May 18, 2017

A.A.S. to a B.S Transition – A Huge Cost Savings

George Belmontes

Preparing for college can be a stressful scenario with so many options to choose from. Attending college and the atmosphere can make things even more intimidating. Regardless of the path one will choose to take, it’s very important to plan for the future with the best possible outcome. This can be achieved by settings goals while planning alternate paths that will benefit each individual in the long run.

There are many colleges to choose from but most importantly each individual must do their own due diligence, investigate the school of interest and assure that the college is accredited by The U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE). Accreditation is crucial if a student wishes to transfer school credits from one college to another. If a school is not accredited by the U.S. DOE, credits from a prior school will not be eligible for transfer.

Perhaps you may be thinking as to why this is important or why does such rule apply to me. Many others will say that completing an Associate’s Degree is all one is seeking but as a future benefit, one can plan an Associate’s Degree that will later save time and cost if such person decides to return for a Bachelor’s Degree. This is where a school accredited by the U.S. DOE is very important when planning the initial phase and choosing a college to attend.

After choosing an accredited school, one will save a large amount of money by attending a Community College, gaining an Associate’s Degree and then transferring credits earned to a four year College. Community Colleges will charge a dollar amount way less than that of a four year college; this is where the cost saving comes into play. This is also the reason each individual must have a game plan while planning four, five or even ten years ahead.

Another important caveat to this recipe is to plan classes with the intent to one day returning for a Bachelor’s Degree or immediately getting into a Bachelor’s program after completing an Associate’s Degree. Community colleges and Universities each have a system in place dictating course levels such as 100, 200, 300 and so on. When transferring from a two year to a four year college, a four year college will generally accept credits earned from the program of choice. What a four year college will not accept from a two year college are general education credits earned at the 100 level.

When attending any college for an Associate’s Degree, each person has the option to choose classes at 200 level but will be harder than 100 level classes. Taking classes at 200 level comes with countless benefits that will be rewarded when the individual is ready to transfer to a four year degree. A four year college will accept general education courses taken at a community college, only if the classes were taken at 200 level or above. This is where each person can save thousands of dollars and even a semester or two once transferred to a four year program.

Once the Associate’s Degree has been acquired and while completing general education courses at the 200 level, mailing in transcripts will be the next step. A tentative evaluation must be requested at the four year college so that all credits can be analyzed and approved or rejected. In the event that such steps were followed, any person who acquired an Associate’s Degree can enter a four year college as a Jr. leaving only two more years before acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Simply put, if one is hesitant about a four year program and gaining a degree with cost savings in mind, it’s important to plan ahead and use an individually designed educational road map.