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College as cheap as possible - need advice (Update in #75)


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#51 Lawyer&Mom

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 10:58 AM

Can you get student loans for programs like this?

10K is still a lot of money.

hmm
http://www.londonint...ork-entry-route

12 courses equals BSc ?? Did I mis-read something.


You didn't misread anything. A bachelors degree in the U.K. is three years long. So 12 courses is four year long courses a year with four comprehensive final exams in the spring. It's absolutely full time. (I did it, its intense.). You can get US student loans for the University of London. (I have them.) I assume it would be the same for the distance program.
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#52 MarkT

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:11 AM

She has graduated and has already been working for at least a year. She wants to stay local and move to the city in two years, so no nation wide college search.

She has taken 1 or 2 college classes since she graduated homeschool. 

 

ETA: I am not sure what peope mean by "slow down" and "step back" I am not insinuating myself into the situation. The student has approached me through a friend, asking my help to find out about online college offerings. She seems frustrated with her situation.

IMHO  - going to college without some kind of objective is kind of wasteful - back in my day, college did not cost a fortune and you could spend some time "finding yourself"

 

Can you speak to this person directly about short term and/or long term goals or find someone else who can?



#53 regentrude

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:14 AM

IMHO  - going to college without some kind of objective is kind of wasteful - back in my day, college did not cost a fortune and you could spend some time "finding yourself"

 

Can you speak to this person directly about short term and/or long term goals or find someone else who can?

 

I will speak to her. But I do not see furthering one's education as wasteful. I think chipping away at gen ed requirements while exploring options and working beats working low wage job for years waiting for inspiration to strike and not feeling like one is actively taking steps forward, IYKWIM?


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#54 Diana P.

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:20 AM

I will speak to her. But I do not see furthering one's education as wasteful. I think chipping away at gen ed requirements while exploring options and working beats working low wage job for years waiting for inspiration to strike and not feeling like one is actively taking steps forward, IYKWIM?


Yes!

#55 EmilyGF

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:40 AM

I will speak to her. But I do not see furthering one's education as wasteful. I think chipping away at gen ed requirements while exploring options and working beats working low wage job for years waiting for inspiration to strike and not feeling like one is actively taking steps forward, IYKWIM?

This is anecdotal, but I dated a guy who was in this situation a while back (he was 23, I was 18). He was working full time and chipping away at an AA. I think it was really hard because on top of having no family support, he didn't really have a trajectory planned and he couldn't see how this class now would ever help him. And I have a number of friends now who are single moms who have gone to college on and off. Because they just start when they have the money/time, they don't have a plan and they waste time and money on classes that they will never use. (And both of the single moms now have debt from unfinished degrees.)

 

So I think having a trajectory with really clear steps is vital for motivation for someone who has very little support. 

 

I think the guy I dated ended up finishing college eventually, but he went to a CC for 6 years before transferring.

 

ETA: One lady started in nursing but couldn't hack the math/science (or wasn't able to get the support), changed to education, went to three or four different colleges, currently works as a sub and drives for uber. She already has a BA but this was to change fields. The other lady also has a BA, went back to school to become a teacher, decided she hated teaching halfway through and quit with a year of private college tuition to pay back. The thing is she got a job at a school the year she started her masters and absolutely hated it. If she had postponed the masters by a year, she would have saved herself $$$. But she didn't want to wait. She also didn't understand the difference between a grant and a loan. Argh.

 

Emily


Edited by EmilyGF, 12 August 2017 - 11:44 AM.

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#56 creekland

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:50 AM

She has graduated and has already been working for at least a year. She wants to stay local and move to the city in two years, so no nation wide college search.

She has taken 1 or 2 college classes since she graduated homeschool. 

 

ETA: I am not sure what peope mean by "slow down" and "step back" I am not insinuating myself into the situation. The student has approached me through a friend, asking my help to find out about online college offerings. She seems frustrated with her situation.

 

Ok, I understand the situation better now.  I had been thinking this was a high school junior or senior who had suddenly decided she wanted college, but had no support or knowledge of how to get there.  (This is common - even in ps situations.)  Instead, we have a young adult who is working a dead end (to her) job who wants to advance herself somehow, doesn't have money, but knows she wants to do something.

 

In that situation, I'd be guiding her to the CC (perhaps one she took courses at?) and their career guidance counselors.  They should be able to give her ideas about what is available (academic or vocational) in their area or even at other nearby schools.  They'll know what will transfer and what won't too.  They should also know about financial aid possibilities, but if not, then it shouldn't be a long distance to the financial aid office.

 

Since you know the language of college, perhaps you could offer to go with her as an additional ear listening?  Online can work, but it seems to work much better from a b&m school than from the "online only" places - very akin to what a pp posted about.


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#57 regentrude

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:56 AM

In that situation, I'd be guiding her to the CC (perhaps one she took courses at?) and their career guidance counselors.  They should be able to give her ideas about what is available (academic or vocational) in their area or even at other nearby schools.  They'll know what will transfer and what won't too.  They should also know about financial aid possibilities, but if not, then it shouldn't be a long distance to the financial aid office.

 

Since you know the language of college, perhaps you could offer to go with her as an additional ear listening?  Online can work, but it seems to work much better from a b&m school than from the "online only" places - very akin to what a pp posted about.

 

Thanks for the advice. I'd be happy to do that. 

The problem is that I think she cannot not see herself as a FT college student because she cannot envision how money would work. She has a job, some promotion likely in the near future (currently in training) and needs money to pay medical bills, buy a car and move out from her parents' home. The reason she is interested in online is scheduling; with a daytime job, classes are hard to manage during the day, and with early morning shifts, evening block classes from 5 to 10pm are not going to work.

Maybe she need to re-evaluate her vision of how this could work. 


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#58 Matryoshka

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 12:02 PM

Thanks for the advice. I'd be happy to do that. 

The problem is that I think she cannot not see herself as a FT college student because she cannot envision how money would work. She has a job, some promotion likely in the near future (currently in training) and needs money to pay medical bills, buy a car and move out from her parents' home. The reason she is interested in online is scheduling; with a daytime job, classes are hard to manage during the day, and with early morning shifts, evening block classes from 5 to 10pm are not going to work.

Maybe she need to re-evaluate her vision of how this could work. 

 

Does she have medical benefits?  Is Starbucks really out of the question, since she's a barista anyway?  Medical benefits and paid online college tuition would be good.  Even if she decides to pay out of pocket for CC & AA first (I don't think Arizona State does AAs), she'd be able to figure out ahead of time what would transfer to that college if she decided on a 4-year later, and it wouldn't matter if she moved to another place (Starbucks are everywhere and they use Arizona State everywhere).  You don't even need to work full time for these benefits.


Edited by Matryoshka, 12 August 2017 - 12:03 PM.


#59 regentrude

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 12:08 PM

Does she have medical benefits?  Is Starbucks really out of the question, since she's a barista anyway?  Medical benefits and paid online college tuition would be good.  Even if she decides to pay out of pocket for CC & AA first (I don't think Arizona State does AAs), she'd be able to figure out ahead of time what would transfer to that college if she decided on a 4-year later, and it wouldn't matter if she moved to another place (Starbucks are everywhere and they use Arizona State everywhere).  You don't even need to work full time for these benefits.

 

Thanks. I will mention this to her. As for Starbucks being "everywhere": right now, our town only has a licensed Starbucks counter at the grocery store, and those employees are not eligible for the program.

 

ETA: I believe she is on her parents' health insurance. There are still medical expenses nonetheless.


Edited by regentrude, 12 August 2017 - 12:10 PM.


#60 GailV

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 12:10 PM

Quick reply without having read past the original post -- Southeast Missouri State is generous with scholarship packages for instate student with decent ACTs and GPAs.  I've heard that Lindenwood in St. Charles, MO is also, although we don't receive a constant barrage of emails from them so I'm not quite sure what their parameters are.

 

I assume both of those are close enough to seem doable.

 

If she qualifies for financial aid, wouldn't she also qualify for work-study?  I'm not quite sure how that works, but I know kids who are getting work-study based on financial need.


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#61 regentrude

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 12:14 PM

Quick reply without having read past the original post -- Southeast Missouri State is generous with scholarship packages for instate student with decent ACTs and GPAs.  I've heard that Lindenwood in St. Charles, MO is also, although we don't receive a constant barrage of emails from them so I'm not quite sure what their parameters are.

 

I assume both of those are close enough to seem doable.

 

Thanks. Moving to campus as a FT student away from home is currently not something she wants/considers feasible.

She is looking for options that do not require her to move away, so I am trying to find solutions that are local and/or online.


Edited by regentrude, 12 August 2017 - 12:15 PM.


#62 creekland

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 12:21 PM

Thanks for the advice. I'd be happy to do that. 

The problem is that I think she cannot not see herself as a FT college student because she cannot envision how money would work. She has a job, some promotion likely in the near future (currently in training) and needs money to pay medical bills, buy a car and move out from her parents' home. The reason she is interested in online is scheduling; with a daytime job, classes are hard to manage during the day, and with early morning shifts, evening block classes from 5 to 10pm are not going to work.

Maybe she need to re-evaluate her vision of how this could work. 

 

She doesn't need to do things full time.  At our CC, plenty of adults are working FT while taking classes toward something.  I've had several students over the past 17 years come back telling me that they changed their mind about college afterward and did something or another with our local CC - at least to start.  I have no idea if the one she's been going to is similar, but ours sees many different situations and good counselors can figure out how to align something that works for many different paths.  Vocational options are usually FT, but relatively shorter duration.  I suspect loans come into play, perhaps even for living expenses, but if the student is dedicated and the program has a high placement rate at an average of $x per year, simple math can tell if it's worth it to pursue.

 

This is actually one of the main purposes of CC - a place for folks who decide later that they want to do something and need some sort of higher education (academic or vocational) to do it.

 

I know not all CCs are the same.  Hopefully the one she has access to will be a good one.


Edited by creekland, 12 August 2017 - 12:37 PM.

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#63 SparklyUnicorn

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 12:35 PM

Just a heads up... If she has a homeschool diploma she may have difficulty matriculating at a CC.  CCs and state schools tend to be the least flexible when it comes to accepting homeschool diplomas.  This may not be a factor (hopefully not), but I thought it was worth mentioning. 

 

 



#64 jdahlquist

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 12:35 PM

I would encourage her to take a step back and consider what it is she really wants and why.  Is affording to leave her parents' house a pressing issue?  Does she want to go to college because she enjoys learning?  Does she want to have some training so that she doesn't feel like she is in a dead-end job (and has heard college will provide that)?  Does she want to go to college because she is afraid she is missing out on what her friends are experiencing?  Does she want to go to college to pursue a particular path?  Or does she see college as a place to discover that path?

 

There are strategies for getting a degree (piece of paper) in the fastest, cheapest way, but if she is intrigued by the notion of learning and being in a community of scholars, that won't be a good strategy.  If she is highly motivated toward a goal (for example if she wanted to study nursing at the four-year college), there are ways to do that more economically, but it takes commitment.  If it is important to her to support herself now (and move out of her parents house) looking at some long-run college goals may be more appropriate.

 

I have seen a number of students start college using a lot of cost reducing strategies--taking online classes, classes at the community college, taking CLEP without a real goal except to save money and then end up spending a lot more money (and being in debt) with nothing to show for it but a lot of frustration.  I find few students find a field that they love and want to major in while taking online classes.  In many states the fees that are charged in addition to tuition are substantial and are the same for part-time and full-time students, making part-time attendance cost much more in the long run.  


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#65 JanetC

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 01:06 PM

"Online for cheap" college might be ASU's Global Freshman Academy. You have to pay to take the final exams, but it is free until then. The problem is that the course selections are limited. Ideally, she is not just randomly "getting gen eds" but is actually "test driving" possible majors so that she can find what she wants to do.

#66 Plum Crazy

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 01:28 PM

I'd check into the cc remediation programs. Ours has a multiple module math course that will take the student through to qualify for a non-remedial math course. It costs $100 which is much less than taking multiple remedial classes. It's intense, but with a good math tutor by her side it could be an option. 

 

AAS degrees typically don't transfer, but are geared to get employed. We have one college that offers a 2+2 for Allied Health degrees that would turn the AAS into a Bachelors. A program like that might work.

 

Dh said telemetry techs are needed here (I don't know your market) and don't require a degree, just ACLS certification. They have nursing hours (3 12-hour shifts) which would give multiple days off to go to school as well. Working for the hospital would provide medical. Plus hospitals are everywhere so moving wouldn't be an issue. 



#67 dmmetler

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 04:15 PM

Also, check schedules. The CC here starts classes at 7:00 am, specifically to allow people who work during the day to still take them.  There are also a lot of classes designed to fit within a lunch break if your boss is reasonably flexible. The CC has far more hours at odd times to accommodate working adults than the local state U does.

 

 



#68 Evanthe

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 04:44 PM

Our family is in the fortunate situation to be able to pay for our kid's university, but a young person in my life is interested in a college education and her parents are unwilling/unable to contribute. The young woman will be working full time and is trying to save money for transportation, living expenses and her schooling. She has been homeschooled and does not seem to have received any college counseling. 

 

she has no clear plan how to proceed.

 

I don't really want to give you advice, but I can tell you how my sisters and I got ourselves through college (and sister later law school) without any help from our parents.  My sister also homeschooled high school, but ended up getting her GED at 16.  I moved out at 17.  (It's a long story, but I stopped going to high school during my junior year and petitioned the state of IL for a diploma.) 

 

We had to get ourselves "emancipated" at the university.  My sister had to write a letter to the school saying my parents did not support her, so they wouldn't factor our parents' finances when considering financial aid/student loans.

 

We took out student loans for our tuition and my sister would take out extra student loans for living expenses.  I tried not to do this, but she did.

 

We both worked.  She worked at Bed, Bath & Beyond after school (Lol) and I worked at a warehouse overnight.  I would work from midnight to 6 or 7am.  I would come home to my apartment, get ready for school, go to classes throughout the day and try to go to bed at 5pm.  I would try to sleep from 5pm to 11-ish.  We both lived on very little money.  Sometimes, we didn't have money for groceries or gas and if there was an emergency, well, oops.   :D  

 

My sister and I were very goal-oriented.  We would take as many classes as they would let us and we would take the summer session, too.  Time = money when you're going to college (and don't have any help).  I would never go to college aimlessly.  I would have a clear and specific goal.

 

We managed to graduate.  I graduated with a Bachelor of Science and my sister ended up going to law school.  My other sister is a Nurse Practitioner, but she used ROTC to get through college without our parents.  She also had to get herself "emancipated", because I remember when she was filing for that (and she was irritated by it).

 

Our financial aid office was really used to kids having all kinds of "situations" and gave advice on what to do.


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#69 Silver Brook

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 04:49 PM

Maybe she could look into online degree completion programs in your state? If there are any that look promising, then she has a game plan for CLEP credits that might work as well as cc coursework. CC often have scholarships that go unclaimed, so perhaps she could snag one of those. One of our regional schools has an extremely supportive program , but out of state costs make it a weak option.

#70 G5052

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 05:31 PM

Just a heads up... If she has a homeschool diploma she may have difficulty matriculating at a CC.  CCs and state schools tend to be the least flexible when it comes to accepting homeschool diplomas.  This may not be a factor (hopefully not), but I thought it was worth mentioning. 

 

That isn't an issue at all in my state within the state community college system unless you are dealing with an employee who doesn't know the rules. The state regulations say that you only need a signed homeschool transcript showing graduation and college or placement scores in math and English. They used to want to see the homeschool diploma, but when I had DD in there, they said that is no longer required, just the transcript saying that they have graduated.

 

The only reason applicants aren't admitted at all is if they have rock bottom scores and/or have a criminal record that a committee determines makes attendance unsafe for other students.

 

Even if they can't produce a transcript, the potential student can schedule an interview with the Dean and provide test scores for provisional admission. They're allowed to take 7 or less credit hours the first semester, and then they can take whatever they want. So no transcript isn't even a problem if the student is determined. I had a student who got into the Army many years ago without a high school diploma and took his GED and passed. He lost his GED documents, and it was so far back that they couldn't be retrieved. He was given provisional admission, and went on to take a full load and graduate.

 

The community colleges here also have scads of remedial English and math classes that cover high-school level material.

 

Every state is different, but I always tell homeschool parents not to worry about the community college as long as they have a signed, complete transcript.


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#71 Crimson Wife

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 06:04 PM

I tend to agree with this opinion. Perhpas the view of these online degrees may change over the next 10-15 years, but for now, I think many people in the position to hire will likely view such degrees with some skepticism. People tend to be most comfortable with that which they are most familiar. Those up the food chain in management positions may not have a high degree of confidence in on-line degrees. Especially if obtained online in their totality (or close to it). However, this is speculative on my part.

 

There is nothing on my diploma nor transcript that states I earned my (2nd) bachelor's fully online. It just says "Utah State University" the same as if I had moved to Logan, UT and done the degree in-person.

 

My target grad program is a hybrid of online courses + supervised clinical practica at local hospitals/schools/rehab facilities/etc. Assuming I get accepted & complete it, the diploma will just say the name of the well-respected university. I would have to pass the national certification exam in order to get my license so employers will know that I have acquired the basic knowledge needed to be a Speech & Language Pathologist.

 

Now if we're talking a for-profit online program, those do have a poor reputation. My last employer had a blanket policy against hiring their graduates for any position requiring a degree after getting burned by one.



#72 Heigh Ho

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 07:33 PM

She has graduated and has already been working for at least a year. She wants to stay local and move to the city in two years, so no nation wide college search.
She has taken 1 or 2 college classes since she graduated homeschool.

ETA: I am not sure what peope mean by "slow down" and "step back" I am not insinuating myself into the situation. The student has approached me through a friend, asking my help to find out about online college offerings. She seems frustrated with her situation.

She really needs to do career counseling and decide how college is going to work for her goals, then pick options. Is the local CC and U out of her budget if she has financial aid? Does her employer offer tuition reimbursement? Is she considering online thru the state u? Without a goal she may waste money on unneeded credits.
My son's friends that are paying their own way work full time in an area related to their major, and moved to a town with low cost student housing and public transportation & bike lanes. Some worked full time until they could declare independence.

Edited by Heigh Ho, 12 August 2017 - 10:59 PM.

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#73 eagleynne

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 07:33 PM

If her main concern is getting a job that pays and she doesn't have her heart set on anything in particular she could look at an apprenticeship program in one of the skilled trades, maybe something like the one run by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. It is a mult-year program, but they pay you decently while you are in training. This is the type of program I'm talking about: http://www.thejatc.org

#74 WendyAndMilo

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 07:52 PM

I don't agree with the people saying that she needs a plan before attending.  I had zero plans when I entered college 13 years ago and general ed is a wonderful way to figure out strengths, interests and whatnot when you haven't been exposed to a whole lot before.  Granted, one could say that my failure to finish college way back then was a result of my lack of a plan, but that was only a very small part of it.


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#75 regentrude

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 08:01 AM

Update:

Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. This is where we are today:

As a first step, she will make an appointment to see a counselor at the CC to get some general guidance, over view over degree programs, etc. I have offered to accompany her if she would like.

Parents are willing to fill out FAFSA; I encouraged her to do that and talk to the Financial Aid people in order to find out what her options are.

She is considering taking the ACT.

ETA: She would be a first generation college student.


Edited by regentrude, 13 August 2017 - 12:11 PM.

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#76 WendyAndMilo

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 08:48 AM

 

Update:

Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. This is where we are today:

As a first step, she will make an appointment to see a counselor at the CC to get some general guidance, over view over degree programs, etc. I have offered to accompany her if she would like.

Parents are willing to fill out FAFSA; I encouraged her to do that and talk to the Financial Aid people in order to find out what her options are.

She is considering taking the ACT.

 

 

Yay!  First steps are always the hardest.


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#77 MarkT

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 09:09 AM

1) There is nothing on my diploma nor transcript that states I earned my (2nd) bachelor's fully online. It just says "Utah State University" the same as if I had moved to Logan, UT and done the degree in-person.

 

2) Now if we're talking a for-profit online program, those do have a poor reputation. My last employer had a blanket policy against hiring their graduates for any position requiring a degree after getting burned by one.

1)  I agree but the overall academic reputation of the school will be looked at. For example Thomas Edison State is mostly accredited but has a low academic rank and I am pretty sure employers know their programs.

Some Universities may show an online degree from a different "college" within the U.  But I think the trend is away from that because it reflects poorly on the institution as well (show me the money - I will give you the paper).  

 

2) I agree - University of Phoenix and such don't have good employer recognition.  



#78 GGardner

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 09:24 AM

Is she a first generation college student, and if so, eligible for additional supports?



#79 shinyhappypeople

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 09:41 AM

1)  I agree but the overall academic reputation of the school will be looked at. For example Thomas Edison State is mostly accredited but has a low academic rank and I am pretty sure employers know their programs.

Some Universities may show an online degree from a different "college" within the U.  But I think the trend is away from that because it reflects poorly on the institution as well (show me the money - I will give you the paper).  

 

2) I agree - University of Phoenix and such don't have good employer recognition.  

 

There are some fields where the school matters, but most of the time employers just want the piece of paper from an accredited college and the right work experience.  If someone is looking for an online degree program, I wouldn't necessarily take it off the table.  It meets an important need and is nothing to be ashamed of.  (eta: University of Phoenix is its own hot mess and I'd avoid it, along with other for-profit programs)

 

Regentrude: If the young woman is a self-stater and decides to pursue teaching, business, IT, nursing, or healthcare admin, I can personally vouch for WGU.   It has a good reputation, is very affordable, flexible, they accept CLEP (and others), and she can work as  quickly or as slowly as she needs.  If she lives in one of the states that has adopted it into their state school system, she might qualify for additional financial aid (I can't find a list of the states, but I know it includes Indiana, Texas, Nevada, Tennessee, maybe google "your state" WGU and see what comes up).  Regardless of where she lives, she can use her Pell Grant money here.  Finishing her degree in 4 years (probably less) should be no problem, even if she's working full-time.  My husband did his BS in Business Management in 4 years while working full-time and raising a family.  


Edited by shinyhappypeople, 13 August 2017 - 09:45 AM.

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#80 regentrude

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 12:12 PM

Is she a first generation college student, and if so, eligible for additional supports?

 

Yes, she is.



#81 Renai

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 03:28 PM

There are some fields where the school matters, but most of the time employers just want the piece of paper from an accredited college and the right work experience.  If someone is looking for an online degree program, I wouldn't necessarily take it off the table.  It meets an important need and is nothing to be ashamed of.  (eta: University of Phoenix is its own hot mess and I'd avoid it, along with other for-profit programs)

 

Regentrude: If the young woman is a self-stater and decides to pursue teaching, business, IT, nursing, or healthcare admin, I can personally vouch for WGU.   It has a good reputation, is very affordable, flexible, they accept CLEP (and others), and she can work as  quickly or as slowly as she needs.  If she lives in one of the states that has adopted it into their state school system, she might qualify for additional financial aid (I can't find a list of the states, but I know it includes Indiana, Texas, Nevada, Tennessee, maybe google "your state" WGU and see what comes up).  Regardless of where she lives, she can use her Pell Grant money here.  Finishing her degree in 4 years (probably less) should be no problem, even if she's working full-time.  My husband did his BS in Business Management in 4 years while working full-time and raising a family.  

 

List of member states: https://www.wgu.edu/wgu/states

General about WGU: https://www.wgu.edu/...ernors_industry