It’s a common misconception that bachelor’s degrees always take four years to complete.
Four years is the traditional amount of time many students take to earn a bachelor’s degree, but it’s different for non-traditional adult students.
Each adult learner has a different educational background, time restrictions and responsibilities, which means that the amount of time it takes for one to complete a bachelor’s degree program varies.
Associate’s to Bachelor’s Degree
Community colleges and trade schools are less-costly options to earn a college education, but most only offer certificate and associate’s degree programs. Some adults decide to earn their associate’s degree at a community college and then transfer to a bachelor’s degree program at a four-year college or university.
Sometimes this can be problematic. If some of your credits do not transfer to your new college, you might find yourself repeating classes you took in your associate’s degree program.
Colleges such as Regis University in Colorado, Kentucky State University and UCLA have started to catch on to the faulty transfer process and have begun associate’s to bachelor’s programs to allow for an easier college transfer process.
This route typically still takes four years, but can save you thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars.
Online Bachelor’s Degree
If you don’t have much free time on your hands, you can enroll in an online degree program. Many online students attend school part time and are able to work at their own pace.
Online bachelor’s degree programs typically take between three and five years, depending on the amount of time you have to devote to your studies. The required courses are similar to a campus-based program, but are completed either mostly or entirely on the computer.
A few of the most popular online colleges include Kaplan University, University of Phoenix and Ashford University.
Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree
You may be in a hurry to earn your degree and wish there were faster options. If so, you’re in luck.
Accelerated bachelor’s degree programs offer non-stop schooling to allow you to complete your degree in three years or less.
This type of program is not for everybody. You need to have the time to devote to full- time classes year-round for at least two years. However, the money saved in lost wages (you’re only in school for two years) and tuition can make this type of intense focus a worthwhile investment.
Knowing these options, it’s time for you to take into account what other responsibilities you will have going on while you complete your degree. To decide which program is best for you, assess how much time you will have to devote to your degree program.