While a cheap degree is not always a bad degree, it might not be the best type of degree to earn when you want to get a professional license or become a graduate student. Prospective students should never put price first when they are choosing where they will get a college education. Price is important, but quality content, the reputation of the professors on campus and the current accreditation status of each university are factors that are more important than cost.
It can cost you a great deal of money to attend school when you do not qualify for aide or when you have not been awarded valuable scholarships, but diverting your attention to a new educational path strictly because tuition rates are cheap is not advised. If you would like to know the real value of cheap degrees, read on and discover when a cheap college degree is smart and when it is not a good idea.
What Are Your Career Goals and What Type of Degree Are You Earning?
You would not pursue an undergraduate degree in business if you planned on becoming a medical assistant. While this might sound like common sense, choosing the wrong type of degree or certificate program because it is affordable is essentially like studying for the wrong major. You must consider both your short-term and your long-term career goals, and how the degree that you are interested in will help you accomplish them.
It is much cheaper to enroll in an associate’s degree program than a bachelor’s program, but that is not always a practical choice. If you can start an entry-level role with your associate’s degree, your cheap college degree in the field could be a good degree. If, however, you must have a bachelor’s or even a master’s, you may not be able to put your two-year degree to use. This is why you have to consider what type of degree is going to help you go somewhere professionally.
Is the School Accredited By Any National or Regional Associations?
The worst thing that could happen once you graduate from school is discovering that you must repeat coursework because your credits do not count towards prerequisites or professional licensing requirements. This can happen when you do not check into the accreditation status of a school or a program. You should always choose schools that have been nationally or regionally accredited.
Regional accreditation tends to be more widely accepted when you want to pursue a graduate degree, but national credentials are best for vocational programs and online programs. If you plan on getting a professional license, you must go a step further and verify that it has a specialized accreditation as well. Without these credentials, a school should immediately be crossed off of your list.
A cheap degree does not have to be frowned upon, but you do have to do your homework to prevent this. You need to focus on choosing the right type of degree, an accredited school, and a school with good placement rates. You need to avoid making some of the biggest mistakes you can make when choosing a school and make a fully informed decision. If you do your due diligence, you can find a cheap degree that will not break the bank but that will decorate your resume.