If you started studying for a bachelor’s degree, but only completed a few college credits, know that you’re not alone. In fact, only 63 percent of students enrolled at a four-year institution complete their degree within six years. That leaves a lot of students with college credits, but no degree.
There are many reasons why finishing your bachelor’s degree is the right choice. Many times, it leads to both professional and personal achievement. However, this is not an easy path to take. Here are six tips that can help you cross that finish line of becoming a college graduate.
Most students who haven’t completed a bachelor’s degree are usually motivated to enroll in a completion program because of something career-related. Some employers may require a degree to qualify for a promotion. Or maybe you need a degree to help you pivot your career path completely. Either way, make sure that you have a clear direction concerning your future career goals.
Remember, not all career goals require a degree. Once you know what you want professionally, evaluate the educational requirements for your desired vocation (i.e., your career goals) to make sure a bachelor’s degree is necessary. In other words, determine whether going back to school is a good investment of your time and money.
Going back to college is expensive! Make sure you can afford a bachelor’s degree before starting the application process. Beyond expenses like tuition, housing, and supplies, you need to know if going back to school will result in less hours at work and an initial pay cut. This can be especially important if you’re providing for your family while investing time into your education. Make sure you’re financially stable enough to properly focus on your education, without having to worry about money. If you think you may need assistance, take a look at the financial aid options at your school.
If you’re looking for a program specifically designed for an accelerated path to a bachelor’s degree, consider applying to a degree completion program. A bachelor’s degree completion is only applicable in the following situations:
Not all degree completion programs are created equal though. As you research potential schools and programs, take extra care to see what each program offers. Make sure the program you choose touches on both your personal and professional needs. You should also feel confident that you meet the prerequisites and you’ll be able to complete the course requirements.
Take advantage of the resources that your school provides you! An admission counselor is available to help you plan and succeed in your studies. Try to make an appointment with a counselor and/or program director during the preliminary admission process so you have a better understanding of the program, curriculum, and expectations in the admission process.
In addition, it’s important to form relationships with your admission counselor and program director. These are good people and resources to have when you start a new program.
You know the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, going back to school is very similar. Make sure you have conversations with your family and employer about your shifting priorities to education and how this may take away from family/work time as a result. Having the right support system makes all the difference as you embark on your educational journey.
Now that you know you want to go back to school, it’s time to decide how to do that. As mentioned earlier, a bachelor’s degree completion program is one of the best ways to earn your degree.
Here are some things you should look out for when choosing which program is the right fit.
Completing your education is a huge investment of your time and money. As such, it’s important to make sure that you have some flexibility during your completion program to optimize your limited hours. For instance, are you looking to complete your degree online or in-person? Do you want a hybrid model for optimum flexibility? Do your classes need to be during a specific time of day (i.e., night classes)? Take all of these considerations into account as you look for a degree completion program.
Everyone knows college is expensive. The same can be said about finishing your bachelor’s degree. As you make a decision on a degree completion program, try to crunch the numbers. What are the tuition rates? Can you afford them? Will you, and your family, be financially stable while you’re finishing your degree?
It’s important to make sure that your credits will transfer to whatever program you choose to ensure you don’t have to repeat work you’ve already done. Review every institution’s transfer credit policy to ensure that all of your previous efforts pay off properly, and you can continue your education where you left off.
Accreditation is very important when it comes to degree completion. Make sure the school and program you choose is accredited. This is crucial for those who are returning to school for employment or career purposes. With the time and money needed to invest in your degree, make sure it holds weight in whatever career path you choose.
Returning to school can be a scary feat, but just know that you’re not alone. A bachelor’s completion program is a great way for you to use the knowledge and credits you earned from previous education, and apply them toward your dream of becoming a bachelor’s degree graduate. Check out Regis’ Professional Studies Division for more resources, and best of luck in your educational journey.