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The history of Laurel University begins in 1903 with the founding of Greensboro Bible and Training School, a predecessor to the university that established the principles on which the current school operates. It wasn't until 2011 that the school changed its name to Laurel University, but the college has existed in some form for more than 100 years. According to Laurel's website, the university seeks to be an "independent, evangelical, interdenominational school" in which the "Bible is central to the curriculum and God's will preeminent."
Today, Laurel University offers ministry and management degree programs to about 200 students via traditional on-campus courses, an online format or a hybrid of the two. As an evangelical college, Laurel has created its curriculum around twelve tenets of the Christian faith, which are outlined in detail on the university's website. The school does not specify whether admitted students need to be practicing Christians, but since Laurel offers Christian-based degree programs, it should be noted that those who study here will receive an education centered on Christian teachings.
The college boasts several advantages to students. In terms of tuition, Laurel costs less to attend than any other private liberal arts school in the state of North Carolina. In addition, students can enroll in flexible, accredited programs in subjects such as family ministry, counseling, business administration and worship arts. Students also benefit from a faculty-to-student ratio of 10:1. Laurel University strives to promote intellectual development, professional competency and spiritual maturation.
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Laurel University Accreditation Details
Institutional accreditation has been awarded to Laurel University by the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education, an association that has been recognized by both the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, the university's program in Christian elementary education is accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International. Students who earn an associate or bachelor's degree from the School of Ministry should note that these programs have been exempted from the licensure requirements established by the University Of North Carolina Office Of General Administration.
Laurel University Application Requirements
The application requirements for Laurel University vary based on the level of degree, but the process is the same. Completing an online application is the simplest way to do it. The university waives the application fee for online applicants. Students can also mail in a physical application along with a fee of $25.
Once an applicant fills out the online application or mails in a hard copy, they need to request that official transcripts be sent to the university along with other necessary documentation. From there, they can request a campus visit and secure their registration spot by submitting the appropriate forms as found on the school's admissions page. Undergraduate applicants must meet the following admission requirements:
- A high school diploma or its equivalent
- A minimum score of 860 on the SAT or an 18 on the ACT
- A minimum GPA of 2.5 from the student's previous institution
- A certificate of immunization from a licensed physician
pWith few exceptions, all students at Laurel University must be immunized, and they have to submit proof during the application process that they have updated immunization records. Excepted students are those who are only taking off-campus or online classes, those enrolled in night or weekend classes only, and those living off campus with a course load of fewer than four credit hours.
Graduate students need to submit additional documentation when they apply for a program at Laurel University, but the process is the same for all students. In addition, graduate applicants must prove to the school that they have "potential quantitative and qualitative leadership skills, as well as evidence of self-discipline, a reputable character, and a strong motivation to learn," according to the admissions website. An autobiographical essay, two letters of recommendation and a professional resume must also accompany a graduate candidate's application for admission.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition rates vary based on academic program. Students can pay anywhere between $290 and $340 per credit hour. For example, students who are enrolled in an online program will pay $320 per credit while traditional, on-campus students will pay $410 per credit. All master's degree programs cost $410 per credit. There are other fees assessed based on individual programs, and students should check out the university's tuition page for a detailed breakdown.
According to Laurel University's financial aid webpage, 98 percent of the student body benefits from some form of aid while 60 percent receive federal student aid. This means that those who study here will have access to an affordable education through loans, scholarships, grants and other assistance opportunities. Laurel offers several institutional scholarships, including the following:
- Academic Awards (Trustee, Presidential and Dean)
- Homeschool Scholarships (Gold and Silver)
- Women's Leadership Institute
- Athletic Awards
- Choral/Music Awards
To qualify for scholarships in general, students need to be fully accepted to the school, enrolled in at least 12 credit hours, making good academic progress, and U.S. citizens or resident aliens. In addition to the traditional venues such as grants and loans, the university allows some students to earn money for personal expenses by completing work-study assignments throughout the year. Eligibility for these programs depends on need. Students should fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA to determine their eligibility for work-study programs and other types of aid.
Students who want to apply for financial aid will need to go through the university's Virtual Financial Aid Office and complete an online interview. Instructions can be found on the school's website.
Online Degree(s) Available
Laurel University offers many of its programs online, including the Bachelor of Arts in Ministry with a concentration in counseling. Developed and administered by the university's John Wesley College of Divinity, the B.A. in ministry is designed to meet four objectives:
- To use the truths learned via human sciences
- To instill ministry skills in specific academic areas
- To apply biblical principles to contemporary social and ethical issues
- To help students develop a Christian ministry practice based on biblical, historical and theological studies
The stated purpose of the counseling concentration of the Bachelor of Arts in Ministry is to prepare students "to minister hope, healing, and encouragement in Jesus' name" in their counseling practices. The program focuses on courses that will enable students to work in a variety of faith-based settings, including local churches and human service organizations. Graduates of the program will be able to conduct individual, small group and family counseling sessions, and those who want to earn their master's degree will be prepared to enter a graduate-level program.
Students who are enrolled in the counseling program at Laurel University will take five concentration-specific courses: abnormal psychology, counseling methods, counseling theology, cross cultural counseling, and principles of Christian counseling.