Reviewed by Julie Vandekreke
If time and money didn’t matter, enrolling in college wouldn’t be cause for scheduling concerns or financial stress. You could simply enroll in a degree program, pay the list price for the courses you need, take as much time as you want, and never look back. There would be no fear of student debt and no missed opportunities because of scheduling issues and conflicts.
But in the real world, time and affordability do matter -- and creating a dual schedule for school and work can be a challenge to many students. Fortunately, with today’s online learning environment, you have several ways to earn your bachelor’s degree at an accelerated rate.
Here are 3 tips for earning your bachelor’s degree faster -- and at a lower cost
1 - Take a Self-Paced Online College Course
Not sure how you can fit in earning your bachelor’s degree in your busy life? Need to complete a prerequisite before your degree program start date? Consider enrolling in a self-paced online course. A course that allows you to set your pace and determine when and where you study is ideal for those looking to accelerate the completion of a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, a self-paced course enables you to go as fast or as slow as you want and take exams on your timetable. An added bonus of taking a self-paced course online, is that you can take exams in the comfort of your own home anywhere, anytime.
StraighterLine offers more than 60 self-paced general education college courses online, in subjects such as:
2 - Invest in your Career While Investing in your Degree
You can also accelerate your college degree by taking a series of writing, business, and math courses that focus on the skills you need for success in your current job that also prepare you for academic achievement and earn college credit in advance of enrollment. No matter which degree program you choose, there exists a common set of general education courses, such as English Comp or College Algebra, that are required for most majors -- and you can complete these prior to enrollment in order to get a jump start on your degree.
In order to make the best use of your time, map out how (and if) these courses can fit into a degree plan upon completion. By planning ahead, you can work on skills that will help you in your current job while earning credit that can transfer into a degree program when you are ready.
For many students, including adult learners, it’s taking that first step, or that first class, that is often the hardest. Fortunately, many students are pleased to learn that online learning makes it easy to take that first step back because it provides a low-risk (and low-cost) entry point back to school, and is often flexible enough to accommodate busy lives.
Create an Accelerated Degree Plan
Online options make it easy to study on your own terms, but “developing a detailed degree plan to maximize your credits is essential so you don’t waste any time or credits” says students have been successful earning their degree faster than average in an online learning environment.
For example, degree acceleration was the preferred path by StraighterLine students Deirdre Henderson, Jason Ransom, and Calvin Duker. Deidre earned her degree in 3 years from Strayer University, Jason earned 90 college credits in under 6 months and successfully transferred them to Thomas Edison State University, and Calvin completed his business management degree at a pace that also worked with his family life. Each of these students were able to move forward with their career goals without putting a strain on their current jobs or financial futures.
According to Calvin, earning a degree at a faster rate is possible! He says, “with StraighterLine, I paid significantly less per course and completed my courses at an accelerated rate. Before StraighterLine, I was on track to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in 2018; instead, I finished my degree in 2017.”
With StraighterLine, students have over 150 partner colleges to choose from, many offering flexible degree options that will allow you to accelerate the completion of your degree. If you are looking to earn your degree as fast as possible, enrolling in self-paced courses and flexible online or degree programs may just be the fastest way for you to reach your higher education and career goals.
Looking for a way to earn your degree faster? Give a self-paced StraighterLine course a try with our free trial. No credit card required.