“Can I finish my bachelor’s degree online?”
This is one of the most common questions we get from students. Adult learners know that a college degree is one of the best investments they can make. College degree holders have median annual earnings of $22,620 higher than people who leave college without a degree. And higher pay isn’t the only benefit! They have access to better jobs, more paid time off and a more stable and rewarding lifestyle. Maybe that’s why roughly 60% of adults have contemplated returning to school.
However, change can be profoundly difficult. Many adults hope to return to college because their current life feels unsustainable and stressful. They don’t have enough time for their kids and families, don’t enjoy their work, or don’t feel that they’re contributing meaningfully to the world. Adding another thing to their to-do list — even something that can help them achieve a brighter future — can feel daunting.
If this sounds like you, it doesn’t have to be this way. An online bachelor’s degree from SNU provides the academic rigor to prepare returning undergraduate students for a competitive career landscape. Students also gain support to manage their own schedules and academically excel. You don’t have to give up your free time to go back to college. You just have to be committed.
Here are five things to know about pursuing your online bachelor’s degree.
1. Online degrees are rigorous and effective.
Attending school in person requires extra time and commitment for activities like getting dressed for school, driving (and fighting traffic), looking for parking, settling into your seat, navigating campus and more. For some students, there are additional challenges, such as anxiety about sitting in a classroom with strangers or disabilities that make mobility challenging.
Online degrees are more accessible and less time-consuming. In fact, for many students, online degree programs are the difference between being unable to attend college and quickly sailing through a degree program.
You might worry about the effectiveness of an online degree. But at SNU, online learning allows you to master the same content as in-person learning under the guidance of the same team of professors.
Research shows that employers are increasingly more accepting of online degrees, especially when they come from accredited brick-and-mortar schools. Because SNU offers in-person and online classes, your employer will not know whether your degree was online or in-person unless you tell them.
So what should you look for when selecting an online degree program? Look for:
- A fully accredited program.
- A respected brick-and-mortar school.
- A history of effective online programs.
- A team of professors who are respected leaders in their fields.
2. You can maintain a healthy balance.
Working yourself into exhaustion and burnout is a recipe for disaster. Many adult learners are taking care of children, caring for aging family members, working full time, volunteering and more. School shouldn’t overtake these responsibilities or make it so that you never again enjoy free time again.
We only get one life. And although the future is important, so is the present moment. You can work toward a better tomorrow without burnout and exhaustion. An online degree program reduces the time and stress involved in going back to school, empowering you to attend classes on your own terms and time. Adult learners can still enjoy time with their kids or family, go to work and maybe even catch a nap.
To maximize balance, look for a program that:
- Offers a cohort model for optimized learning.
- Provides multiple enrollment and start dates.
- Empowers you to attend school one class at a time, ensuring you can learn without distraction or overwhelm.
3. Support is available.
Colleges that serve adult learners understand that you’re more than just a student and that grades are not a holistic measure of success. Your life experiences bring significant value to the school community.
Many students leave school because they don’t have adequate support. Maybe they encounter financial difficulties, or depression and anxiety conspire to undermine them. Perhaps they struggle with childcare. But for every problem, there is a solution, and SNU supports students to uncover solutions.
Look for a school that offers:
- Specialized services for veterans, such as SNU’s VETS Center.
- Comprehensive financial aid support.
- A counseling center and chaplain to support you through tough times.
- A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
4. You can finish faster than you think.
Many adults spend years fantasizing about a better life, but better lives aren’t built overnight. It takes time to master new skills and prepare for your next career step. This doesn’t have to mean you spend years and years exhausted.
SNU balances rigorous learning with a fast degree timeline. Finishing your degree faster saves you time and money — both in the form of college tuition and the expenses associated with school, such as childcare and time away from work.
Look for a school that offers:
- Short degree timelines. Many degrees at SNU take 18-24 months to complete!
- Rolling admissions, so you can start school whenever you’re ready.
- Course models that sustain and build momentum. At SNU, students take one six-week class at a time.
5. A small school can help you surmount obstacles to success.
It’s easy to get lost in the crowd at a big school. As a small, Christian school, SNU values every community member. Each student brings something unique and irreplaceable to our campus. We are committed to helping students overcome obstacles to success because we know students struggle due to external pressures.
We offer chaplain services, comprehensive support for veterans and more. Our innovative cohort model makes it easy to build lasting friendships and nurture a quality network. You’ll get to know your professors, making it easier to seek recommendations and forge professional connections. You matter at SNU, and it’s never too late to return to school for your bachelor’s degree.
No matter who you are, what you’re interested in or what challenges you’ve faced in the past, your second (or third or fourth) shot at college can be the one that finally takes. SNU is committed to helping all learners succeed because we believe every student contributes something unique and valuable to our community. We are here for you and want to see you thrive.