It’s never too late to earn a college degree, especially with the emergence of online education. Adults with some college credits but no four-degree can benefit from flexible online bachelor completion programs allowing them to earn a degree on their schedule.

Adult learners are a diverse group of people. They can include those who left high school and immediately joined the workforce and those who served their country in the Armed Forces. Other working adults want to move into management or a new career by earning a bachelor’s degree.

It’s increasingly common for people to enroll in a bachelor completion program. Such programs make earning a college degree more convenient than ever.

What Is a Bachelor Completion Program?

A bachelor degree completion program is designed specifically for people with an associate degree or some college credit. They are offered for every type of major and are common enough that schools offer specialized guidance. For example, adult students in Point Park University’s Pathway to Completion program work with a personal advisor who helps them select and enroll in the courses they need to graduate.

More Americans than ever are returning to college. A Pew Research Center study found between 2011 and 2021, Americans over the age of 25 with a college degree increased by 7.5 percent, totaling 37.9 percent of adults in that demographic holding an undergraduate degree. However, only 62 percent of students finish their degree within six years, meaning many adults return to complete their degree.

Why Enter a Bachelor Completion Program?

Statistics consistently show the advantages of earning a bachelor’s degree. One of the most significant involves potential salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a bachelor’s degree holder reached $1,334 a week ($69,368 annually). Average salaries drop to $899 a week ($46,748) for those with some college credit but no degree and $963 a week ($50,076) for those with an associate degree.

The unemployment rate for people with a bachelor’s degree (3.5 percent) is also less than those with some college but no degree (5.5 percent) or an associate degree (4.6 percent).

The unemployment numbers reflect that some jobs are only available with a bachelor’s degree, especially specialized and management-level jobs.

Support for Adult College Students

Adults returning to college to complete their bachelor’s degree need specialized support. An initiative called Degrees When Due, led by the Institute for Higher Education Policy, recently found that federal, state, and local governments and academic institutions can do more to support returning adult students in completing their degrees.

The report estimated that 39 million Americans have some college credit but no degree. Approximately 3 million have completed more than two years’ worth of college. This group of “some college, no degree” (SCND) adults benefit from support services designed to address some of the main roadblocks to completing a degree. Challenges include financial difficulties, finding time to attend classes while working or supporting a family, and feeling that institutions are not invested in their success.

The study also found these issues disproportionately impact people from underserved populations. About half of the students involved in the initiative came from low-income backgrounds.

Point Park University’s Degree Completion Program

Point Park University offers a Pathway to Completion program that allows adult students to finish a bachelor’s degree online or at the school’s Downtown Pittsburgh campus. The University partners each student with an enrollment advisor who guides them through the enrollment process and addresses their individual needs. This personalized support is one of many reasons why students choose Point Park University to complete their degree.

Students benefit from a support plan starting with the enrollment program and carrying through once they enter their chosen program. The focus is on student success. Advisors help connect students to financial aid resources, guide course selection, and keep students on track for graduation.

Point Park offers a generous credit transfer policy, an issue that is particularly important for adult students. Students receive credit in several areas.

  • Qualifying Experiences
  • College Level Examination Programs (CLEP)
  • DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST Exams)
  • UEXCEL Exams
  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • Credits From Other College Institutions
  • Experiential Learning Assessment
  • Scholarship Options for Returning Students

Earning a bachelor’s degree can change the life of an adult student, no matter their age or occupation. Student support and engaged advisors can help adult students achieve that important goal.