Completing Your Education in an Online Business Degree Program (2024)

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Completing Your Education in an Online Business Degree Program (1)

What Is a Degree Completion Program?

A degree completion program is designed for students who have previously earned college credits and wish to return to school to complete their undergraduate degree. These programs are particularly appealing for working adults who may have started their degree at one point in time but, for various reasons, were unable to finish.

Degree completion programs often provide a more flexible schedule, offering evening, weekend, online courses, or a combination of these, to accommodate the busy lives of working professionals. These programs focus on streamlining the path to graduation by maximizing the transfer of previously earned credits and offering accelerated course options, thereby reducing the time and cost to complete the degree.

Is an Online Business Degree Completion Program Worth It?

Many learners prefer online degree completion programs for the flexible schedule they provide. During an online bachelor's degree, you can often meet graduation requirements at your own pace.

Is this type of degree really worth it though? In short, yes, an online business degree can significantly boost your professional profile—no matter what industry you work in.

“No matter what job you currently hold, you're going to learn things from your business education that you can instantly put into your work that can make you a better employee,” Koehler says.

This is largely why so many professionals are going back to school to complete their bachelor’s degree. It has become an important qualification in today’s job market. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s educational attainment data, a larger percentage of Americans earned a college degree in 2021 compared to 2011.

“In some ways we went through a period of ‘credential inflation,’” Koehler says. “But the majority of occupations still require at least a bachelor's.”

The abundance of bachelor's degrees doesn’t diminish their value though. Instead, it underscores the necessity of this level of education in a competitive job market. It also gives you the foundational knowledge and critical thinking skills you need to excel in your field, adapt to new challenges, and drive innovation.

“It's not just about the credential itself,” Koehler adds. “It's about the knowledge students can get from the program and how they're able to apply that in what they're already doing.”

How to Go Back to School via Online Business Degree Completion Program

If you’re ready to go back to school, here’s an overview of how to achieve your professional goals through an online business degree completion program.

1. Find the Right Business Degree Completion Program For You

Finding the right business degree completion program requires careful consideration of your career goals, lifestyle, and learning preferences. Start by identifying accredited institutions that offer flexibility and the right modalities to fit your schedule.

In addition, consider the support services offered by the institution, such as career counseling, academic advising, and networking opportunities with faculty, alumni, and industry professionals.

By conducting thorough research and considering these key factors, you can find a business degree completion program that aligns with your personal and professional aspirations.

2. Apply for Degree Completion Admission

Applying for degree completion admission is a significant step toward advancing your education and career, so approach it with thorough preparation and a clear understanding of the program’s requirements and how they align with your goals. Applications for admission into a degree completion program involve a series of steps designed to evaluate your eligibility and fit for the program.

Application requirements differ by school. Regardless of where you apply, you should begin by gathering your academic transcripts from all previously attended institutions. These documents are crucial for assessing how many of your past credits can be transferred toward your degree completion, a process that significantly influences the duration and cost of your program.

Next, prepare any additional required materials, which may include a résumé, personal statement, or letters of recommendation. These documents provide insight into your professional experiences, goals, and the reasons you're pursuing degree completion. This can help admission committees understand your motivations and potential for success.

Once you have all the required materials, submit your application by the specified deadline.

3. Review Your Previous Credits

An online business degree completion program allows students to finish their education using previously earned college credits. Therefore once accepted, reviewing your current college credits is an important step in a smooth transition back to school.

According to Best Colleges, students can typically transfer up to 90 credits toward a bachelor's degree completion program. However, there's no standard amount. At Regis College up to 90 credits are eligible for transfer as long as those grades are above a C, but this number can vary between institutions due to how credits are evaluated.

For some schools, credits need to align with the program’s curriculum to be eligible. This requirement can make your education much longer if your past coursework doesn’t line up with your new career path.

Luckily, there are business degree completion programs that take a more holistic approach to credit transfers. For Regis’ business management degree, most of your coursework will likely transfer to the program.

“If students have 90 credits, but haven't taken a single business course, they might have to take one or two additional required courses,” Koehler says. “But that's going to be a very rare case. The truth is business is really an interdisciplinary field, so there are many ways to utilize coursework from different topic areas to meet business requirements.”

4. Apply for Financial Aid

Going back to school can be a difficult transition if you don’t carefully consider the financial commitment. Luckily, online business degree completion programs are a very affordable option.

“Given the way the pricing is done for these bachelor's completion programs, it's roughly comparable to paying for community college,” Koehler says.

Transferring college credits is one way to make your education affordable, but another method is applying for financial aid such as scholarships, grants, and loans. However, this is only applicable to students who meet enrollment criteria.

“If a student is taking at least six credits—so two courses per semester—then they are eligible for all types of need-based financial aid,” Koehler adds.

In those cases, federal financial aid—including Pell Grants and subsidized loans—is available to those who qualify and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

In addition, many institutions offer their own financial aid packages and scholarships specifically designed for students in bachelor's completion programs. Work-study programs may also be available, offering the opportunity to gain work experience while earning money to help cover educational expenses.

No matter how you plan to pay for your education, It's important to research all available options and consult with financial aid advisors to fully understand what types of aid you’re eligible for.

5. Research Support Services

A bachelor's degree completion program is meant to help you re-engage with your academic and professional goals, but this doesn’t come without its challenges.

For example, balancing your commitments and adjusting to an academic setting can be difficult. However, support services and academic coaching are fundamental to your success when transitioning back to school.

Some examples of these services include:

  • Academic advising
  • Career services
  • Counseling

Student support services like these offer guidance and reassurance if you’re apprehensive about continuing your education. As a result, it’s important to find a bachelor’s degree completion program that prioritizes your long-term academic success.

“At Regis, we do this through a robust student orientation that's not just about the coursework and format,” Koehler says. “It's also about how we can help you become a successful student again.”

This is a great example of how a program that emphasizes community, even online, significantly enhances your support network as you return to school. Engaging with faculty and peers online revitalizes your academic interest and expands your network, fostering a sense of belonging.

Embracing the resources and community within a completion program equips you with the tools and confidence needed to excel as an online student and beyond.

6. Prepare for Online Learning

Preparing for remote learning is crucial to your success in an online degree program. It ensures you’re familiar with the digital platforms and tools you'll use in your coursework, which can enhance your confidence in your technical skills.

In order to effectively prepare for remote learning, you’ll need a few things:

  • Computer/device
  • Reliable Wi-Fi
  • Private space to work

Depending on the program you enroll in, you may need to download additional software for online coursework. These are meant to enhance your learning experience, allowing you to fully engage with your studies and gain practical technical skills relevant to the field.

While some programs don’t cover the cost of these resources, schools like Regis College want to ensure students are set up for success.

“As a Regis student, you get access to all the software you need no matter what,” Koehler says.

Choosing an online degree program that prepares you for remote coursework is crucial because it can help you seamlessly transition to online education. This enables you to effectively manage your studies, engage with course materials, and interact with instructors and peers, all of which are important to achieving your academic and professional goals remotely.

Get Ready to Go Back to School

If you’re apprehensive about the credibility of an online degree, remember that many schools are starting to offer remote learning options for students.

“People's attitudes are going to change over time, but slowly,” Koehler concludes. “Degrees from fully online institutions are still going to be viewed as less valuable credentials, but online degrees from institutions like Regis aren’t viewed that way. They will always hold their value.”

If you’re interested in taking the next steps to further your career, Regis’ Business Management degree completion program is tailored to students who want to get their education back on track. With flexible enrollment options, the program is designed to meet the needs of working individuals. Prospective students can transfer credits from past coursework and continue to expand their business management and leadership skills through Regis’s dynamic curriculum.

For more information about the benefits of completing your degree, contact an admissions counselor to find out if the Regis learning experience aligns with your career goals.

Completing Your Education in an Online Business Degree Program (2)

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Finishing Your Business Degree: Cost and Considerations Wondering whether finishing your business degree is worth the investment? Here’s a breakdown of the cost and benefits.
Completing Your Education in an Online Business Degree Program (2024)

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