Complete an Accelerated Degree Completion Program Online

So what exactly is a degree completion program and what are its benefits? An accelerated degree completion program online enables current or previous students to utilize all their skills, knowledge and previous courses to quickly complete a few additional online courses for the award of their accredited US college degree.

It is ideal for those who have already completed a few college credits, training and/or work experience to quickly get their US college degree. Working adults, single moms, college dropouts, people in the military/ armed forces and many others can benefit from these degree completion programs.

Years ago as a young adult, I was able to complete my US college degree through a similar program from New York State. This helped me a lot in my career to get better jobs and perks as a college graduate with a four-year bachelors degree!

There is also no location dependency and you can complete this program from anywhere in the United States or from most other parts of the world.

Shortlist Your Colleges

I’ve carefully selected a list of 10 colleges that offer Degree Completion Programs. More details are available in my earlier post titled Colleges with Top 10 Online College Degrees. I would suggest shortlisting no more than 2 or 3 of these colleges as their admission criteria is quite flexible and your application is likely to be accepted at most of these colleges.

So there is no point in wasting time by applying to all 10 of these colleges. Just be sure to choose colleges that are a good fit for your requirements. The most popular college is not necessarily the best and it is important to find a college that you find comfortable for completing your degree.

For additional information, you can call them or write to them via email for further clarification. If you are looking for an even more in-depth feature-by-feature comparison of the 10 colleges, you will find my insights on that in the Book on College Shortcuts.

Alternatively, simply go over the article mentioned above and conduct further research using the college websites and external sources for determining which colleges are a good fit for your needs.

Check the Admission Requirements

Most of the colleges have liberal admissions criteria. Here are the admissions criteria for the top 5 degree completion colleges:

1) Excelsior Application Requirements: Email ([email protected]) or calling the admissions on phone (888-647-2388) is a great way to get started.

2) Thomas Edison Admission Criteria:

  1. High school degree completion, GED or Home school diploma is required
  2. Minimum 20 years of age for the general population, or 18
    yrs for military personnel
  3. For 18-19 years students who are not in the military need to show 24 prior college credits (or) completion of an Accuplacer, Next Generation exam on Reading, Sentence skills and Mathematics.

3) SUNY Empire State Admission Criteria:

  1. High school completion
  2. Application essay
  3. Official transcripts of all prior courses
  4. $50 Orientation fee
  5. Proof of immunization

4) Charter Oak Admission Criteria:

  1. Minimum 16 years of age
  2. Nine or more college-level credits
  3. High school graduation proof is not mandatory
  4. International students need to have their prior college-level courses evaluated by Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) or World Education Services (WES).

5) Granite State Admission Requirements:

  1. High school diploma, GED or homeschool equivalent
  2. Talk to an Advisor, (or) via Live Chat

Apply to the College

Excelsior college, Thomas Edison and Charter Oak have rolling admissions throughout the year.

SUNY Empire State has 3 academic terms throughout the year and so the application needs to be completed before these deadlines:

  1. Fall: July 15 (Application Deadline)
  2. Spring: Nov 27
  3. Summer: March 22

Granite State has the following academic terms and application deadlines:

  1. Winter 2020: Oct 29 (Application Deadline)
  2. Spring 2020: Jan 28
  3. Summer 2020: May 5

Speak to your Student Counselor

Upon acceptance into the degree program, the college will typically evaluate your prior college-level credits and generate your college transcript. This transcript is the starting point for you to create a study plan for completing the college degree. The plan is best to create with close consultation with your assigned student counselor at the enrolled college.

Consult Senior Students

There are times when senior students might have much better information on the latest courses and online study options. One great place to look is the which is a part of InstantCert. At DegreeForum, many students from the Top 3 degree completion colleges, namely Excelsior, Thomas Edison and Charter Oak post their college-specific experiences regarding specific courses, credits earned, their score reports and so much more.

If you have additional questions regarding your degree plan, you can post them in this forum for a lot of helpful advice.

Chart out Your Degree Plan

Using all the information from you college transcript, the student counselor and the degreeforum students, it is now time to formulate your customized degree plan. If needed, check on additional courses and your schedules to come up with a study plan from this point until the successful completion of your college degree.

Plan Your College Finances

Note that we’ve specifically chosen the 10 flexible/ degree completion colleges for being highly affordable and for a fast completion of the college degree. For a listing of affordable college-level courses and credit options take a look at our article on the Review of Free College Courses Online.

Now taking into account that we’re primarily focusing on low cost college-level courses, here are the different ways to finance your college education at these colleges:

  1. Pay from you pocket with some savings or a small part-time job
  2. Get the money from your parents. Since you will not be spending much less than $10,000 for your entire college degree, it should be possible for parents to fund your college with their salary or savings.
  3. Find additional ways of making money as an online business owner.
  4. Apply for grants and scholarships to cover for all or some of your college expenses.There are federal scholarships, state grants and scholarships, community scholarships and ones specific to individual colleges. The College Board which administers various school and college tests also provides great tools and resources for students looking for college scholarships. Take a look here.

To further reduce the cost of college, try to live with your parents or family while attending college. This will greatly reduce your living expenses. Also, there is generally no necessity to relocate for studying at these highlighted colleges. You can complete these college degrees right from where you currently live.

Set Your Study/ Exam Schedules

Depending on whether you have a part-time job, full-time job and/or other family responsibilities, setup a realistic study schedule and try to stick to it to the greatest extent possible. Some hard work now will reap huge benefits upon your completion of the bachelors degree.

Meet Fellow Students

As you start your degree completion program, there will be times when you would get a bit stuck and need additional help and guidance. For this, you can contact your college’s student advisors and also post your questions here with us at CollegeOnomics. We are always here to guide and encourage you with the right information and tools!

But there are also times when you will gain a lot of energy by simply talking with fellow students who are going through similar experiences as yourself. Some students can give you great insights to further speed up your college degree progress. So upon college enrollment, make an effort to reach out to some of your college students. Since most of your student interaction will be online and so on, just talk to other students in your online classes, by getting their contact numbers from the college office and so on.

Purchase/ Rent/ Access Study Resources

Go through this article on How to Buy Cheap College Textbooks. Here is another article on the Top 10 Student’s Laptop Buy for 2020.

Additionally, there are many public libraries where you can find textbooks. Speak with the librarian if you are having trouble locating a particular book. Many libraries also allow students to reserve a book online before physically picking it up from the library. Some of them even provide electronic textbooks which is another great resource to have.

In cases when you urgently need a book and cannot find it in a library, another option apart from buying the book is to spend a few hours daily in a bookstore for reading the books. Many popular bookstores provide adequate seating for hours of reading and some even have a cafeteria for even more comfort!


Use Progress Updates to Revisit Degree Plan

As you complete more courses and get them updated in your college transcript, you might come across more effective ways of earning the remaining college credits. Sometimes your work schedules would also dictate as to how many hours or days you can spend in studying. So be always open to re-adjusting your degree plan to accommodate such changes.

Study/ Study/ Study

The best action you can take for faster degree completion is to dedicate time for concentrated studying. The more you study, the easier it will be to quickly earn the required college credits and to ultimately graduate from college.

Minimize all distractions and let all friends and family know that you will be busy with your college studies. This will ensure that people do not disturb your schedule and occasionally some of them may even assist and guide you with your studies.

Libraries are also good places for uninterrupted study time. Many of them provide study rooms and desks that are exclusively reserved for students.

Review/ Revise Final Transcript

A typical bachelors degree requires the completion of about 120 college-level credits. And the degree curriculum at each college has specific courses and credits that need to be earned in specific subject areas. At times, it so happens that students earn much more than 120 credits but still some degree requirements for the major/ specialization may not have been completed.

That is what happened to me years ago. I had about 126 college credits when I enrolled in Excelsior college but I did not have the required credits in computer software. Finally, in another couple of years all my computer software credits were also completed but my GPA became much lower as some courses with lower scores were reflected in my transcript.

So I called my student advisor and requested her to remove those courses and instead replace them with other courses where I had earned an A grade. This effectively brought up my overall GPA from 2.86 to 3.43 instantly!

Plan for College Graduation

It is advisable to attend your college graduation ceremony. This is a great opportunity to meet other students and to thank the college staff for and your student advisor for all their help! Choose a date which you can easily fit in your schedule.

But in case you are unable to attend the graduation ceremony due to work schedules or something else urgent, just be sure to request that the college office mail you your degree certificate to your mailing address. This will ensure that there are no delays in receiving your final degree certificate.

Also, pay for and request additional originals of the college transcript as this will come in very handy for graduate studies and future career. You can also choose to buy a nice degree docket and frame for saving/ showcasing a copy of your college degree at home or in your workplace. Finally, be sure to safely store your final transcript and degree certificate in a locked box or drawer for safekeeping.

Have a Party!

Now that your accelerated degree completion program is all done, it is time to have a celebration to highlight this major achievement! A degree completion program is ideal for someone with a few prior college credits and/or work experience to quickly complete their four-year bachelors degree.

Having a four-year degree in your chosen field is a huge asset and will definitely improve your career. For those who have already completed a bachelors degree is a different field than their area of work, he or she can re-enroll into the right degree program and transfer prior credits and earn a few additional credits. This will enable them to readily showcase a college degree in a field that is closely related to their career.

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12 thoughts on “Complete an Accelerated Degree Completion Program Online”

  1. Well I have to firstly, let you know how helpful this article is. It straightforward and very informative.

    Now an accelerated degree completion program is obviously very beneficial. I have a niece who is currently trying to apply for admission, that is why I value the information contained here very much.

    As regards your first advice on shortlisting the colleges that fit your field of study, do you mind making any recommendations for a computer science student?

    Thanks, once more for sharing. 

    • Thank you Rhain! All the colleges in the list offer high-quality bachelors degrees. Except for Charter Oak, Drexel University and Middle Tennessee State, the rest of them offer a bachelors in Computer Science. Some of them refer to the program as Information Systems/ Information Technology instead of calling it Computer Science.

      I had earlier completed my Bachelors in Computer Information Systems from Excelsior college, so that too would be a good choice.

  2. Wow what an excellent resource for those who are looking for an accelerated degree. Having no location dependency and being able to complete a program from pretty much anywhere is definitely an added benefit. Good to know not to waste time and potentially money applying to all 10 schools, and that 2 or 3 would be appropriate. From your choices I like Thomas Edison or Charter Oak, and the advice you provided such as consulting senior students, charting out a degree plan and planning finances are invaluable. Also good to remember is to have a party and celebrate hard work and effort. I will definitely save this post and share it with some younger relatives who are considering college. Thanks for the great recommendations and advice!

  3. Many thanks to you for sharing such a beautiful article with us. I have long wanted to do US college degree but did not know how to do it . You must be applauded for your beautiful article.

    Granite State is a favorite of mine because I’ve heard a lot about it. I will create a shortlist of colleges and apply through the correct link. I kept your article in my collection for future reading. But how much does it cost to study at these colleges? I’m really excited to start one these online college programs.

    • The cost can vary but is often less than $10,000. It also depends on how many prior courses you have available for transfer, any work experience and so on. Those can greatly reduce the cost of the US degree completion program even further!

      In my case I spent about $4,000 as I already had many credits which I could transfer into the program. Prior to my credits transfer, I did a foreign credentials evaluation at Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) for assessing my foreign courses for US-equivalent college credits.

  4. Wow! Very good article. I just found out that there is an Accelerated Degree Completion Program. I think this program is very helpful for many people who want to get their degree. Especially for me who is a worker that has to work Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 pm. With this program, I can take courses according to my schedule and earn my degree.

    However, there are a few things I want to ask:
    1. Can my bachelor degree transcript be used to apply for jobs that require a minimum of a bachelor degree?
    2. Does this program also apply to post-graduate classes?
    Sorry for my silly question. Please, need your guidance …

    • Hello Kylie,

      Yes these are all regionally accredited colleges in the US and they are completely recognized by employers for job applications and also for graduate studies at other colleges and universities.

      Thank you for sharing your question and I wish you the best for your bachelors degree!


  5. I really liked your article. I think your article will benefit us all. I have experience with online courses. So, it is ideal for those who have already completed a few college credits, training, and work experience to quickly get their US college degree. It will also benefit adults, single moms, a college dropout. Thanks for the information.

  6. Hello. Thanks a lot for sharing with us such an amazing article and opportunity. 

    For me is the first time when i hear about this accelerated degree completion program online. I just finish bachelor degree in automotive engineer but I realized that this industry does not pay as well as I expected. Once I finish my current degree, I am eligible for this program. The idea is that I would like to change the engineering industry and start learning a programming software (for example Java).

    • Glad to know you find this article helpful! If you want to start a new college degree in computer software, you can get started right away, You do not have to wait until your current degree in automotive engineering is completed.

      Instead you can just re-apply to one of the flexible colleges from my post and simply transfer the college credits of all the courses you completed in the automotive degree. If you completed any courses abroad, those credits can also be translated to US-equivalent college credits before applying them to your transcript for your new degree in computer software.

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