Degree Quest: Day 4

Already in “So Much Fear and Doubt for So Small a Paper” I’ve revealed my intent to pursue an online college degree, but I’m now happy to report that as of August 4 I’ve actually gotten started with it!

After researching the issue a bit, I’ve decided to get as many credits as I can through Sophia Learning, an online college-credit provider; many of their courses, amounting to 48 credits total, transfer to my desired degree with Western Governors University, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Business Management concentration, and Sophia charge a flat rate of $99 per month. WGU’s tuition, a flat rate of $3,720 every six months, amounts to $620 per month; much more expensive than Sophia’s.

In particular, if I come in with 48 credits, that leaves 74 credits remaining for me to complete at WGU, a much more realistic goal for one six-month term than having to earn 122 credits in that time. That’s one course per week, as opposed to two courses per week. Those incoming transfer credits may well make the difference between only needing to spend $3,720 and $7,440 for my bachelor’s degree.

Sophia’s testing process is also friendlier than WGU’s; no proctor creepily watching you over a webcam. I’ve actually already bought and received at my house a WGU-spec webcam from Amazon, along with a tripod and USB extension cord, so I’m prepared for when I’ll need to do that, but why expose myself to that process any more than I have to?

My research has also told me that my chances of admission to WGU without any college experience and with virtually no work experience wouldn’t be good. Even then, I’d most likely just be directed to WGU Academy, which guarantees admission if you do well there, but why waste time there when instead I could be completing college-level credits? Applicants with multiple Sophia course credits in hand are always admitted from what I’ve read.

As it happens, I’ve got credits in hand from multiple Sophia courses as of now. My first course was Art History I, which I started on August 4; I took the final exam on August 5. I did US History I all on August 5, followed by Introduction to Macroeconomics on August 6. Those combined are good for 9 college credits, all of which transfer to WGU. On August 5 I started Introduction to Sociology, but I’m currently waiting on my first little paper assignment to be graded, which should come in sometime next week. In the meantime I’m working on knocking out Environmental Science.

The courses are proving considerably easier than I expected, but then again I already know most of the material I’ve gone through so far. Also, they’re introductory courses, which aren’t even supposed to be difficult. Anyway, the rate at which I’m progressing so far lends much more credence to the idea that I’ll be able to do a bachelor’s degree in one term, i.e. six months or less. We’ll see.

The upshot is that as of today I’ve now moved up from the “high school diploma only” demographic bracket to the “some college, no degree” bracket. Yay!

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