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Q&A - Forensic Accounting Schools

What are the most affordable brick-and-mortar and online forensic accounting schools?

Students interested in earning forensic accounting degrees should always consider the issue of cost when deciding on schools for forensic accounting. In this case, nonprofit and public universities have an advantage in that they are supported by public funding and can offer lower tuition rates than for-profit schools.

In addition, because of lower overhead costs, some of the most affordable top forensic accounting schools are either entirely online or held at traditional universities that offer online programs. There are several examples of affordable forensic accounting online schools, such as the BS in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination from Southern New Hampshire University, which charges a low rate per credit hour and offers generous discounts for military veterans. The program is taught at the school’s campus as well as online.

Students who already hold a bachelors degree in accounting or a similar field should consider forensic accounting certificate programs, which require fewer credit hours than a masters degree and are therefore more affordable. One such program is the Forensic Accounting Certificate from University of North Carolina, Charlotte, which is offered online and consists of 3 courses. Students who earn a certificate in forensic accounting are prepared to take 1 of the certification exams immediately after so they can begin working as forensic accountants shortly after graduation.

How can I connect with other on-campus or online students who are also studying at my school for forensic accounting?

In addition to professional forensic accounting organizations, there are many organizations for students who are enrolled in a forensic accounting school. If you are studying at a brick-and-mortar college, your university may have a student accounting club or association already established. These associations arrange meetings for accounting students, invite speakers and organize other events that introduce students to their peers in the field.

It may be more difficult for those attending forensic accounting online schools to meet fellow students. For these students, there are plenty of online organizations for studying assistance and networking. The social media site LinkedIn has several accounting student groups, including Graduate Students for Accounting, a group created especially for graduate students in any field of accounting. Another such group on LinkedIn is New Accounting Students, which is designed as a forum for students who have just begun studying accounting to connect and ask questions.

A nationwide student network is The Student CPA. The main feature of this website is its forum, where users can discuss all aspects of their studies, help each other prepare for the CPA exam and connect across the nation.

What resources should my brick-and-mortar or online school offer me when I am studying forensic accounting?

Despite the presence of the word “forensic,” students studying forensic accounting will not spend any time in labs or workshops. The most common resources required by the top forensic accounting schools are simply textbooks and specialty software. The former is usually the responsibility of the student to provide, while many universities offer great discounts on the latter. Some larger brick-and-mortar schools have their own stores where you can buy heavily discounted financial and accounting software.

Whether you are enrolled in a brick-and-mortar or online program, your accredited forensic accounting school should have a financial aid office. Financial aid counselors working at your school are there to help you figure out how to pay your tuition, whether it is by deciding on the type of loan you need to take out or finding scholarships you can apply for. In addition, many universities offer scholarships aimed at accounting or business students that you should be eligible for, and a financial aid counselor can give you information and application forms.

Many students choose to work or intern while studying, and some schools can help you out in this, too. Common resources include job boards posted at the online or on-campus career center and internship coordinators.

Are there any nonprofit online forensic accounting schools or programs that I could look into?

Most of the best schools for forensic accounting are nonprofit institutions, and many of them offer an online program. One example is La Salle University’s fraud and forensic accounting online certificate program, designed for bachelors degree holders in accounting or related fields who would like to specialize in forensic accounting. The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Another nonprofit school offering an online program is Franklin University, which offers several forensic accounting online programs, including an associates degree, a bachelors degree and a joint MBA and bachelor degree. All of their programs are available online or with in-class instruction. Franklin University’s business programs are accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).

Another nonprofit university offering both online and in-class instruction is Golden Gate University, which has a Graduate Certificate in Forensic Accounting that is specifically designed for working adults. Students can study online or at the school’s San Francisco campus. Golden Gate University has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges since 1959.

Finally, the BS in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination at the nonprofit Southern New Hampshire University is also available completely online. It is 1 of the few forensic accounting bachelors programs in the country.