Top Rock University (TRU) is a new nonprofit university focused on business. We offer 100% online programs designed to help you get a great job or start a business of your own.
What degree will I earn?
You'll earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
What makes TRU different than other online colleges?
In short, we are more affordable, faster, and more effective. Most online college programs are just as expensive as on-campus programs, take 4-6+ years, and don't help you develop skills you'll actually use in real life. Top Rock is affordable, fast, flexible, and effective at helping you gain useful knowledge and skills.
Why should I attend TRU?
You should attend TRU if you want to get a practical business education in less time and without debt.
If you want 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'll complete 40 courses to graduate. You can transfer in credits and test out of some courses.
Do I get access to all the courses at once?
No. You'll progress linearly through courses in Level 1. Upon successful completion of all Level 1 courses, you'll gain access to multiple courses in Levels 2 and 3.
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 a grade of "Not Yet Competent" or "Competent". You pass the project when you achieve a Competent grade. "Not Yet Competent" grades come with personalized feedback on what to do to improve the work.
Will I be in a group of other students?
Yes, but there is no required group work.
When you enroll in Top Rock, you'll join a Team with other students based on how quickly you're anticipating moving through the coursework, your interests and goals, and your experience. Each Team has a Team Leader and support staff who help their students progress through the program.
There is no required group work or required interaction with other students in your Team.
Are there group projects?
No. If you're interested in working on projects with 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 do not facilitate matching up students at the moment.
Can I test out of courses?
Yes. We offer Prior Learning Assessments (PLAs) for many courses. You'll have one chance per course to pass the assessment. If you pass, 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.
Is there an application deadline?
No. You can apply at any time. We review applications daily 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.
If you're waitlisted, you'll receive email updates on when you can expect to start the program. We have limited capacity to accept everyone at this time and are working expanding that.
What are the admission requirements?
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 proficient at using the internet and learning new software. They must be comfortable using a computer, including touch-typing, web browsers, search engines, and basic computer software
Be independent, self-motivated, and comfortable completing a 100% online program without constant supervision
Desire to get a job in business, start or grow a company, or learn 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.
Will I be admitted if I apply?
Maybe. We're selective, although we don't look at the same criteria traditional schools do. 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 the program.
Once I apply, how long will it take to find out if I'm accepted?
Usually within one week, but it could take 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 start at any point within that period.
Can I transfer existing college credits?
Yes. We accept credits from other degree-granting institutions.
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.
Flex Track is $4,988 paid upfront or $499 per month for 12 months ($5,988 total). Hyper Track is $12,994 paid upfront or $2,499 per month for 6 months ($14,994 total).
Tuition covers the full program from start to finish, regardless of how long it takes you. For example, if you sign up for a monthly payment plan in the Flex Track, your total payments will be $5,988 whether you take one year or four. Unlike traditional universities, we do not charge per semester so your total payment is capped.
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 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 high costs, including campuses, dorms, entertainment facilities, administrative staff, athletics programs, tenured faculty, research facilities and labs, etc. They must charge students high tuition to cover those expenses.
Since we started from scratch, we built the school to reduce expenses as much as possible. Our costs, like course materials, support, and technology, contribute directly to our students' success.
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 expelled from TRU for missing a payment. We'll simply pause your enrollment and reach out to make sure everything is okay. It's fine if you you need to pause enrollment.
Will I lose my progress if I miss a payment?
No. There are no academic or financial penalties for a missed payment. Your access to the courses will be paused 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 (4 total)— she saves $50 off her tuition. Michael tests out of 7 courses and transfers 5 courses (12 total)— 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 to be tech-savvy?
Yes. You must be proficient at using the internet and able to learn new software. You should be comfortable using a computer, including touch-typing, web browsers, search engines, and basic computer software.
Do I need other software?
No. You'll complete all coursework and projects using software that's included with tuition, like Notion and Google Workspace. Skills courses will utilize various other web applications that have free or limited accounts.
When was TRU founded?
Development of the university started in 2016, pilot students enrolled in 2018, and Top Rock officially launched in 2021.
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. See the members and meet our president on the About Us page.
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. During your time at TRU, we encourage you to add value to actual businesses by completing projects for them, 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.