How can I finish? 170 + credit hours, no Bachelor's degree.

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by ooo, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. ooo

    ooo New Member

    How can I finish? 170 + credit hours, no Bachelor's degree.

    I really am in need of an online, reputable, affordable way to finish my degree.
    I am not in the position to relocate or pay $30,000 a semester for school.

    Quick facts:
    - Attended a top tier university (top 60, but not top 6...) with 170+ credit hours so far
    (120 credit hours are required, I just have excess in electives). I only mention this because it really seems like such a shame to trade in my work at a more competitive school to end up at a vo-tech or non-competitive program. Especially with my debt..
    - Over $120,000 in student loan debt (yes, that's with working my way through college... expensive school, expensive city, and student loan interest snowballed)
    - I don't want to attend a popular "online only school." No offense, but I just would prefer that the university I finish at not be an only-only school, or a school that is typically online only. I really am looking for reputable, traditionally-respected. Aspen and some of the other schools that say "online degrees" on their homepage just aren't what I'm looking for. I really want a traditional university with online offerings.
    - 170+ undergraduate credit hours, with many classes in Political Science
    - 15+ graduate credit hours
    - GPA: cumulative, maybe a 3.0 GPA :(, most recent 30ish credit hours a 4.0 GPA
    (15 graduate hours at a 4.0, 15ish undergraduate hours at a 4.0). My GPA has risen over time, I just had a bumpy semester earlier on.
    - Tons of Liberal Arts classes
    - Terrible at foreign language and science
    - Good/averagely good work experience for my age

    I have at least 170 credit hours of undergraduate courses, and around 15 hours graduate credit. I took AP courses in high school, did summer school in college, and took the maximum number of courses I was allowed to take many semesters. Unfortunately, I took too many electives and interesting courses and have no degree.

    I have one degree requirement remaining to finish my original bachelor's-- 3rd year foreign language proficiency. I have spent a long time trying to reach this proficiency with no luck. I find language learning particularly difficult (ADD, etc.). I don't want to keep trying for something that I simply don't understand (foreign languages). I also live many, many hours away from my original college so I cannot attend the language class on campus. I haven't taken a foreign language since my freshmen year of college, and the odds of understanding it now are negligible.

    What would you do if you were me... considering the student loan debt, the number of course credits already, etc.?

    I hope I don't sound picky or insult online schools-- those serve a great need. I just am at a loss of what to do. I attended a lower top tier school and sunk $120,000+ into student loan debt, and still have no degree. If I switch to a non-competitive school now, I feel it would almost be a waste of $120,000... even though no degree at all right now is even more of a waste.
    Do I try to finish at the original school no matter what?
    Do I sink my losses and find the cheapest school I could possibly finish at?
    Do I quit?
  2. lifelonglearner

    lifelonglearner New Member

    I would recommend ...

    I would recommend Thomas Edison State: Thomas Edison State College - Higher Education. For Adults with Higher Expectations. I have recommended TESC to several persons in similar situations and they have gone on to get their degrees and later be admitted to graduate school, one to Harvard Divinity School. I doubt the foreign language issue would be a problem there.

    - lifelonglearner
  3. rebel100

    rebel100 New Member

    There are three schools that are perfect for you, but from your post I would say you won't like them. Thomas Edison State College, Charter Oak State College, and Excelsior College would all likely grant you a legitimate degree with just a course or two (assuming at least 30 hours you already have are at the Upper level). Trouble is that all three are essentially "online only" schools.

    There are very few other schools that will grant you a degree with less than 30 credits acquired in residence.

    If I where you ....I sounded a lot like you a year ago actually......I would finish at whichever of the three schools I mentioned are the best fit for you. For me that was Charter Oak. All three are legitimate and hold Regional Accreditation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2012
  4. truckie270

    truckie270 New Member

    If I were in your situation, this is what I would do:

    Since your original school was a top tier one, your best bet at this point is to finish your degree there.

    You already have a ton of credits, have met the residency requirement, and have a foreign language course standing between you and a degree.

    Seriously, you need to go talk to them about your options for passing this course rather than looking for a whole new school.

    Knocking out the language should be straightforward. Find a low-cost state school close to you where you can take courses towards this objective and then transfer them back to your original school. You will undoubtedly have to maintain some enrollment at your original school and of course you will need to check with them about transferring in credits from another school.

    I know my answer is probably not one you wanted to hear, but you have come a long way at a top-tier school to give up and go for something that you will eventually view as a lesser degree than the one you were originally pursuing.

    Since you want to attend a competitive school, I am willing to bet the costs to switching and meeting the requirements at another institution (usually the 30 hours in residence is the deal-breaker) is going to exceed the costs and time that you would spend just completing the requirement at your old school.
  5. atrox79

    atrox79 Member

    How about taking 3 semesters of foreign language at a school that offers classes online & then transfer them in so you can confer your Bachelor's? To me, it sounds like waste & a shame to not get the degree from the school where you have 170+ credits and over $100k in debt. I'm sure some people on this board can recommend some semi-"easy" foreign language courses from accredited schools.
  6. rebel100

    rebel100 New Member

    Yes....every option should be explored to graduate from one of the schools you have already enrolled in. I went back and did just that for my AS, least painful process.
  7. Cardinal Biggles

    Cardinal Biggles New Member

    I'd advise very strongly for you to fulfill that language requirement at your original school or otherwise come to an agreement with them as to what credit they will accept and from where in order for you to graduate.

    It sounds like you've had a tough time with the language requirement, which is unfortunate, but this is a $120,000+ decision, not to mention an opportunity for you to salvage what is in danger of becoming a sunk cost. Bite the bullet and finish what you started.

    Good luck with it!
  8. ooo

    ooo New Member

    Any 6th semester foreign language classes online?

    Thanks, I will look at these schools. I wasn't familiar of them, and finishing with one class at Charter Oak or Thomas Edition sure is (REALLY) tempting. Excelsior looks the best at first glance to me-- their site doesn't say "online" plastered all over it. And, I would definitely be incredible grateful at any chance these 3 schools would offer me to finally finish. If I could finish this cheaply, at least such a school wouldn't add to my snowballing student loan debt.
    And, I would be ecstatic to finally finish this *(##(@ degree.

    Is it "that" worth it to finish at a top tier?
    I can always list "170+ hours at XYU University" on a resume or graduate school application, can't I?
    The student loan debt is the only reason I want to finish at the original school.

    The problem with finishing at the first school is...

    - I can't find 6th semester foreign language classes online. All of the foreign language classes online so far that I've found are 1st or 2nd year. I need 3rd year, 2nd semester. I've only found schools that offer that on-campus so far. Still looking...

    - I've taken the max classes as a non-degree student at my local po-dunk college. I unfortunately live in the suburbs without many local educational options.
    Po-Dunk college wouldn't let me take any more unless I apply to their programs.
    Would Po-Dunk college tell Top Tier University that I transferred?

    - I really, really suck at foreign languages.

    I've kept trying to learn the language on my own for a few years now, and really disdain it. I've had very little luck finding a 6th semester foreign language class online, and independent study hasn't worked for me.

    I have talked to the original school quite a bit. I can either finish the degree by transferring in that class, or by examination. I am hideous at the language and haven't found success with independent study, so I haven't passed the exam at that level. I don't know if there's much hope of the exam left.

    Thanks again for the advice, I definitely have some things to think about.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2012
  9. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

    Isn't there a CLEP or DSST introductory Spanish language exam that the OP can take and transfer for credit? These tests usually have high pass rates, and are easy to pass via self-study. Study guides would help you understand what to know for the exam.
  10. ooo

    ooo New Member

    I believe there is only a 2nd year CLEP exam. I haven't found a national exam that offers a 3rd year, 2nd semester proficiency exam. I wish!
  11. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I completed the Charter Oak degree and it has served me well, There are many others with TESC and Excelsior degrees that serve them well. I do nto think you can go wrong with any of the three. If I were you, I would explore every option available to complete your degree from the school you started at. If you sunk $100K into it, you might as well walk away with a degree from a top tier school that has name recognition.
  12. lifelonglearner

    lifelonglearner New Member

    What's more important ...

    There are no doubt situations where saying, "I graduated from Prestige University" carries some weight. I have yet to encounter this. If you're planning on working for Google it may actually be a requirement. However, in the other 99.9% of cases you only need to able to say "I have a Baccalaureate Degree." Only you can decide what is more important for you. My own view is it is better to get the degree and move on. You may be surprised to learn how little weight people will attribute to the name of the school on your resume. An yes it perfectly fine, but unusual, to list other schools you attended. Normally you would only list the schools you received a degree or certificate from.

    That's a pretty high debt you are carrying. Most of the students who finish Ph.D's have a lower load. Good luck with this.

    - lifelonglearner
  13. ooo

    ooo New Member

    Should I set a deadline for myself?

    Hm.. That's something to think about.

    I actually have applied for a job with Google. :)

    My dilemma has always been the loan debt. It's like... is State University BA worth the $100,000k debt I have? It probably is, if I could get some degree and move on with my life.

    That kind of debt makes me sick, but I know a good number of people in more debt than this, and even some who graduated from state schools with high debt levels.

    I've worked so hard for Top Tier University that I don't want to feel like I'm throwing that away or that I'm a quitter, but... I still learned there and all. Also, Top Tier University isn't even *that* top tier. It's at the lower end of the top 60 national. So, it's not like I'm throwing away a degree from Harvard... just a lower, but top tier. I probably should remind myself of that.

    I've been in degree limbo for at least a few years and haven't accomplished much with my life since. A top (er, lower end of the ) 60 probably isn't worth putting my life on hold indefinitely. But, *@(%, I want the degree I started with.

    I guess it would be silly to string this along until I'm 30 or 40 just for a top 60. At some point, I suppose there would be diminishing returns on even completing the degree. And, it's not like this is the only degree I'll ever get. I eventually want a MA or Ph.D. from elsewhere (hopefully that won't take 3839292 years!).

    I think my plan might be....
    - study the foreign language like there's no tomorrow every day
    - try to find some online school that offers 3rd year, 2nd semester foreign language
    - in the meanwhile, apply or talk to Excelsior and these other schools and have a fall back plan

    Should I set a deadline for myself?

    Say, if I don't have Top Tier U degree by Fall 2012, I move on to Excelsior/etc.?
  14. rebel100

    rebel100 New Member

    What language? Isn't it NYU that has test's for language? Does BYU have a course that would work? They are known for their Language courses. Just thoughts....
  15. ooo

    ooo New Member

    I would only list the first school on the resume since I took so many classes there. It seems like it would be somewhat of a bandaid to have..

    Bachelor's of Political Science, Some Online University
    170+ credit hours, Top Tier University- x.0 GPA, focus in marketing courses
  16. ooo

    ooo New Member

    Ay de mi.
    Hm... are NYU's tests able to be done remotely? I
    BYU... I'll have to look again. Last I checked, they only offered the first 2 years of Spanish online. I'll go look right now... thanks!
    I need a 3rd year, 2nd semester and can't seem to find that offered online anywhere. Surely there's some video course somewhere.
  17. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    You are at a top 60 school, have a ton of debt, have taken a ton of political science courses, and the school has a 3 year language proficiency requirement, correct?

    Let me take a guess. You are at GWU's Elliot School.

    My suggestion to you would be to get as much information as you can about the proficiency test. Hopefully, you picked a relatively common language. If you picked French or Spanish, see if you can get some local classes/tutoring to act as a test prep. For instance, there are Alliance Francais centers all over the world, and in several cities. Heck, if you picked Spanish, perhaps taking a few weeks for an advanced Spanish immersion program in Mexico or Costa Rica would be helpful and prepare you for the exam.

    Also, you mentioned the podunk college. Are there ANY other colleges near you? Look for another local college with a major in your language and go there. if they have a major in the language, they almost certainly have 3rd year courses. However, this time you should go to class AND get some studying/tutoring on your own.

    Explore EVERY option before writing off your degree and transferring to another school.
  18. ooo

    ooo New Member

    Posted but guess that post hasn't gone through yet...

    I think my plan should be:

    - Study spanish as much as I can right now
    - Keep searching for online spanish class to fulfill the requirement
    - Apply or inquire with other universities about degree completion in the meanwhile

    Should I set a deadline for myself?
    Like, if I'm not done by summer 2012, I transfer schools?
  19. dumpyogre

    dumpyogre New Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2012
  20. FJD

    FJD Member

    I have to agree with Truckie. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. You're one course away. Take the course (either at your school or another for transfer), work your rear off to pass it (all you need is at least a D-, right?), and finish your degree. I understand the subject matter might be challenging, and you might not enjoy the work, but simply do it and get it over with. It'll all be over forever in a single semester, you'll never have to worry about it ever again, and you'll get the degree you set out to get in the 1st place.

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