President Message

A School Unlike Other Schools

As a competency-based, student-focused, online, nonprofit university, we do things a bit differently at UNC. From the bottom up, we're designed with students in mind—particularly, the busy, working, adult student who wants to earn a bachelor's or master's degree but for whom a traditional university education simply won't do.


We offer more than 258 Majors on campus or through affiliated campuses worldwide thru distance learning.


A Unique History in Higher Education

UNC has been different since the very beginning. We were designed in 2000 by  academician whose driving goal was to break the mold of traditional higher education and come out on the other side with something new, something innovative: something that harnesses technology to teach in new ways, focuses on measuring learning rather than time, and provides more Americans the opportunity to build their careers and better their lives by finally finishing that bachelor's or master's degree they need to achieve their goals.

Success in your career is based on what you know and what you can do. In that same spirit, UNC’s ultimate focus is on ensuring you possess the knowledge and skills you need to succeed.


Each degree program is developed by a council of experts in the field who define "competencies" students need to possess to graduate. These competencies form the curriculum. This combination of expertise in both industry knowledge and academics guarantees your degree will be relevant in your chosen field.

We Call it Competency-Based Education

You earn your degree through demonstration of skills and knowledge in required subject areas through a series of carefully designed assessments. You’ll take tests, write papers, and complete assignments. But rather than focus on seat time or credit hours, we make sure you graduate as a highly competent professional.


Our unique approach offers you many advantages:

  • Our "prove it" mentality means never having to spend time (or money) "re-learning" material you already know. Already have experience? Great! You can use it to complete assessments as soon as you’re ready. If you’re already competent in a subject area, you can prove it faster and complete your degree faster.
  • You can accelerate your program (and save money). Whether it’s through prior experience or just plain hard work (or both), you are able to complete your degree program as soon as you can successfully complete all of the necessary assessments. Since tuition is charged at a flat rate every six months—you pay for time, not per credit hour—if you’re able to finish faster, you can save both time and money.
  • Your degree will be recognized by employers and academia. Our competency-based approach is widely recognized by employers because it’s an approach used by most corporations as the basis for promotions and advancement.



You’ll be Ready for Real-World Challenges

When you graduate, your diploma will mean you’ve mastered the essential skills and knowledge the workplace demands.


Competency-based learning at UNC offers some powerful advantages. It’s been endorsed by the DETC and been the subject of specials by NBC Nightly News, NPR, the New York Times, Business Week, and many other media outlets.


You’ll need to put in substantial time and effort to realize your education and career goals. Along the way, you’ll be supported by a personal mentor, an innovative learning environment, and dedicated faculty and staff.



We’re More Affordable

One of the best values in online education, the online university provides a convenient and cost-effective way for self-directed, hardworking adults like you to earn your degree and get ahead. Here’s what ultimately sets UNC apart:


Tuition costs across the nation are going up significantly every year. But not at UNC. A major part of our mission as a nonprofit university is to keep tuition low. So low, in fact, that our tuition is typically half what other reputable online universities and traditional colleges charge.


You don’t just save on rates alone; you can also be rewarded for your hard work. We charge tuition at a flat rate every six months, so you’re simply paying for the time you need to prove your competence. If you can complete your program in less time, you only pay tuition for the time it takes. Essentially, the faster you progress, the more you save—a big incentive to work hard that you won’t find at other major schools.


We’re Competency-Based, Not Credit Hour Based

Our online degrees are based on real-world competencies as opposed to seat time or credit hours. Our focus is on ensuring you possess the skills and knowledge you need to be successful, not whether you’ve attended class or not. ("Show us what you know, not how long you’ve been there.")


You’ll be able to take advantage of what you already know.


After all, your progress is determined by whether you can prove your competence by demonstrating mastery of the required courses. If you can prove it sooner rather than later because of prior experience and education, perfect! You’ll be able to draw upon this experience to complete assessments faster, ultimately saving you both time and money.


We Let You Choose When and Where You Study

Online learning "UNC style" is quite flexible, even compared to other online universities. Your program is personalized to your schedule in several ways, providing you the flexibility you need to be successful in all areas of your life, not just in school.


In fact, many of our graduates have commented on how nice it was to work their education around their jobs and family, not the other way around.


The Steps to Applying for Scholarship


Scholarship can make the already affordable tuition at UNC even easier on your pocketbook. In fact, with Scholarship, you should be able to finish your degree without worrying about large education debts. The Scholarship application process is detailed in the steps below.


Step 1: Request an Application from by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Once the International student’s application has been received by UNC (3-5 business days), you will be notified if your application qualifies for the scholarship.


After completing the Scholarship process, you will receive your personal My Scholarship Plan by email to your Scholarship Department. After reviewing your Scholarship Plan, continue the Scholarship process by accessing the Financial Services section in your Student to accept or change the recommended loan amounts. An award letter displaying your requested, or otherwise eligible, loan and grant amounts will be sent to your email address. At that time, the Scholarship process is complete and no further action is necessary.


Scholarship Application:

For new students, the deadline for completing the Scholarship process is the 30 days prior to your intended program start date. This deadline also includes submission and approval of any additional required documents by the Scholarship Office. Failure to complete the process or submit the required documents will result in a delay of funding and may affect your start date.

How We Do It


UNC has not raised tuition rates since 2006, demonstrating our commitment to keeping tuition low and maximizing the value and affordability of all of our online degree programs.

At UNC, tuition is charged at a flat rate each term and covers all coursework completed in that time. The more courses you complete each term, the more affordable your degree becomes.

Each UNC term is six months long and can begin on the first of any month. Unlike other schools, you aren't charged per course or per credit, so if you earn your degree ahead of schedule, you save both time and money.

For more information visit Scholarships 


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