35 Years Ago I Dropped out of College but Now I Need a Degree
December 18, 2014 9:17 AM   Subscribe

I dropped out of college after my first year and for the past 35 years I've been self-employed, successfully running my own company, however, I'm now planning to enter the job market for the first time and want to get that degree on my resume. Is there an institution I could go to on-line where my business experience would be applied towards a degree?
posted by tangyraspberry to Education (10 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I've heard good things about Western Governors University from people in similar situations to yours. You have to jump through some hoops to demonstrate what you can do, but it's much less time-consuming than at most universities where there's no way around taking a lot of classes despite already being able to do everything those classes are designed to teach.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 9:24 AM on December 18, 2014 [3 favorites]

UMass Amherst's University Without Walls does exactly this. I think it can be 100% online, too.
posted by apricot at 9:30 AM on December 18, 2014

My dad did 3 years of college, then left and was self employed for 25 years. He got a degree at age 50, using a combination of prior college credits, work experience, and new (online) classes through SUNY Empire State College. This was in the late 90s though, so I can't confirm it's still the case.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:40 AM on December 18, 2014

Lot of scammy crap mills out there. Caution is definitely called for. I'm not directly familiar with them, but this article for people in situations like yours recommends Thomas Edison State College.
posted by Naberius at 9:43 AM on December 18, 2014 [4 favorites]

Seconding Thomas Edison State College.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:31 AM on December 18, 2014

Shoot me a me-mail. I'm working on something right now that might be right for you.
posted by yellowcandy at 10:31 AM on December 18, 2014

You may be able to CLEP some things. This is a very respected, standard thing and is accepted at normal colleges. I CLEPed a few classes to wrap up an AA.

I am reasonably sure there is at least one other respected "brand" of tests for college credit. I cannot recall the name. Googling turned up this page, fwiw: http://www.straighterline.com/test-for-credit/
posted by Michele in California at 11:14 AM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Charter Oak State College is another public online school worth looking at.

Essentially what you want to look for is a public college/university, not one of those fly-by-night diploma mills that take your money and give you little in return.
posted by mareli at 11:36 AM on December 18, 2014

Seconding Western Governors University... a few years ago I shared an office with a woman who was getting her bachelors degree from them, and she managed to save a fair amount of time and money. Ultimately she earned her degree in two years, for less than $15k (how much less I don't know), and now she's in the MBA program at Gonzaga, so that should help indicate that it's not a fly-by-night degree mill.
posted by palomar at 1:30 PM on December 18, 2014

(Oh, and she earned that bachelors degree while working an INSANELY demanding job and raising three pre-teen girls as a single mom. Depending on your situation, it may not even take you as long as it did for her to earn her degree.)
posted by palomar at 1:31 PM on December 18, 2014

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