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Alumni cave (students beware). I started my Capella journey with the intent of earning a doctorate (PhD) in Instructional Design in order to conduct research and teach at the college/ university level upon retirement.

The nature of my profession requires considerable travel so an online program was the only possible educational option. Most often, hotel internet connections has been the primary access to the Capella website. Capella is a for profit university (emphasis for profit) that advertises abundant scholarships and grant funds; however, after applying for multiple scholarships and grants, I never received a single scholarship or grant – the only available finance option was student loans. Multiple program requirement changes, faculty and department turnover, and inconsistent grading policies helped cause delays in completing courses.

There were instances where hotel internet was not available due to construction, tornadoes, floods, or technical issues, which caused me to miss some assignment deadlines. Some faculty was very understanding while others were very punitive -severely reducing grades to include failures requiring retaking several courses. The Scientific Merit Review (SMR) and Institutional Review Board (IRB) process alone took twenty (20) months for approval. Finally, with all the coursework completed, the comprehensive examinations passed, and starting dissertation research, the university gave me a unrealistic timeline to complete the dissertation otherwise I would face administrative withdrawal from the university for being a maximum time learner.

In addition to working full-time, I also care for an elderly parent. The Capella dissertation process of sixteen (16) “milestones” is quite cumbersome and extremely time consuming to complete taking over two years. The dissertation was completed and submitted (to the minute) at the school-imposed deadline. Both the dissertation mentor and dissertation committee approved the dissertation; however, Capella rejected the dissertation because (with no announcement of any kind), Capella had changed the dissertation template and format saying that my dissertation was not in the correct format and because of this, I did not meet the conditions of an extension and was therefore administratively withdrawn from both my degree program and the university with no appeal.

The argument that the dissertation was already in a university-approved format and the last minute adding more requirements was rejected. This process of “moving the finish line” to justify expulsion is completely unfair and highly unethical!!! Speaking of unethical, my tuition costs exceeded $225,000 (quarter of a million dollars); having exceeded the lifetime maximum federal student loan cap I was left with paying for school out of my pocket (more than $ 4,000 per quarter); further, my student loan debt exceeds $200,000. I attended Capella University to further my education in order to give back to the next generation and make a significant contribution; however, as result of my Capella experience (1).

I have no PhD degree (2). Spent a quarter of a million dollars in tuition (3). Owe more than $200,000 in student loans with a repayment schedule of $2,274.49 per month (4).

Will be in debt for the rest of my life. The most ironic thing was receiving notification that my graduation application had been approved and congratulations on my recent graduation and asking was I planning to attend commencement?

Review about: Capella University Program.

Reason of review: Problems with payment.

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