Free Online Associate's Degree

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by guyfawkes, Jul 15, 2017.

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  1. guyfawkes

    guyfawkes New Member

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    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.
     
  2. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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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! :smile:

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2017
  3. Abner

    Abner Active Member

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    You can't beat that!
     
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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  5. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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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. guyfawkes

    guyfawkes New Member

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    Thanks, I'll probably mention this to him then. I'm not really sure what I had found before (or thought I had found).
     
  7. guyfawkes

    guyfawkes New Member

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  8. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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    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.
     
  9. sanantone

    sanantone Active Member

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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.
     
  10. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Member

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  11. sanantone

    sanantone Active Member

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    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.
     
  12. Stanislav

    Stanislav Active Member

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    This program has certain similarities to what you describe:

    https://www.smcuniversity.com/programs-and-services/higher-education-programs/associate/associate-of-business-administration/

    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.
     
  13. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Member

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    A very good deal!
     
  14. AsianStew

    AsianStew Member

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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.
     
  15. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    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? :smile: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/baratov-denied-bail-appeal-1.4153864

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2017
  16. Stanislav

    Stanislav Active Member

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    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.

    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.
     
  17. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    That sounds like Ashworth's lowest possible price for one semester, not per degree. Can you link me to this deal?

    J.
     
  18. Stanislav

    Stanislav Active Member

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    You're right: that's per semester. My bad. Somehow I remember it being cheaper than that 2 years ago.
     

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