Top Rock University (TRU) is a new digital university focused on business. We offer 100% remote programs designed to help you get a great job in business or start a business of your own.
What degree will I earn?
You will earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. The degree you'll earn is the same whether you choose the full-time Hyper Track program or the Flex Track.
What makes TRU different than other online colleges?
We are a better version of online college. Most online college programs are very expensive, take way too long, and don't help you develop skills you'll actually use in real life. TRU is the solution to those three issues.
Why should I attend TRU?
You should attend TRU if you want to get a modern, practical business education in less time and with no debt.
Traditional college is a great fit for some people. But there are a lot of students who don't fit within the traditional model. They have families, jobs, and busy lives. They can't afford the tens of thousands for their education. In some cases, they have lots of ambition and don't want to be slowed down by required breaks.
TRU isn't right for everyone. But for some people, it is exactly what want.
If you haven't found the right fit with other universities, you should consider TRU. If your goal is to get a great job in business, start a business of your own, or develop business skills, we might be exactly what you've been looking for.
Curriculum and Methods
How many courses do I need to complete?
You need to complete 40 courses to graduate. You can transfer in credits and test out of some courses. You'll need to complete less than 40 if you do.
Do I get access to all the courses at once?
No. You'll progress linearly through courses for the first 13 courses in Level 1. For Levels 2 and 3, you'll have access to multiple courses at once.
What is competency-based education?
Competency-based education (CBE) allows students to pass courses by demonstrating successful completion of "competencies." This is different than the traditional credit-hour method that requires students to spend a set amount of time in a classroom.
CBE works well for courses that are primarily project and skills-based instead of memorization-based.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, CBE "helps [students] save both time and money." (source)
How does grading work?
Top Rock is primarily project-based. When you complete a project, you'll receive personalized feedback and a grade of "Not Yet Competent", "Competent", or "Expert.". You pass the project when you achieve a Competent grade. Expert grades are reserved for going beyond the standard level of competency.
Will I be in a group of other students?
When you enroll in Top Rock, we'll place you on a Team based on which track you are on, how quickly you're anticipating moving through the coursework, your interests and goals, and your experience. You'll be on the team with other students, but you won't have required interaction with other students.
Are there group projects?
No. There are no required group projects. If you're interested in completing projects with a small group of other students, please let your Team Leader know.
Can I complete my coursework with another student?
Yes. We encourage students to enroll and work together, however we don't currently facilitate matching up students.
Can I test out of courses?
Yes. We encourage you to put your knowledge and experience to the test. We offer Prior Learning Assessments (PLAs) for many courses. You'll have one chance per course to pass the assessment. If you score Competent or higher, you'll receive credit for the course.
What kind of projects will I complete?
Projects vary for every course. Some will take a few minutes, others will take a few days or weeks. All are designed to help apply something you learned or leave you with assets to use in your personal life, job, or in a business.
Types of projects include:
Collect: Find and curate examples from the real world
Complete: Build something from a template
Analyze: Examine, think, and write about a topic
Create: Build something from scratch
Is there an application fee?
No. It's free to apply to TRU.
Is there an application deadline?
No. You can apply at any time. We review applications every day and admit students on a continual basis.
We'll review your application and respond to you within two weeks with next steps. Your application will either be accepted, waitlisted, or declined.
We have limited capacity, so being put on the waitlist is not a judgment of your background or ability to complete the program. We simply do not have capacity to accept everyone who wants to be in the program at time time. We're working on expanding capacity.
What are the admission requirements?
TRU Students must:
Be at least 18 years old
speak English fluently and be proficient at writing
have access to a computer, smartphone, and high-speed internet
be independent, self-motivated, and comfortable completing a 100% online program without constant supervision
have at least 30 hours per week available to spend on studies (Hyper Track only)
have a goal of getting a job in business, starting or growing a company, or learning about business.
We also want to ensure your goals and character align with our program and values. Review the Is This For Me? and Admissions pages before applying.
What information do I need to provide on the application?
You'll provide contact information, education history, employment status, and answer a few questions on your goals and reasons for applying.
Do I need to fill out a FAFSA?
No. We don't require students or their parents to fill out a FAFSA form nor do we request FAFSA information. We do not participate in federal student loan programs.
If I apply, will I be admitted?
Maybe. We're selective, although we don't look at the same criteria traditional schools look at. You aren't accepted or denied based on your sex, race, age, athletic ability, or family income. You are evaluated on your goals, character, strengths, and ability to succeed in our self-paced program.
Once I apply, how long will it take to find out if I'm accepted?
Usually within one week, but it could be up to two weeks.
Will you let me know if I'm not accepted?
Yes. You'll receive a response from us within two weeks of submitting your application.
What happens if I'm accepted?
If you're accepted to TRU, we'll reach out with your next steps.
Those steps include:
Submitting your tuition payment (You)
Finalizing course-transfer information, if applicable (You and Us)
Setting up your accounts (Us)
Setting your start date (You and Us)
If I'm accepted, how soon can I start?
If you're accepted to TRU, we'll work with you to set a target start date or place you on our waitlist. If you're not placed on the waitlist, your start date will likely be two weeks or less.
How does the waitlist work?
If you're placed on our waitlist, it means you've been accepted and we'll enroll you as soon as we're able to. We'll keep you posted during the time you're on the waitlist so you know when you can expect to be enrolled.
If I'm accepted, do I have to start right away?
No. You don't have to begin right away if you're accepted. Your acceptance to TRU will be valid for one year. You can get started at any point within that period.
Can I transfer existing college credits?
Yes. We accept credits from other institutions of higher education.
How do I know if my prior college credits will transfer?
We will evaluate your past coursework and determine which credits will transfer.
Can I schedule a call to learn more?
Yes. Please click here to schedule a call with someone on our Admissions team.
How much is tuition at Top Rock University?
The Bachelor's Degree program at Top Rock is among the most affordable in the country.
Hyper Track: $2,994 for the entire program ($499 per month for 6 months) Flex Track: $5,988 for the entire program ($499 per month for 12 months)
A discount is available if you're able to pay your tuition up front ($500 for Hyper Track and $1,000 for Flex Track).
How is tuition billed?
Tuition is billed monthly to your debit or credit card or paid in full upfront.
Are there additional fees?
No. Colleges are notorious for lots of fees. Technology fees, parking fees, meal fees, library fees, gym fees, and more. TRU has no fees.
Are there additional expenses?
In addition to tuition, there are two additional expenses you should be aware of.
Books Expense Both of our programs (Hyper Track and Flex Track) require you to purchase approximately $300 worth of books. You'll buy these yourself on Amazon or elsewhere in whatever format you prefer. Some students borrow them from a local or online library.
Software Expense During Paused or Extended Enrollment If you pause enrollment planning to resume later (as opposed to withdrawing from the university permanently), we will keep your software accounts active. You'll be responsible for the costs to keep those accounts active. We simply charge you the cost without any markup. The current monthly costs to keep your accounts active are approximately $15. If you don't graduate within two (2) years, you'll be responsible for the expense of keeping your software accounts open. We simply charge you the cost without any markup. The current monthly costs to keep your accounts active are approximately $15.
Does TRU offer a guarantee?
Yes. We're one of the only universities to offer a tuition-back guarantee. If you decide TRU is not a good fit for you within the first 30 days of your enrollment, you may withdraw from the program and you'll receive a full refund of your tuition.
If I decide TRU is not for me, how do I receive my tuition back?
Contact your Team Leader or our general email at firstname.lastname@example.org within the first 30 days of enrollment and we'll process your withdrawal and refund.
If I withdraw during the first 30 days, will I keep the credit I earned?
No. If you withdraw during the first 30 days and we refund your tuition, you won't be provided any credit for coursework you've completed.
How is TRU so affordable compared to other universities?
Most universities have very high expenses (campuses, dorms, entertainment facilities, teams of administrators, football programs, etc.) and must charge students high tuition to cover those expenses. We unbundled those services so we can offer a more affordable tuition rate.
Can I take out student loans to pay for my degree?
No. We do not participate in the federal government's student loan programs.
Does TRU accept scholarships?
Yes. We accept Top Rock specific scholarships and third-party scholarships at the discretion of the grantor.
How can I redeem a third-party scholarship?
Please have the scholarship grantor contact us at email@example.com and we'll provide the details to apply your scholarship.
What if I miss a payment?
You will not be unenrolled from TRU for missing a payment. We'll simply pause your enrollment and reach out to make sure everything is okay. If you need to pause enrollment temporarily, that's fine.
Will I lose my progress if I miss a payment?
No. There are no academic or financial penalties for a missed payment. You will lose access to the courses until payment is made.
If I test out of courses or transfer credit, will I owe less tuition?
Yes. You'll receive a small discount off your tuition based on how many courses you test out of and how many existing credits you transfer to TRU. The discount will be deducted from your final payment. If you choose to pay upfront, the discount will be refunded at graduation.
1 to 5 courses — $50 total discount 6 to 10 courses — $100 total discount More than 10 courses — $150 total discount
Examples: Bethany tests out of 2 courses and transfers 2 courses — she saves $50 off her tuition Michael tests out of 7 courses and transfers 5 courses — he saves $150 off his tuition
What devices do I need?
You need a computer and smartphone.
Do I need to be connected to the Internet to access courses?
Yes. All of your coursework is completed online and in cloud-based software. You'll need high-speed internet access or high-speed cellular data to access coursework. Coursework cannot be completed offline.
Do I need other software?
No. You'll complete all coursework and projects using cloud-based software including Notion and Google Apps. Skills courses will utilize various other web applications.
When was TRU founded?
Development of the university started in 2016, pilot students enrolled in 2018, and Top Rock officially launched in 2020.
Where is TRU located?
Everywhere. We are a 100% remote university. Our faculty, staff, and administrators live throughout the US. Our headquarters is in sunny Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Is TRU a nonprofit university?
How is TRU governed?
We are governed by our Board of Trustees.
What can I do with a business degree?
The Bachelor's degree in Business Administration is the most popular degree awarded in the US. You'll be exposed to many different kinds of businesses, industries, business models, skills, and opportunities during your time at TRU.
Is there anything I can't use my degree for?
You may not be able to use your degree as an entrance requirement to some graduate schools or for employment at some employers. If you wish to attend a specific graduate school or work for a specific employer, please inquire directly with them that your degree earned at TRU will fulfill any entrance or employment requirement.
See our Is This For Me? page for further descriptions who can and cannot benefit from our bachelor's degree program.
Will you help me find a job once I graduate?
We do not guarantee a job when you graduate but we do have partner companies that are interested in hiring Top Rock students. Additionally, during your time at TRU, you'll have the option to add value to real-world companies which may lead to job opportunities.
TRU programs are 100% self-paced. The actual time it will take to complete your program depends on many factors including your work ethic, ability to learn and apply new concepts, credits you transfer in to TRU, courses you test out of, and other factors.