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Frequently Asked Questions

General Knowledge

What is a bachelor’s degree?

A bachelor’s degree is usually an academic degree earned for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts four years, but can range anywhere from three to seven years depending on the region of the world. In some exceptional cases, it may also be the name of a postgraduate degree, such as a bachelor of civil law, the bachelor of music, the bachelor of philosophy, or the bachelor of sacred theology degree.

There are two kinds of bachelor’s degrees: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.). These are degrees that students receive upon successful completion of four or five years of full-time college or university studies. These are also known as undergraduate degrees.

In most cases, more than half of a bachelor’s degree consists of general education or liberal arts courses in areas such as English, critical thinking, psychology, history and mathematics
During the Renaissance, those who received a doctorate, upon passing their final examinations, were decorated with berried branches of bay, an ancient symbol of highest honor. From this ancient custom derives the French word baccalauréat (from the Latin bacca, a berry, and laureus, of the bay laurel), and, by modification, the term “bachelor” in referring to one who holds a university degree.

What is the difference between a B.A. and a B.S.?

Historically, the only distinction between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science is that the Bachelor of Arts degree, originally known by its Latin name artium baccalaureus, required the recipient to have studied Latin during his course of study. Those who didn’t study Latin received a Bachelor of Science degree; historically known in Latin as scientiæ baccalaureus.
The distinction between the two programs today is much more flexible but still retains the same basic structure. A Bachelor of Arts tends to focus on theoretical and general knowledge. The B.A. degree is also known as a liberal arts degree. This degree generally requires courses in humanities, math, English, sciences, social sciences, and languages.
The Bachelor of Science degree generally does not require as many liberal arts or humanities courses. It may prepare people for careers in accounting, engineering, and education. A B.S. focuses on technical or hard sciences such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. Like the B.A., it also requires general courses in math, English, sciences, and social sciences.
A Bachelor of Science degree is recommended for people who wish to enter a technical or technology-oriented field, often with a specific discipline in mind. A Bachelor of Arts degree is more generalized, using theoretical knowledge such as English, art or music theory to gain wide understanding about a broad topic. Bachelor of Arts programs also usually require the student to take a foreign language.
Bachelor of Science programs are usually very specialized. The subjects tend to be specific and quantifiable, resulting in heavy lab time and experiments over the course of the program. Bachelor of Science classes also are generally more technology-focused, gathering skills and knowledge needed for a specific discipline. A Bachelor of Arts program has classes that are more general, creating a well-rounded level of education for a general field but not a specific discipline.

What will a bachelor’s degree prepare me for?

You may have asked yourself this question numerous times. Why go on? Do I need to bother with yet another two years of school? Studies show that people with four-year college degrees earn more money than those without over their lifetime, that they are more likely to find jobs and, once employed, are almost twice as likely to be selected for on-the-job training. Though pursuing a bachelor’s degree is time consuming and may be quite a financial challenge, the long-term benefits of acquiring it may very well far outweigh the difficulties that you may encounter. Here are some potential incentives for continuing on for a bachelor’s degree:

  • Costs are always on the rise.
    State support of education has decreased, and state budget cuts are rampant. The sooner that you tackle finishing your bachelor’s, the less money that you will have to spend in the long run if you decide to eventually get your degree.
  • Be a role model.
    Education is called the great equalizer for good reason. The more education you attain the more you benefit your entire family. Children are more likely to be successful in school and in college if their parents attended college.
  • Self-actualization.
    You will know that you have achieved something that not everyone has the aptitude or oportunity to do. Your persistence and dedication have gotten you this far; how much further could it take you?
  • Get ready for…life!
    Earning a bachelor’s will assist you in your preparation for facing life, not just helping you out concerning your prospective careers.
  • Life’s work.
    When you earn a bachelor’s degree, you will be able to study within a field that has personal significance to you. Why not spend the rest of your life “working” within a field that really interests you or that makes you feel good? Your work will be more meaningful and thus more fulfilling to you.
  • Continued growth.
    When you pursue such a degree, you are encouraging yourself to continue learning not merely out of necessity, but through a drive to be as educated as you can be, regardless of the situation.
  • But wait, there’s more!
    You may even find yourself wanting to go beyond your bachelor’s and continue even further to achieve a graduate degree.
  • Higher Education = Higher Employability.
    The more educated that you are, the greater the range of available occupations. The following are percentages of unemployment for workers age 25 and over based on level of education.

    • Master’s Degree: 1.6%
    • Bachelor’s Degree: 1.8%
    • Associate Degree: 2.3%
    • Some college, no degree: 2.9%
    • High-school graduate: 3.5%
    • Some high school, no diploma: 6.5%
  • Higher Education = Higher Income.
    Here are some compelling annual income figures based on level of education:

    • Some High School, No College: $21,400
    • High School Diploma: 28,800
    • Some college, no degree: 32,000
    • Associate Degree: 35,400
    • Bachelor’s Degree: $46,300
    • Master’s Degree: $55,300
  • Uh boss…can I have a promotion?
    The following are percentages of individual employees who were promoted by their employer based upon their level of education:

    • No High School Diploma: 15.3
    • High School Grad, No College: 20.8
    • Less than a bachelor’s: 20.7

Bachelor’s degree or more: 25



How long will the average bachelor’s degree program take to complete?

A bachelor’s degree is a four-year degree. It typically takes four years of full-time study to earn a bachelor’s degree. In these four years, you will complete 120 semester credits or about 40 college courses.

However, many online colleges now offer accelerated courses of study that enable students to earn degrees in less time than it would take to complete a campus program.



What are some reasons I might consider earning a bachelor’s degree online?

Today, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university is practically a prerequisite to work in many well-paying fields. But you can save time and money by earning your bachelor’s degree online.

Would you like to graduate with an accredited online bachelor’s degree in one or two years, instead of the four years it takes to complete a degree program in a conventional university?

While earning your online bachelor’s degree, you can earn your degree while you continue to hold a job, so you won’t lose income while you go to school.

Conventional out-of-state colleges can cost anywhere from $15K to $50K per year for tuition only, not counting the costs of books, room and board, and interest on your student loans.

Online schools can cost less because there are fewer fees associated with the programs. Some online colleges charge tuition per semester, not per credit, so you can save money by completing degree at an accelerated pace.

Many employers today demand at least a bachelor’s degree. For many people, an online university offers the best opportunity to obtain that degree.


Financial Questions

How much is the average tuition for a bachelor’s degree in the U.S.?

The average cost of a bachelor’s degree is $25,143 per year at a private college and $6,585 at a public college or university, according to the 2008-09 reports released by the College Board. About 56 percent of students pay less than $9,000 in tuition and fees per year, the board found, while only 9 percent pay more than $33,000. These averages do not include room and board.

From 1958 through 2001, tuition increased at a rate of 6 to 9 percent, or about 1.2 to 2.1 times the rate of general inflation. On average, tuition increased at a rate of 8 percent. If this rate of increase were to continue, it would mean if you have a child today, the average price of public school tuition when he is ready for college will be $26,313. In real dollars, assuming a 3 percent annualized inflation rate, which equates to $15,847 per year.


What is the average effect on salary of attaining at least a bachelor’s degree?

Those holding bachelor’s degrees earn about $2.27 million over their lifetime, while those with master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees earn $2.67 million, $3.25 million, and $3.65 million, respectively. That said, the major and industry a student selects ultimately have an enormous impact on lifetime earnings. Those with bachelor’s degrees who work either in management or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) earn more, on average, than people with advanced degrees of any level who work in fields like education, sales, and community service.

Those with bachelor’s degrees, no matter the field, earn vastly more than counterparts with some college ($1.55 million in lifetime earnings) or a high school diploma ($1.30 million lifetime), indicating that no matter the level of attainment or the field of study, simply earning a four-year degree is often integral to financial success later in life.