Hand holding a pen completes a university application form.

How Concordia University Chicago Made the Admissions Process Easy

Available Resources

Deciding to seek a graduate degree at Concordia University Chicago (CUChicago) came with many questions: Who is CUChicago? What programs do they offer? What are the requirements for the program of my interest? What financial aid options are available to me as a Graduate student?

A helpful available resource that influenced my decision to attend CUChicago was an informational session held to answer questions for potential graduate program applicants. The advisors were communicative and extremely helpful, but as a first-time graduate student, there were times I did not know what I should ask. This informational session brought other potential applicants together. As they asked questions, I received answers to questions I was unaware I needed the answer to. For example, I learned about CUChicago’s affinity to employ current and recent industry professionals through a question asked by another would-be student.

As I value current pedagogy and best practices tried and true through personal experience and not just research, it was reassuring that CUChicago values these as well. These professors, so knowledgeable and kind, would turn out to be my most valued resource during my time at CUChicago and even today, offering guidance, career opportunities, and scholarship and grant information for continued education.

Helpful, Accessible Advisors

My desire to speak to an advisor led me to request for more information. After requesting for information was complete, I was contacted by an advisor. Within 24 hours, I had received an email from an advisor with additional information regarding an upcoming cohort opportunity for my program of interest in an area not too far from me, the application, and even a few testimonials from former CUChicago graduate students with similar backgrounds to mine.

The advisor had also left a warm, introductory voicemail offering to answer any additional questions or discuss the information I had received. I replied, and a relationship formed. My advisor asked about any reservations I had or issues keeping me from applying to my program in the coming semester, listened, and provided alternative solutions, resources, and support to address those areas of concern and get me started. Once I had submitted my application, my advisor sent emails, keeping me up to date on my application process and reminding me to send in supporting documents necessary to complete my application.

Additionally, during my first attempt at obtaining a graduate degree, I could not follow through with the process. My advisor expressed an exceptional understanding and assured me that my information would be kept on file. The following semester, another cohort was offered for my program of interest, and that advisor reached out with the information required to complete my application. Because I had begun the process less than two years prior, I could use much of the information I had previously submitted.

The compassion, support, and encouragement of the CUChicago advisors gave me what I needed to start.

Locating and Navigating Requirements

To answer all of my questions, I accessed the Concordia University Chicago website. Unlike the interface of some university websites that made it difficult for me to find information, CUChicago’s website was easily accessible, well-organized, and informative, making it simple to determine the requirements for my program.

The website provided only a few tabs to choose from, making accessing the information I sought quick and easy. There were tabs including information about Concordia University Chicago, financial aid, programs, and more; they could not have more perfectly identified the areas I sought to investigate. A simple hover over these tabs displayed a drop-down menu of the categories within, eliminating the need to click the tab to find out what information was inside. Summaries for each significant heading also made it easy to ensure that I was looking in the right place for the information I sought, saving time and frustration.

Another feature that made navigating and locating information on the website easy was reorganizing the list of programs to search for information in the way that made the most sense to me. Although programs are initially listed alphabetically, the site allowed for the reorganization of programs by college, which makes it easier for students, who already knew their intended area of study, like myself, to find programs, application, and course requirements specific to that field.

Once I selected my program of study, the course format (online, university, or cohort) number of credit hours, requirements, and tuition information was direct and straightforward.

Despite the wealth of information provided and the clear, concise, easy-to-follow layout of the website, my desire to speak to an advisor led me to request for more information. This gave me the option of providing my information and receiving communication back, taking out the guesswork of who to call with questions. After requesting for information was complete, I was contacted by an advisor. Although the form was short and easy, asking only for my name, email, phone number, and program of interest, the information I received back was invaluable.

Financial Aid

For myself and many others, the cost is one of the main reasons for failing to seek higher education. CUChicago provided clear, thorough tuition information so that no surprise costs would arise later, allowing me to make an informed decision regarding how I could pay for my graduate degree.

Unlike most universities I had considered, CUChicago did not push loans as the only option for financial assistance for graduate students. Grants such as TEACH and others were encouraged, and payment plans were offered to make paying out of pocket much more feasible. If these were not the best option, clear information regarding available loans was provided with assistance each step of the way.