Accelerated Online Degree Completion Programs
A bachelor’s degree is a valuable commodity. According to a recent study done by Georgetown University, employees with a bachelor’s degree will earn almost $1 million more over the course of their lifetimes than those with only a high school diploma. And they will earn more than $700 thousand more over those with only a partially completed degree.
Especially if you already have college experience, it’s definitely worth it to pursue and finish your bachelor’s degree. It’s literally a million dollar difference. Bachelor degree completion programs online make finishing your degree easier than ever. So whether it’s been months, years, or even decades since you were last enrolled in a college class, consider committing to finishing that degree you started but never finished.
What are Bachelor Degree Completion Programs?
Bachelor degree completion programs online are designed to help you finish your bachelor’s degree quickly. Depending on how many credits you can earn before you start your degree, you may be able to finish your degree in as little as just over a year. Requirements to apply to completion programs often include:
- Application Fee
- Transcripts from all former institutions
- High school diploma or GED
- Specific course completion requirements (like writing or research courses)
- Specific course hour completion requirements
Some bachelor degree completion programs online only offer a handful of degree programs, so your choices may be limited at certain institutions. Others, however, allow you to choose from a larger selection of majors. Likewise, some programs have rolling admissions and flexible start dates while others only accept applications once per year and start new students all at the same time. These factors should go into your choice of programs, as not all completion programs are exactly the same.
Once you’ve applied and are accepted to a degree completion program, you’ll have to go through the process of getting your transfer credits approved and accepted. You’ll be required to provide transcripts and any other documentation that proves you earned those credits. You may also be required to sit for computer or pen and pencil tests that might earn you additional credit for your computer skills or foreign language capabilities, for example. Once your institution has determined how many of your credits will transfer (some accept 60+ credits), you can then register for the remaining courses that are required for you to complete your degree.
Bachelor degree completion programs online are growing in popularity and availability. Many well-known and large state and private colleges and universities now offer these types of programs. They are often catered to working adults who have valuable life experience, but who desire additional work opportunities that will be available to them once they earn their bachelor’s degree. These programs can easily be completed from your own home and on your own schedule.
When Completion Programs Make Sense
In order to enroll in most bachelor degree completion programs online, you’ll be required to have already completed college courses at a previous institution. If you have never enrolled in a college course, degree completion programs are not for you. Instead, check out information about accelerated programs if you’re looking for a fast turnaround with your degree.
If any of the following scenarios ring true for you, consider a degree completion program:
- You started a bachelor’s degree but never finished
- You successfully completed at least one college course (preferably more)
- You hold an associate’s degree
Any of the above scenarios can earn you entry into a degree completion program and credits transferred toward your bachelor’s degree. If you’ve been in the same job for years with no pay raise or upward mobility, it might be time to consider finishing that degree you started way back when. Or perhaps now you can finally afford to start up your degree again after plugging away at a costly program for years and having to take a break because the expense became unmanageable. Many degree completion programs online are affordable, and since you can earn credit in nontraditional ways, you won’t have to pay for nearly as many credit hours as you would in other programs.
Why Completion Programs Make Sense
Simply put, degree completion programs save you time and money, your most valuable resources when it comes to moving up in your career. They really are the best option if you already have some college credit to your name. You will also be surrounded by other adults who have similar experiences as you, rather than by new high school graduates. The diverse communities of degree completion programs can foster connections and potentially rich networking that you might not get through other programs.
Many programs that accept students with no prior college experience limit the potential for transfer credits. Bachelor degree completion programs online, on the other hand, are designed to accept as many credits toward your degree as possible before you get started. You can earn credit through past courses completed (even in unrelated fields), military or other service training, related work experience, national exams, and demonstration of skills through program sponsored and administered exams. Completion programs make it easy for you to earn as much credit as possible before embarking on your degree completion journey.
Finally finishing your bachelor’s degree will give you a sense of accomplishment and pride. There is no price tag or amount of credit hours that can be placed on that feeling. The research all points to the fact that holding a bachelor’s degree is worth it both in the short term and in the long term. With so many flexible financial aid options available to you in the form of loans or payment plans through your program, you can afford your education. Bachelor degree completion programs online can put your degree in reach.
While completion programs provide a rich opportunity for you to finish your bachelor’s degree quickly, they aren’t for everyone. Maybe it’s been years since you took basic courses and you no longer feel confident in your abilities, despite what your transcript says. If this is the case, a degree completion program might not be the right fit for you. Sometimes starting again from scratch can be beneficial to your growth as a student and employee.
If this sounds like your situation, consider other online options like more traditional bachelor’s degree programs or even accelerated programs. This way, you can relearn that foundational knowledge before launching into your major area. Oftentimes choosing what is right for you right now is more important and beneficial than choosing what looks best and quickest on paper.