Okay, my Excelsior experience so far.
Costs $60 to apply. About $900 to enroll. $220 per 4 credit exam, $60 if you take their practice exams. You download the study guide, do the reading, and schedule the test through PearsonVue, the same folks who administer the NCLEX. You get three hours per exam, I am out in less than an hour - I'm a good test taker.
I have taken Foundations of Gerontology for a sociology req, got an A. Nursing Concepts 2, A. Nursing Concepts 3, B. I didn't do most of the reading - maternity bores me. I've never had to re-take a test. Just paid for and scheduled Nursing Concepts 4. That leaves me with 5 and 6, plus "Foundations of Nursing" or some such bushwah. I hope to be done with the tests by summer and then schedule the CPNE - two day clinical exam.
There are no clinicals, classes, or assignments.
The exams are very NCLEX-like.
You can pay for a CPNE skills course - I don't believe Excelsior provides them - and I think they run around $700. The CPNE itself if around 1400, I think. Plus a graduation fee.
I should finish my RN for an investment of less than $5k. Plus, I don't have to jackass to clinicals or classes. A true bargain, considering that I work and earn money while doing this on my own schedule.
Go to the Distance Learning Forum. There's a wealth of Excelsior information available there.
In order to be successful at Excelsior you must read very well, not need a lecturer to explain the material, and test well. If the foregoing description does not describe you consider a more traditional approach.
Hope this helps.