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    #242292 - 04/22/18 01:13 PM Associates Degree worth acquiring? Downsides?
    Quantum2003 Offline

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1425
    Dual enrollment plus articulation of AP credits mean that DS and DD will have enough credits to earn an Associates degree before high school graduation (well, actually before senior year). The question is whether they should bother getting it if they are going on to a four year university anyhow? In looking over the requirements, there is just one course at the community college that they would have to take that they would not otherwise take. This is for a general Associates of Arts degree.

    The other question is whether they should try to get a specialized Associates of Art or Associates of Science degree? This option would require some extra effort as there may be a couple of extra/specific courses they have to take plus they have to technically wait until the high school diploma is in hand in June of their senior year and then declare their major.

    Any thoughts? Any downsides?

    Edited by Quantum2003 (04/22/18 01:15 PM)

    #242295 - 04/22/18 02:11 PM Re: Associates Degree worth acquiring? Downsides? [Re: Quantum2003]
    Val Offline

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3288
    Loc: California
    One of my kids completed and associates degree via a dual enrollment program.


    * In some states (including ours), if you have an associates degree, you are guaranteed admission to at least one campus of the big state universities. So, here, you’re guaranteed admission to one of the second-tier UC’s.

    * He got a passel of credits that gave him “junior status” even though he enrolled as a freshman at a private college. This is actually a big deal. In practical terms, it means that he gets to register for classes with the juniors, which means he’s enrolling ahead of the sophomores and the freshmen. So he gets the classes/professors/times he wants. It’s a big deal because the people registering for classes at the same time he is aren’t registering for the same classes he is.

    * Some of his community college classes counted toward his major. This means that, in the future, he will have light semesters (or he’ll be able to double major with less stress and/or time). Some of his community college classes counted toward his major. This may count anyway for your kids.

    Edited by Val (04/22/18 02:13 PM)

    #242296 - 04/22/18 02:12 PM Re: Associates Degree worth acquiring? Downsides? [Re: Quantum2003]
    Dude Offline

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    It depends. I'd recommend checking with the four-year university your child intends to transfer to, if that has already been identified. Some will give your child a full two years' worth of credit if they achieve the degree, but might refuse some of the CC credits if they fall short.

    If a college hasn't been chosen, it might be a better-safe-than-sorry option to go ahead and complete it.

    #242297 - 04/22/18 02:14 PM Re: Associates Degree worth acquiring? Downsides? [Re: Quantum2003]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4221
    Different answers may be the right "fit" for different families.

    Some may want to matriculate as college freshmen, setting aside any potential college credits, essentially counting them for high school only. In this case, holding an Associate's degree would be a downside.

    My 2 cents:
    If the above does not apply to you, then have your children accept the Associate's degree.

    1) May transfer to 4-year college (aeh posted a helpful transfer list)
    2) Requirements can and do change... what qualifies for an Associate's degree, major, minor, etc, at one point in time... may be different a year later.
    3) One never knows when there may be an accident, illness, natural disaster, etc, which may interrupt education plans. If any reversal of fortune should occur... according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it is better to have the Associate's degree credential than to have "Some college, no degree".
    Originally Posted By: BLS
    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) designates 1 of the following 8 education levels that workers typically need to enter an occupation:
    1- Less than high school
    2- High school diploma or equivalent
    3- Some college, no degree
    4- Postsecondary non-degree award
    5- Associate’s degree
    6- Bachelor’s degree
    7- Master’s degree
    8- Doctoral or professional degree
    In a graphic at the linked article, the Associate's degree is shown as making one eligible for another 10% of jobs in the job market, as compared with Some college, no degree.

    #242298 - 04/22/18 02:15 PM Re: Associates Degree worth acquiring? Downsides? [Re: Quantum2003]
    Val Offline

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3288
    Loc: California
    ETA based on Dude’s post: most of his credits weren’t accepted for the degree, but they’re still sitting there as “credits earned,” which is why he has junior status.

    His current degree path isn’t the same as what he studied in the CC, but they’re related, which is why about a semester’s worth of credits went toward his bachelor’s degree.

    Also, he got a nice merit scholarship, based presumably in part on the strength of that AA.

    Edited by Val (04/22/18 02:17 PM)

    #242391 - 04/25/18 12:19 PM Re: Associates Degree worth acquiring? Downsides? [Re: Val]
    Quantum2003 Offline

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1425
    Yeah, those are all the advantages that we are contemplating. One concern is whether they CAN matriculate as freshmen if it is otherwise more desirable to do so, such as scholarship eligibility and admissions. I suppose that question might have different answers depending on the particular college.

    #242392 - 04/25/18 12:23 PM Re: Associates Degree worth acquiring? Downsides? [Re: Dude]
    Quantum2003 Offline

    Registered: 02/08/11
    Posts: 1425
    The problem is that as freshmen, their plans and preferences are likely to undergo many changes. Choice of undergrad will be significantly impacted by intentions regarding a terminal degree. One of the issue is that they are expected to reach 60 credits before senior year.


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