Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University offers a unique 'Good Neighbor' tuition discount. (Photo courtesy of Kiet Callies on flickr)

Northern Arizona University offers a unique ‘Good Neighbor’ tuition discount. (Photo courtesy of Kiet Callies on flickr)

While conducting personal research on distance education programs, I stumbled across a large state university outside of my state of residence: Northern Arizona University. Intrigued that the school offered a 100% online Master of Arts in English program, I reviewed the history of the institution, admission requirements, tuition and fees, and resources for students. Below is the information I found; enjoy!


Northern Arizona University, located in Flagstaff, Arizona, is the academic “home” to over 23,000 students. Originally Northern Arizona Normal School in 1899, the university currently offers more than 123 endorsement, certificate, and degree programs throughout 36 campuses and online.

Did you know: The college was renamed Arizona State College in 1945 and introduced a Navy V-12 program on campus. The military program insured the college would survive post-WWII despite drops in enrollment.


Graduate admission is composed of multiple components: application, application fee, requesting transcripts, etc. requirements are established by both the University and the degree program and requires quite a bit of investigative work to gather all the information. Nonetheless, the process, like with all colleges, is extensive and time-consuming; make sure you set aside enough time to complete the application and compose a To-Do list so all requirements are completed before the application deadline.

Did you know: In 2012 NAU admitted over 76% of its applicants.

Tuition and Fees

NAU has made the process of understanding its tuition simple: a Tuition Calculator. Found on the university webpage, the Tuition Calculator allows you to select your campus, degree level, and anticipated number of credits to generate your expected tuition and fee charges. For example, taking classes 100% online, in a graduate program, through the University’s World Wide University (WWU) program, my tuition would be $3360 for 2 classes (6 credits) + fees.

Additional tuition scholarships are available for active duty military and neighboring states. The Good Neighbor Policy, which is the first of its kind to my knowledge, allows students in neighboring states (Nevada, Utah, California, or New Mexico) living within 75 miles of the Arizona border the ability to pay in-state tuition.

Did you know: Arizona, and its “Good Neighbor” New Mexico, are two of only five states who achieved statehood in the 20th century. The other three are Oklahoma, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Student Resources

Northern Arizona University has committed itself to providing students with a personalized approach to their education. Through one-on-one advising via the Extended Campus and Online Resource Center, students have access to academic advisors and various other staff members online, on the phone, and via email. In addition, students can visit one of the Extended Campus sites for face-to-face assistance, which is a helpful resource for students living outside of the Flagstaff area. Unfortunately for those who reside both outside of Arizona and its Good Neighbor States, Extended Campuses are only located in Arizona, not the entire US.

Did you know: E-textbooks and e-resources are quickly replacing many brick-and-mortar libraries and print textbooks.

Ashley Benson is a distance education professional with five years of experience in the for-profit sector. She has worked coast-to-coast within the United States as an academic advisor, an adjunct teaching assistant and, most recently, a campus Registrar. Through formal education and industry experience, Ashley practices staying informed on the current events and changes within higher education and the students involved.

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