Finding a Flexible Path to a Business Degree: A StraighterLine Success Story.

Beth Dumbauld

studentsuccess_022015Arif Hoque had always planned on earning his bachelor’s degree, but he had never planned on earning his degree online. Life, however, had other plans. After he graduated from high school, he intended on enrolling at a college with a traditional campus – but then he got extremely ill. So ill, that it took him nearly 3 years to even begin recovering.

But that didn’t stop Arif. While he recovered, he looked for other ways to continue his education. He had completed some classes at a local community college, but quickly discovered that he preferred taking courses online so he could study at his own pace while he regained his health, especially on the days he wasn't feeling well.

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Choosing WGU for a Online Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management

While researching online degree programs, Arif discovered StraighterLine partner, Western Governors University. He was impressed with how invested WGU seemed to be in the success of its students, particularly through its student mentorship program.

I liked the idea of having a dedicated student mentor who would know my degree goals and help me stay on track.

He also thought WGU’s competency-based approach to education “was cool,” and added, “WGU just seemed more modern and up-to-date [than other schools].” He was also impressed by the fact that “WGU [had been awarded] a Gates Foundation grant.”

The was just one things slowing him down, however - he wanted to complete as many low-cost prerequisites before enrolling into WGU’s degree program. That’s when he discovered StraighterLine.

Finding StraighterLine

Arif spent some time researching low-cost online course options on an online degree forum, and came across some pretty impressive recommendations for taking StraighterLine courses prior to enrolling in WGU.

I liked the fact that you could go your own pace. The fee structure is nice. If you can go faster through course material, you can pay less for more credits.

Additionally, Arif liked how clearly “it was well stressed on both sites [StraighterLine’s and WGU’s] that StraighterLine courses would transfer easily.”

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Transferring StraighterLine Courses & Getting a $200 Credit to WGU

Since WGU is a participating school in StraighterLine’s College Savings Network that offers special scholarships and tuition discounts to StraighterLine students, Arif able to receive a $200 tuition credit to WGU when he successfully transferred his 5 StraighterLine courses to the school. In addition to Micro Economics, Arif also used StraighterLine to save on Macro Economics, Business Law, Intro to Environmental Science and Business Ethics.

By transferring my StraighterLine courses, I got a $200 credit on my tuition at Western Governors University.

In total, between his StraighterLine courses and his previously completed community college courses, Arif was able to transfer 54 credits into his degree program at WGU.

Advice to Other Online Students

Arif has some words of wisdom for other online students: “It’s extremely important to set goals, both long term and logistical.”

He adds, “If you plan on starting college with StraighterLine, it’s important to know what degree program you plan on enrolling, and which StraighterLine courses you plan on transferring.”

He also suggests that adult learners look at logistical goals, including being realistic about “how much time you have to complete course work. If you set unrealistic expectations, you might fall short. If you set reasonable expectations, you can achieve your goals!” Also, he added, “It’s important to have a good internet connection!”

Getting a Flexible College Degree

Thanks to StraighterLine, Arif finds himself on a fast path to earning his degree at WGU. “Earning a college degree is a life goal of mine,” said Arif and he glad to be back on track.

With a successful head start on his degree and a $200 credit towards his tuition, Arif is now enrolled at WGU and rapidly completing the courses he needs for his Bachelor’s in Business Management. Congratulations Arif!

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