Looking to do my first degree

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by PlantPower, Aug 24, 2021.

  1. PlantPower

    PlantPower New Member

    Good evening

    I am considering to study a degree - not work related, just for myself (I'm self employed)

    Looking around, I think I'd like to study something in business, potentially a communications degree, and would like to do this online

    From what I gather reading, I should gain credits at sophia.org through their monthly subscription, and then import in to a university. This is where I am going around in circles, I am searching via google and keep hitting comparison sites that seem to be sponsored by a couple of universities.

    Looking on https://www.sophia.org/transfer-credits/college-and-university-partners/

    I can see a college mentioned here, which is Excelsior (I see on one business course they accept up to 113 credits imported)

    Is Excelsior the usual route to take? (Been doing a lot of reading!)
    SteveFoerster and Mac Juli like this.
  2. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    Where are you from? Do you have any college credits already? How about commitments such as family, kids, work, etc? What is your budget, do you have tuition assistance or reimbursement? How many hours are you wanting to put into this per day. Do you have a time frame you want this degree by? Last but not least, are you into competency based degrees through assessments or are you into alternative credit/test-out or writing options?
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It's true, the biggest sites tend to be the least useful.

    Anyway, yes, Excelsior College is one school to consider, and the others of the so-called "Big Three" that facilitate this are Charter Oak State College and Thomas Edison State University. People often go with whichever one maximizes their credit transfer for their particular situation, since it can vary.

    Also, if you graduated from high school at least two years ago and never earned a degree before, you might also consider an Associate degree through the Board of Governors program at Pierpont Community and Technical College, even if just as a milestone qualification while you're accumulating credit towards a Bachelor's degree. (My daughter is doing this.)

    Three good resources that can help you get a handle on this are:

    1. The Degree Forum Wiki: https://degreeforum.miraheze.org/wiki/Degree_Forum_Wiki
    2. DegreeForum.net itself, sometimes referred to as our "sister forum" because there's overlap in subject matter: https://www.degreeforum.net
    3. A site and book called Homeschooling for College Credit. I know, you're a grownup, not a kid, but 90% of the info on the site and in the book applies just as well to your situation: https://homeschoolingforcollegecredit.com/

    In the last decade or so this has become a pretty complex endeavor, with many more sources of low-cost alternative credit but many of which apply differently in different situations or are accepted by the different Big Three schools in different ways. But it's a friendly community. Ask, ask, ask!
  4. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, just plain old Communications isn't really a degree that you can get cheaply. TESU has one but it'd be pretty expensive compared to other degrees! Excelsior and COSC don't have Communication degrees. Luckily, there are other majors you can choose! Especially if you add UMPI's YourPace program. They DO have a degree in Professional Communication & Journalism. It's a competency-based program, so it's not going to be for everyone. But, paired with Sophia and a couple of courses from Study.com & InstantCert, it should cost $3-5k for the degree. https://online.umpi.edu/programs/ba-professional-english-communication-journalism.aspx
  5. PlantPower

    PlantPower New Member

    Steve, thankyou

    I graduated many, many years ago - more than 30! I started work abroad as soon as I passed my final exams (I am a British citizen currently in France, but will be returning later this year). A degree is a way to keep my little brain cells active and have theory too. I was thinking of communications as it is fairly broad subject, I am happy enough to study a generic business degree if that is easier or more cost effective?. I rennovate certain types of houses, part builder, part decorator and so on, I buy, do up, and sell on.

    Thankyou for the bulleted points, The first link I have spent a considerable amount of time reading and making notes. The second link to degreeforum.net is confusing, I did not understand the difference between sites, that forum felt more 'hardcore' studying instead of general questions from someone such as myself.

    I will read the third 'Homeschooling' tonight, thankyou.

    SteveFoerster likes this.
  6. PlantPower

    PlantPower New Member


    I am unsure what/who 'TESU' is/are. I am happy to change to a different subject if that is easier, it is simply to keep my mind active, I considered other subhects, but as with most things, choosing a subject is not as easy as it once was. I am a slight plodder, and spend about 15 hours a week on little courses, and will more than likely look at part time courses

  7. Vicki

    Vicki Active Member

    TESU is Thomas Edison State University
  8. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    I highly recommend starting off by taking courses with Sophia.org - Most of them if you can.

    When you're starting your journey, it'll be a little confusing as you start off, so, I'll make it more simple!
    1) Purchase a second monitor for multi tasking, this allows you to have the exams on 1 and the course material on the second. I use a laptop and have a second monitor just for this!

    2) Sign up for Sophia.org and complete as many courses as you can, it's $79/month, 2 courses at a time, unlimited courses per month. Some people finish 90 credits in 3-4 months, shoot for 5... Sophia.org - $79/month, 5 months = $395 USD

    When you're done with these two steps, you'll have 90+ credits, you'll need RA or Foreign credits. Update this thread...
    Link 1: https://degreeforum.miraheze.org/wiki/Sophia_Learning,_LLC Link 2: https://degreeforum.miraheze.org/wiki/Sophia.org_Equivalency_List
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Consider also www.degreeforum.net. Lots and lots of discussions about earning undergraduate credits and degrees.
  10. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    If I had to do it all over again, I would hit places like Straighterline, Sophia, Saylor, CLEP, UExcel and nail down as many credits as I could that fit the plan of my degree path.
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Not all schools, even of the Big Three, accept all the Sophia.org courses. Best to make a plan, then take courses judiciously.
  12. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    DegreeForum is (mainly) for students wishing to complete a degree from specific schools as quickly and as cheaply as possible, using non-traditional credits. This forum is more focused on getting the right degree as inexpensively as possible but there is less emphasis on using SDC/Sophia/etc. The right degree may or may not be one of the "Big 3" (TESU/COSC/EC). At least, that's how I view the differences. The two forums have some overlap of content, but they do serve slightly different purposes.

    In that case, you probably want TESU (Thomas Edison State University), Charter Oak State College (COSC), or Excelsior College (EC). UMPI is not really a good fit for part-time students. You would probably still be able to finish in a year, but that'd wind up costing close to $10k.

    TESU has the most majors available of the Big 3. Perhaps you might like a BSBA Marketing? You could even go for two degrees at once: BA English and BSBA Marketing. It would cost slightly more and be a bit more work, but not that much more work in the grand scheme of things. TESU requires 30 RA credits, 6 of which can come from the capstone & cornerstone. You are allowed to transfer these credits in from other schools that are less expensive. They also require 16 credits to be taken with them or else you pay a residency waiver fee of $3195. Still, there are ways to get a TESU degree for $7-8k, all-in.

    EC is slightly cheaper but you cannot get a business degree from them without taking a lot of EC courses. This would make them cost more than TESU. EC wants several specific courses that you cannot get anywhere else. If you want to transfer in most of your courses, you're restricted to a BA degree there; not just Liberal Studies but also History, Social Science, or Psychology are possible.

    COSC is the cheapest of the three. They require a science-with-a-lab but will accept SDC's Biology 101L as meeting that requirement. Like TESU, they also require at least 30 RA credits and their capstone & cornerstone can count toward that requirement. Unlike TESU, they don't have a residency waiver fee. Even with the 30-credit requirement, it's possible to get a COSC degree for $5k or less. You can get a business degree there but I'm not sure that all concentrations are available. A couple of them might require 1-2 additional classes from COSC because they'd be difficult to find elsewhere.
  13. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    True! At least for the Big 3, there's this equivalency page: https://degreeforum.miraheze.org/wiki/Sophia.org_Equivalency_List Most courses are accepted. If you stick to the ones with known equivalencies, you'll still wind up taking most of the Sophia catalog. Avoid English Comp if you can, though. Too many students have reported bad experiences with grading. There are much easier ways to get the required credits.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  14. PlantPower

    PlantPower New Member

    Steve, do you have a recommended website where I can search for different degree subjects? Reading between the lines, I may be financially better off swapping communications for generic business instead (which I am happy to do). I have signed up to a trial of Sophia.org and can see different courses with associated credits, I understand not all courses are transferrable to all universities, at this point I need to be careful (is there a list of transferrable compatible courses to what universities so I can take the generic ones?)

    The Universities you quoted (Charter Oak State College and Thomas Edison State University), adding Excelsior to the list, what are the main recommendations for these universities? Can you tell me whether any of them are self paced, or part time as I highly doubt I will be able to keep up with the youngsters

    Thank you

  15. PlantPower

    PlantPower New Member

    Thankyou for the 'Sophia.org' link on equivalent course credits. It seems Excelsior and UMPI accept more credits than Charter Oak and WGU (at quick glance)

  16. PlantPower

    PlantPower New Member

    Thankyou, I started to browse that forum and didn't know where to begin

  17. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    Another thing to keep in mind is the number of UL credits required. Excelsior requires a total of 30 UL credits. So does COSC. TESU only requires 12 + capstone for business degrees or 15 + capstone for BA degrees.

    WGU accepts "up to" 90 credits in total. However, as a matter of practicality, the most you'd be able to transfer in is somewhere between 60 and 80 credits depending on the actual degree. If you want to be able to take your time, avoid WGU and UMPI because you are essentially paying a "subscription fee" every term no matter how much or how little you study.

    With the Big 3 (TESU/COSC/EC), they're all self-paced to some extent. The general idea would be that you'd take as many Sophia classes as possible, then finish off using UL courses from Study.com. The classes that you have to take from the school itself (generally, capstone & cornerstone) are NOT self-paced.

    For your specific needs, I would probably recommend a TESU business degree and plan to pay the residency waiver. The lower number of UL credits means that you'll be able to meet the degree requirements more easily with your study preferences. Unlike COSC, TESU also accepts Davar and Coopersmith courses. With both of these options, you can study for as long or as short a period as you want before taking your exam. You can get much of a business degree using Davar courses and Sophia. EC also accepts (some) Davar courses, but (as stated in a previous post) they require you to take more than just the capstone/cornerstone with them if you want a business degree.

    Possible BSBA options at TESU are Accounting, Computer Information Systems, Entrepreneurship, Finance, General Management, and Marketing.
  18. PlantPower

    PlantPower New Member


    Can you explain how study.com is different to sophia.org, or why/how is it used for progression instead of only using sophia.org?

    You mention WGU has a credit discrepancy, what is the cause of this?

    I am confused with Davar and Coopersmith, can you help explain how their courses are different to sophia by way of credits, or am I looking at it the wrong way?

  19. PlantPower

    PlantPower New Member


    Can you explain why that is? I have spent a little time on sophia.org, and am understandhing how other online solutions position against each other as this is new to me

  20. PlantPower

    PlantPower New Member

    Hello everybody

    I have spent time chatting with straighterline, sophia and study.com. sophia seems to be most cost effective, with straighterline coming second, study.com seems to have different pricing plans.

    To me, these providers seem to provide the same content, however, wrapped up differently?

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