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 Post subject: online and distance learning bachelor degrees
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:56 am 

Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 4:50 am
Posts: 169
I'm thinking of returning to school as an adult learner and looking into online options to finish a bachelors degree. I read a lot about for profits such as university of phoenix and such, as well as state schools such as western governors university and thomas edison or excelsior. Any opinions?


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 Post subject: Re: online and distance learning bachelor degrees
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:28 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 960
Justus wrote:
I'm thinking of returning to school as an adult learner and looking into online options to finish a bachelors degree. I read a lot about for profits such as university of phoenix and such, as well as state schools such as western governors university and thomas edison or excelsior. Any opinions?


My wife went back to school and is getting her degree through Thomas Edison and collegeplus. She loves the flexibility and it is costing us about 1/4 what it would through a brick and mortar college. Check out https://www.youtube.com/user/collegeplus.

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~ Eagle


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 Post subject: Re: online and distance learning bachelor degrees
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:34 am 

Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 4:50 am
Posts: 169
Thanks Eagle, that's the kind of comment I was hoping to get. Were there other programs your wife was considering? How much will the program end up costing (both from TESC and collegeplus)?


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 Post subject: Re: online and distance learning bachelor degrees
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:08 am 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 132
I went to Western Governors University and loved it. My brother's attending the school now and he enjoys it as well. I haven't checked to see if the tuition has changed, but last year it was <$3000 for as many credits as you can take in 6 months. I did 25 credits two terms in a row and it didn't cost any more than taking the minimum 12. They do have a unique program format but it's fully accredited and totally works for the right student. And just to clarify, WGU is a non-profit private school, it just has public school prices.

My brother and mom both went to U of Pheonix, one for a degree the other for a continuing ed class. Neither were happy with the experience. Still, YMMV.

If you haven't looked into it yet be careful of national vs regional accreditation. Most "regular" schools have regional and their credits will usually transfer to other regionally accredited schools. Credits from nationally accredited schools, like ITT Tech, usually don't transfer. I know WGU actually has both, I don't know about the others.

If you have any questions about WGU feel free to ask, I enjoy talking about their program.


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 Post subject: Re: online and distance learning bachelor degrees
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 960
Justus wrote:
Thanks Eagle, that's the kind of comment I was hoping to get. Were there other programs your wife was considering? How much will the program end up costing (both from TESC and collegeplus)?


There were others but collegplus & TESC were the best options. Her sister just graduated this summer with a degree in business with the same program. She has already interviewed and has a job lined up.

Questions to Consider:

A) Are you going to work full time while doing this?

B) Have you ever taken CLEP or DANTE's tests before? (Kind of important to be a good test taker for this kind of program)

C) Is there a certified organization/college/university that offers the CLEP/DANTE's tests in your area?

Here's a breakdown off the top of my head. It probaby will cost you about $15,000 ball park. Keep in mind the sooner you finish the less it will cost. Life events can slow you down (marriage, baby, jobs). Most people graduate within 2 to 2.5 years.

Here's a general breakdown...

Item Description----------------------- Monthly/Per Course ------ # ------- Total Line Item Cost ----- College Credit Hours
1. Tests (28 tests - Cleps: each $20
registration & $70-80 actual test;
Dante's are $80) ----------------------------- $100.00 --------- 28 tests -------------- $2,800.00 --------------- 84
2. College Plus Coach *------------------------ $100.00 --------- 36 months ------------ $3,600.00
3. Tuition & Transfer Cleps to TESC
(12 months to finish 18 credit hours) -------------------------- One Time -------------- $2,500.00**
4. TESC Courses (Also LSU available) ------- $550.00 ---------- 6 courses ------------ $3,300.00 -------------- 18
5. Additional Books/Study Materials -------- $20.00 ----------- 28 tests --------------- $560.00
6. Insant Cert - Flash Cards Study Guide --- $30.00 ----------- 36 months ----------- $1080.00
7. Aleks Math Course ------------------------ $30.00 ------------ 7 months ------------- $210.00 --------------- 3
8. FEMA 1 Hr Courses
(http://training.fema.gov/IS/)*** ------------- FREE ------------------------------------------------------------- 15
Estimated Total --------------------------------------------------------------------------- $14,050.00 ----------- 120

*Coaches help guide you through the system, provide helpful feedback from other students and own experience when taking the tests, make a degree plan with you, adjust and tweak the plan, and provide accountability/encouragement. It is really more towards the beggining and middle stages of the program. Optional once you enroll in TESC.
**Note once a majority of the credits are acquired via testing they are transferred into TESC and student is enrolled in TESC. Student must complete 18 hours junior/senior level courses at TESC/LSU in 1 year (12 months) in order not to pay another $2500 for another year's tuition.
***FEMA Courses are offered online and are FREE. They each count as 1 credit college hour. It takes 2-5 days average per 1 hour FEMA course.

_________________
~ Eagle


Last edited by Eagle on Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: online and distance learning bachelor degrees
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 960
Only one link per post... Sorry

Insant Cert - Flash Cards Study Guide
http://www.instantcert.com/
$30 a month

_________________
~ Eagle


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 Post subject: Re: online and distance learning bachelor degrees
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
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Only one link per post... Apologies again.

Aleks Math Course
http://www.aleks.com/
$30 a month

_________________
~ Eagle


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 Post subject: Re: online and distance learning bachelor degrees
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:20 pm 

Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 4:50 am
Posts: 169
Eagle--thanks for the costs breakdown. It's very helpful. I am working full-time and don't have much of a life outside of work right now. I have some college credits already that may be transferable, so I'm hoping to cut down some time / money.

Do you think there's a significant prejudice against online colleges versus traditional b&m colleges?


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 Post subject: Re: online and distance learning bachelor degrees
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:22 pm 

Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 4:50 am
Posts: 169
catchingup wrote:
I went to Western Governors University and loved it. My brother's attending the school now and he enjoys it as well.


What program did you do at WGU? What were your goals going into it, and do you feel you've achieved those goals since completing the program?


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 Post subject: Re: online and distance learning bachelor degrees
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:47 pm 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 132
I got a BS in IT. I'd started out as a Computer Science student at a brick and mortar but my work schedule and school schedule were not compatible and I couldn't find a decent affordable CS program online so IT was a compromise. My goals were pretty simple, leave my lousy government job and get a job in the tech field. I met that goal - I'm now working as a software engineer and I have that little piece of paper that might open a few doors (and will certainly stop some from closing). I also learned a lot about networking, particularly the protocols and processes, along with security, general computer tech, etc. I graduated last October. I do have some regret that I didn't continue on as a CS student but the IT degree will still help my career, probably as much as a CS degree would.

As for your question about prejudice, there might be a little but if anything it's starting skew the other way, people recognize that online programs require more self discipline to complete and are often taken by people who are working at the same time.


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 Post subject: Re: online and distance learning bachelor degrees
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 960
Justus wrote:
Eagle--thanks for the costs breakdown. It's very helpful. I am working full-time and don't have much of a life outside of work right now. I have some college credits already that may be transferable, so I'm hoping to cut down some time / money.

Do you think there's a significant prejudice against online colleges versus traditional b&m colleges?


Option A:
Now that I've broken down the costs for you I will say that I believe a better solution is to go to Community College and then transfer to a prestigious state school. Finish your degree in 4 years. Take summer courses, clep out of classes, whatever it takes. Could you qualify for grants or scholarships?

I went to a private, not very well known, out of state school for my undergrad. For my MBA I went to an in-state school - the UT network. People who never considered me before for employment began knocking down my door. I found out at my current employer that they recruit heavily from major universities both state and private. A guy like me didn't have a chance with my undergrad degree.

In regard to our situation my wife has been working on her online degree since the Fall of 2008. If she had done community college and transferred to a brick and mortar university chances are she would be done by now. However, she did take on a job full time for a year to make ends meet. She also published a book, got married, and had her first child. Hopefully we can finish this up by December of 2012.

Keep in mind too that if you fail a CLEP test you have to wait 6 months to retake it. If you fail the test you lose the money for the test and get no credit. She has had about a 85% passing rate on the first try. For most people Science and Math are harder to CLEP out of. Things to consider.

Option B
Of course if you already have significant amount of the credits done, nothing else to distract you, and you're a good test taker this clepping/online program might just be the plan for you Justus. You will need to be highly motivated and disciplined to study the material. Once you pass a test you're done.

_________________
~ Eagle


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 Post subject: Re: online and distance learning bachelor degrees
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:31 am 

Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 4:50 am
Posts: 169
Eagle wrote:
Option A:
Now that I've broken down the costs for you I will say that I believe a better solution is to go to Community College and then transfer to a prestigious state school. Finish your degree in 4 years. Take summer courses, clep out of classes, whatever it takes. Could you qualify for grants or scholarships?


Thanks for your advice, Eagle. I am exploring/defining my options at the moment and really trying to consider perspectives I haven't thought of before. Why would you consider the CC / "prestigious state school" as a better option? If it makes any difference, my eventual goals are to pursue graduate studies.


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 Post subject: Re: online and distance learning bachelor degrees
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:48 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 4:20 pm
Posts: 19
Many brick and mortar schools now offer online degrees. I would check out city and state schools for their options, as they may also be on the cheaper side.


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