Your advice on my degree plan: lowest residency requirements/capstone/grad fees

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by mekanslsk, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. mekanslsk

    mekanslsk New Member

    Hello Degreeinfo folks!

    First please allow me to express my gratitude for the wealth of information I have gained from these messageboards over the past two years of lurking. It has been invaluable in my decision to go back to school. My hat also goes off to the very helpful and patient advice I've gotten from TESU staff. Now I could use some advice from the forum.

    My goal is a BA of Liberal Studies or similar degree. I intend to transfer in as much credit as possible. I'm having trouble parsing the true cost of Excelsior vs. TESU capstone + grad fees and could use some help.

    I already have 70 credit hours which cover the basics of most general education requirements. The other credits are mostly other liberals arts credits, including 2 upper level courses.

    I live in China and have been studying hard to raise my proficiency in Chinese (yea!) and intend to sit the NYU professional studies exam as well as the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview, which TESU staff say can lead to an award of up to 30 credits including some upper level courses.

    That would put me at roughly 100 credit hours if I got full credit. Probably more like 90 to be safe. Which leaves me around 30 credits to go.

    Now, with 30 credits left to go I could still satisfy the academic residency requirements of quite a few online programs out there besides the big 3; but the program I'm really interested in is the Northern Arizona University competency based BA of Liberal Arts. The reason is that it looks like a great place to smash out alot of credits at my own pace and get it covered by the pell grant! If they would take all of my transfer credit and language exams I would be happy to complete the degree with them. However I am pretty sure they have a 60 credit academic residency requirement. I have sent an email to confirm and am still waiting for a response.

    So instead what I would like to do is finish up the rest of my necessary credits via the competency based learning program at NAU and then transfer to one of the big 3.

    Here's where my real question comes in:

    Which of the big 3 are going to be cheapest in my case?

    That is to say, which has the lowest cost of graduation when one is transferring in everything but the capstone?

    It looks to me like the costs are as follows:

    Application $75
    Residency Waiver $2,000
    Graduation $323
    LIB-495 Liberal Studies Capstone (Out-of-state Residents: $499 per credit registered, 3 credits)
    TES-100 Cornerstone: Lifelong Learning Strategies (mandatory 1 credit course) $300
    Total $4195

    Application fee: $50
    Commitment fee: $1,095
    Annual student fee: $495
    Tuition: $510 per credit (mandatory 3 credit capstone = $1530)
    Graduation: $495
    Total: $3665

    Charter Oak
    Application: $75
    Non-resident student services fee: $267 x 2 (2 semesters required)
    Technology fee: $60
    Graduation fee: $205
    Credit rate: $377 per credit x 6 (capstone+cornerstone)
    Total: $3136

    So it looks like the breakdown is TESU, Exelsior, COSC from high to low cost with TESU being $1059 more expensive than COSC. Did I miss anything?

    And a side note: if I understand it correctly, TESU and COSC only require 18 upper level credits in the entire degree while Excelsior requires 48. Big difference!

    Phew. Thank you for reading and any advice is greatly appreciated!
  2. engadnan

    engadnan Member

    I am also looking for a second Bachelors degree at a lowest possible cost. Could anyone advise on this for International Students?
  3. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    The real question is where you would be able to take CLEP, DSST, or UExcel exams in China. They're a big part of what makes the Big Three so "big", so if you can't take advantage of them, you may have no reason to prefer them. (And I say that as a perennial Charter Oak cheerleader.)
  5. mekanslsk

    mekanslsk New Member

    Thanks Ian that's helpful!

    Thanks Steve for your reply. As I said I am planning to finish my remaining credits with NAU's competency based program and transfer everything to one of the big 3 for graduation.

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