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What is an Adult Degree Completion Program?

Ana-Marcela Lopez

The path to a degree is not always linear. Even if it spans multiple years and different directions, that’s ok. The ultimate destination is all that matters, and we are here to help you get there. Finishing college can feel like a daunting endeavor, but the costs of not finishing often outweigh the obstacles. Thankfully, adult degree completion programs can help you make the most of what you already have and get you to the finish line quicker and cheaper.

What is it and how it works: Adult degree completion programs are designed for students who started school but never finished. Colleges are constantly evolving to meet the changing demands of students, so many of whom are adults working to pick up where they left off. It’s now common for schools to accept prior learning credits, which awards credit toward your degree for your previous coursework—and even some job experience. There are caveats, however; the amount of time that has elapsed and institution you’re applying to both play a role in how many prior learning credits you can earn. Check with your advisor to see which of your credits transfer. Every bit counts! Since you are not starting from scratch, you can save money on credits you have already earned. 

What is Accreditation and Why is it So Important?

What to expect: Since degree completion programs are intended for adults who likely have other commitments, their course formats differ from those of traditional undergraduate courses. Adult degree completion programs are often taken online or in a hybrid format (both online and on campus). These flexible formats allow students to balance work and personal obligations as they pursue their degree. If you’ve never taken an online class, check out our advice page for expert tips and advice. 

How you can benefit: A phenomenon known as the confidence gap affects students of all ages and backgrounds. The confidence gap can affect adult students who feel their chances of graduating are lower because of time spent away from the classroom, outside work obligations, and family responsibilities. That’s why sitting in a traditional undergraduate classroom could make it harder to finish your bachelor’s degree; a classroom full of young adults can exacerbate these feelings of doubt and cause you to feel out of place. Adult degree programs, on the other hand, are so beneficial, as you study alongside fellow adults with similar life experience. These programs are designed with your unique circumstances in mind, so you can beat the confidence gap, realize that you’re not alone, and graduate. 

Many people are fooled into thinking they can’t earn a degree because they didn’t finish in 4 years. Sometimes life gets in the way, but that doesn’t mean a degree and an exciting career are out of reach! Adult degree completion programs can be the very thing needed to help you achieve your goals. We’re here to help. Abound: Finish College narrows down your options and gets you in touch with schools that we can confirm are Accessible, Affordable, Accelerated, and Advanced. Take a look at the schools we trust and find the program that works for you.

More Helpful Guides:

Tips for Going Back to College After Dropping Out

I’m an Adult Wanting to Finish College: Where Do I Start?

Will My Previously Earned Credits and Coursework Transfer

What is a Non-Traditional Student?

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