July 11, 2017

Part 2 – A.A.S. Transition to B.S.

George Belmontes

This is a follow up blog on a previous written blog regarding the transition from a 2 year to a 4 year degree. The topic received some interest with several questions on how such transition could take place. The focal point on the previous blog was to draw transparency between college transitions and how to take advantage of schools that recognize credits from an A.A.S. program. When researching schools, it’s important to gather as much information on each program and create an outline that will match the community college of choice. Attending college is a large financial investment but one could maximize the financial results with proper planning and preparation.

Committing to any program is challenging, time consuming and can be even more difficult for older students or parents working on a degree. Part 1 on this topic was meant to enhance awareness and to shed light on the possibility that college degrees can be earned within respectable costs. According to Mahuron (n.d.), community colleges and vocational schools often offer Associate degrees and generally cost less compared to four-year universities and college tuitions. Any student looking to start a Bachelor degree can plan ahead, visit the four year college, analyze a program of interest, and identify if the school has a credit transfer agreement with community colleges. This way, if a credit transfer is approved, the student will enter the four year program as a junior. The credit transfer method can make the Associate degree a great financial option (Johnson et al., 2012).

This may not sound like the traditional route to obtaining a four-year degree but then again, many paths exist to the ultimate goal. Besides, other benefits exist beyond the financial obligation. For instance, starting classes at a community college could help with personal development and student interaction helps build confidence and collaboration. Identifying and joining professional / student organizations will also provide networking opportunities that students could take advantage of. Another benefit is easing into the program to self asses the class commitment while understanding the work load.

Attending college is already a nerve wrecking experience but this alternate route could help provide a pathway for students deciding if a four year degree is a personal goal. According to A National Survey, Program Requirements for Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degrees; Bachelor degree programs have median requirements of 120 credits while Associate degree programs vary from 60 to 70’s credits (Johnson et al., 2012). Researching the total credits needed for an Associate degree program is something the student should be investigating. Most importantly, for this educational plan to work, all general educational classes must be taken at the 200 level.

An easy was to compare the total cost that one will commit to is to multiply the total credits needed by the schools per credit cost. After a side by side companion has been done with the Associate and Bachelor degrees, the total cost can be addressed and deducted in a “what if scenario” to see where the college credits applied. Comparing each scenario can establish a graduation timeline, a class schedule and the financial cost estimated with the road mad.



Johnson, N., Reidy, L., Droll, M., & LeMon, R. (2012, July). Program Requirements for Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degrees: A National Survey. Retrieved June 28, 2017, from https://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/files/Program%20Requirements%20-%20A%20National%20Survey(1).pdf

Mahuron, S. (n.d.). Can I Get FAFSA Funding After I Get an Associate Degree? Retrieved June 27, 2017, from http://budgeting.thenest.com/can-fafsa-funding-after-associate-degree-24219.html