Jul 3, 2015

How to save BIG money on an undergraduate degree

NOVA students can be automatically admitted to William and Mary

College-bound students concerned about the escalating cost of a four-year undergraduate education or those who aren’t quite ready for a long-term commitment might consider the wealth of opportunities available through transfer partnerships between two- and four-year colleges.

Also known as “articulation agreements” or “guaranteed admission agreements,” these kinds of contracts between institutions are sometimes overlooked or misunderstood by students considering postsecondary options. 

But it’s really not so difficult. An articulation agreement is a formal arrangement to transfer a defined set of academic credits between the academic programs of one institution (usually a two-year community college) to programs within a college or campus of a four-year institution. 

Many, but not all, of these agreements come with guaranteed admissions provisions enabling students to make smooth transitions between programs and eventually earn bachelors’ degrees at significant costs savings.

In other words, with careful planning and solid counseling support, a student can enter a community college, complete certain specified requirements—usually including an associate’s degree—and then automatically transfer to a four-year degree-granting program from which he or she may ultimately graduate. 

For example, a student earning an associate’s degree at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) who has followed specific guidelines (available on the NOVA website) may have guaranteed admission to any of the following nonprofit colleges and universities (the complete list may be found on the NOVA website):
Montgomery College also has many exciting guaranteed admission programs with scholarship dollars at several Maryland universities and colleges including the University of Maryland—College Park, Towson University, UMBC, UMUC, Morgan State University, and Shepherd University in West Virginia.  Additional articulation agreements covering transfer arrangements with even more colleges and universities are listed on the Articulation System for Maryland Colleges and Universities (ARTSYS) website.

These are actually pretty sweet deals that can save students and their families thousands of dollars.  
The Guaranteed Admission Agreement between NOVA and George Mason University is estimated to save somewhere in the range of $15,000 in tuition and fees.  That’s real money!
And regardless of the route taken, the student comes out with the same bachelor’s degree diploma to hang on the wall—only cheaper!

But as always, be sure to read the agreements carefully as they can have technical differences and may guarantee admission to specific programs and not an entire institution. 

No comments:

Post a Comment