-study programs.
The student body at Niagara University is evenly split between those who live on campus and those who commute. Many students choose the university because of its diverse campus, which boasts more than 50 degree programs and dozens of activities for students. Some of the more popular programs on campus include its business program, which prepares students for earning an MBA later or going to work immediately after graduation in the business world, and its psychology program. With a ratio of 12 students to every one professor, students also find that they can form better relationships with this instructors.
The ROTC program at Niagara earned multiple awards over the years, and students can leave the university and start out in the military at a higher level than their peers. Students also enjoy taking part in and watching the 18 different sports available on campus. Known as the Niagara Purple Eagles, Niagara University has a basketball team, two hockey teams for men and women, a volleyball team and a soccer team. Students can play intramural sports as well, including rugby, street hockey and flag football, at the Kiernan Center on campus. Niagara University is also popular because of the two service organizations available on campus, which allow students to volunteer and help others in the community while working for the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, the American Heart Association and other similar nonprofit organizations.