Online University Expands College Access to Adults through Flexible Admissions Pathway

Online University Expands College Access to Adults through Flexible Admissions Pathway

4 minute read

Private, non-profit Northcentral University accepts credits from StraighterLine’s affordable, competency-based courses to help students complete academic requirements for entry  SAN DIEGO, CA (February 3, 2021) -- Going back to college once you’ve dropped out can seem overwhelming. Finding the right program, making time around a full-time job—and then there’s the cost. Yet a college degree is clearly worth it. Bachelor’s degree holders typically earn 66% more than those with a high school diploma, and they are less likely to face unemployment. Despite unprecedented economic uncertainty over the past year, the December unemployment rate for those with bachelor’s degrees or higher was only 3.8%. “Too many students start college and don’t complete a degree, leaving them in debt and sometimes worse off than when they started,” said Chris Dunham, dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies at Northcentral University, an online, nonprofit institution that focuses on serving working adults.  To help these students achieve their personal and professional goals, NCU has partnered with StraighterLine, the trailblazing developer of affordable, self-paced, online courses, to give adult students a cost-effective, flexible path to completing their bachelor’s degrees. Students who apply to NCU’s bachelor’s degree completion program, but have not yet met the 24-credit hour requirement, are referred to StraighterLine for general education courses.  With StraighterLine, students can take multiple courses through a low-cost course subscription ($99 a month) and complete them at a pace that allows them to balance study with family, work, and personal time. The competency-based format uses rapid, short-form assessments to check for students’ understanding of course material, allowing them to apply skills and knowledge they already possess through work and lived experience to accelerate their path to college credit. “At a time when so many working adults are facing important and difficult choices about their economic welfare, the process of enrolling in or restarting the path to a degree can feel too high-stakes for many of the learners who could benefit most,” said Burck Smith, founder and CEO of StraighterLine. “Northcentral University has recognized that a small investment in clearing general education requirements can help to reduce the cost and risk of returning to college, enabling students to start their college journey with more confidence.”  For more information, prospective students should visit To learn more about StraighterLine courses, contact an enrollment counselor at (877) 787-8375. To learn more about Northcentral University’s bachelor’s completion programs, contact an NCU enrollment advisor at (866) 776-0331. About Northcentral University Founded in 1996, Northcentral University is a regionally accredited, nonprofit, online and graduate-focused university serving professionals globally. NCU students learn from 100% doctoral faculty in a unique, one-to-one learning model called Teaching Through Engagement. With weekly course starts and no GRE/GMAT required, students have the flexibility to attend school on their own time. NCU offers degrees in business, education, health sciences, law, marriage and family therapy, psychology and technology.  Northcentral University is a nonprofit affiliate of the private, nonprofit National University System. It is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). About StraighterLine StraighterLine is a student success company and the category creator for providing scalable solutions to deliver affordable, effective and accelerated learning pathways to formal degree programs and widely recognized industry credentials. The StraighterLine platform supports over 40,000 new students a year, including directly through the website as well as through the company’s growing network of university and employer relationships. Visit or for more information. Contact: Kate Stober Senior Manager, University Communications [email protected] 480.253.3497

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