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  1. #1
    guyfawkes is offline Registered User
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    Free Online Associate's Degree

    So I had mentioned to my friend, who does not have a degree, that at one point I had come across a program online that offered a free associate's degree. The program did not accept transfer credits and could not transfer credits to other institutions; it all needed to be completed through their online platform to be awarded the degree, at which point you had a degree that would be recognized by other educational institutions.
    This is at least how I am remembering it, and I could have sworn that the degree was regionally accredited, but this, too, may have become distorted in my mind over time. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone or have I just completely mixed things up? I had seen whatever it is I am referring to less than two years ago, but I can't find it anywhere, which is causing me to doubt how accurately I am remembering this.
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  2. #2
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    There are colleges that have zero tuition, but they're mostly campus based and require the student to work for so many hours a week, or semester, to offset his/her tuition.

    University of the People is distance-based, tuition-free and accredited (NA-DEAC). The catch - no tuition, but $100 exam fee for each 3-credit course. That's still very cheap. Worth a look. UoPeople - The world's first tuition-free*Accredited Online University

    Oooh! Just noticed. They now accept transfer credits. They didn't, before. More good news!

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 07-14-2017 at 03:47 PM.

  3. #3
    Abner is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    There are colleges that have zero tuition, but they're mostly campus based and require the student to work for so many hours a semester.

    University of the People is distance-based, tuition-free and accredited (NA-DEAC). The catch - no tuition, but $100 exam fee for each 3-credit course. That's still very cheap. Worth a look. UoPeople - The world's first tuition-free*Accredited Online University

    Oooh! Just noticed. They now accept transfer credits. They didn't, before. More good news!

    J.
    You can't beat that!

  4. #4
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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  5. #5
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Good programs - but none appear to be distance. I hope they might be of use to the OP, depending on where his friend lives - but he did specify the program he'd seen was distance study.

    J.

  6. #6
    guyfawkes is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    There are colleges that have zero tuition, but they're mostly campus based and require the student to work for so many hours a week, or semester, to offset his/her tuition.

    University of the People is distance-based, tuition-free and accredited (NA-DEAC). The catch - no tuition, but $100 exam fee for each 3-credit course. That's still very cheap. Worth a look. UoPeople - The world's first tuition-free*Accredited Online University

    Oooh! Just noticed. They now accept transfer credits. They didn't, before. More good news!

    J.
    Thanks, I'll probably mention this to him then. I'm not really sure what I had found before (or thought I had found).
    Bachelor of Science in Social Science from Florida State University
    Associate in Arts in General Education from Seminole State College of Florida

    Six Sigma Green Belt from Bayt
    Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt from The Mountain Home Institute
    Six Sigma Yellow Belt from Top Rank IT and from 6sigmastudy
    Lean Six Sigma White Belt from Management Strategy Institute and from Acuity Institute School of Business Leadership
    Six Sigma White Belt from Aveta Business Institute

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  7. #7
    guyfawkes is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    Those programs look very interesting. Maybe they will make their way to Florida in the near future.
    Bachelor of Science in Social Science from Florida State University
    Associate in Arts in General Education from Seminole State College of Florida

    Six Sigma Green Belt from Bayt
    Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt from The Mountain Home Institute
    Six Sigma Yellow Belt from Top Rank IT and from 6sigmastudy
    Lean Six Sigma White Belt from Management Strategy Institute and from Acuity Institute School of Business Leadership
    Six Sigma White Belt from Aveta Business Institute

    Florida Notary Public

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  9. #8
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by guyfawkes View Post
    Those programs look very interesting. Maybe they will make their way to Florida in the near future.
    Based on what I know about Florida politics (not more than a casual knowledge) I would not hold my breath waiting for a program like that.
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  10. #9
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    If you want a regionally accredited degree, you can complete an associates degree at Charter Oak State College or Thomas Edison State University (only the programs without capstones) for about the same price as University of the People.
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  11. #10
    Phdtobe is offline Registered User
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    https://learn.saylor.org/course/view.php?id=375
    There is also Saylor Academy.

  12. #11
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phdtobe View Post
    For clarification, Saylor Academy is a cheap way of earning ACE-approved credits that can be transferred to colleges that will accept them. Not all of their courses are ACE-approved, and Saylor is not a school that can grant degrees. While the Saylor courses are free (I wouldn't even call them real courses; they're just links and are a nightmare to navigate through), there is a $25 fee for taking the required proctored exam through ProctorU. So, it's not exactly free, but it's cheaper than University of the People or taking a CLEP/DSST.

    TESU, which is referenced in that link, still requires either 16 credits in residence (at $499 per credit hour) or a residency waiver fee of $2,500.
    Texas State University - PhD CJ (ABD)
    Angelo State University - Master of Security Studies and Grad Cert Terrorism
    Thomas Edison State College/University - BA Soc Sci, AAS in Environmental Safety, ASNSM in Biology, & BSBA in CIS

  13. #12
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    This program has certain similarities to what you describe:

    https://www.smcuniversity.com/progra...dministration/

    It's not free, but the total fee is 490 Euros (about $560) - if you have transfer credit they deem sufficient. It was free when it was unaccredited, but it got ACBSP nod since. Obvious problem - while accredited it does not have RA, institutional NA, or Swiss equivalent. So transfer is likely to be even harder than at NA schools. It is an option if money are extremely tight, and appears to be rather straightforward - but for most students a degree from Big Three will be worth extra effort and cost.
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  14. #13
    Phdtobe is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanislav View Post
    This program has certain similarities to what you describe:

    https://www.smcuniversity.com/progra...dministration/

    It's not free, but the total fee is 490 Euros (about $560) - if you have transfer credit they deem sufficient. It was free when it was unaccredited, but it got ACBSP nod since. Obvious problem - while accredited it does not have RA, institutional NA, or Swiss equivalent. So transfer is likely to be even harder than at NA schools. It is an option if money are extremely tight, and appears to be rather straightforward - but for most students a degree from Big Three will be worth extra effort and cost.
    A very good deal!

  15. #14
    AsianStew is offline Registered User
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    Maybe a Nations University BS in Religious Studies would be sufficient for your friend. I mean the utility of it isn't going to be high, but you can transfer courses into it. Those courses can be used for a second bachelors.
    I believe Nations only requires 30 credits through them. Your friend can get the majority of the credits with ALEKS, Davar Academy, Saylor Academy, Shmoop, Straighterline and Study.com for a BSBA or BALS at TESU.
    Goal: TESU ASNSM Bio, BSBA Gen Man

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  17. #15
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phdtobe View Post
    A very good deal!
    Yes - but ONLY if it "meets your present and anticipated future needs." (I think that's how Dr. Bear puts it.) If programmatic accreditation alone will suffice - go for it. Then it's indeed a great deal.

    @Stanislav:

    I believe the initial "free" offer was limited to a specific number of qualified applicants - 500 comes to mind. The school announced what the tuition would be, well before the free spots were all taken. SMC's other degrees except PhDs, which I believe are beyond the scope of ACBSP's mandate, were ACBSP accredited and SMC had already applied for accreditation of this associate degree. I think the PhDs are all joint programs with Universidad Central de Nicaragua, so the degrees have that school's standing.

    I am intrigued by SMC's 90-Euro "Business Hacker" course. Anything to do with my near-neighbour Karim Baratov? http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilt...peal-1.4153864

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 07-17-2017 at 04:22 PM.

  18. #16
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    Yes - but ONLY if it "meets your present and anticipated future needs." (I think that's how Dr. Bear puts it.) If programmatic accreditation alone will suffice - go for it. Then it's indeed a great deal.
    Precisely. That's why I said that for a median student an RA degree from Big Three /Patten/WGU /local CC would be worth extra money and effort. But individual circumstances can and do vary.

    What I wonder is whether this degree will be honored by RA schools that normally accept NA Associate's in transfer (Patten/WGU /APUS/Liberty /Belleview etc.). Patten says it accepts degrees accredited by agency recognised by DoEd, which suggests that the answer is "yes"... but the situation is unusual enough to be completely unpredictable. Is there ANOTHER AS degree with just programmatic accreditation? It is possible these schools never had an applicant like this, and a student who tried will be an ad hoc test case everywhere. If that's the goal, one can just get a $1099 Associate's at Ashworth . Then again, if the money are super tight, and the future's unclear, one can just grab the cheapest most convenient credential now and worry about transfer later - it's relatively low commitment given the price. A student at the very minimum will learn something from the coursework.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    @Stanislav:

    I believe the initial "free" offer was limited to a specific number of qualified applicants - 500 comes to mind. The school announced what the tuition would be, well before the free spots were all taken. SMC's other degrees except PhDs, which I believe are beyond the scope of ACBSP's mandate, were ACBSP accredited and SMC had already applied for accreditation of this associate degree. I think the PhDs are all joint programs with Universidad Central de Nicaragua, so the degrees have that school's standing.

    I am intrigued by SMC's 90-Euro "Business Hacker" course. Anything to do with my near-neighbour Karim Baratov? Alleged Yahoo hacker Karim Baratov will stay in jail as he awaits extradition hearing - Hamilton - CBC News

    J.
    All degrees are ACBSP except PhDs and Bachelors at the moment. Their undergrad degrees are appreciably cheaper than their grad degrees; it looks like ABA and BBA are priced to be loss leaders and feed into their MBAs. This strategy makes a lot of sense at the face of it. One can take advantage of that I guess.
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