I Have an Associate Degree. Now What?


I have an associate degree now what

You worked hard to earn your associate degree, and now you’re ready to advance your career and education with a bachelor’s degree. Whether you’ll continue your education as a transfer student or as a returning adult student who may have been away from school for a while, your associate degree prepared you with many relevant skills for success, such as critical thinking, reading, and writing; time management; research ability; and interpersonal communication.

You also have the advantage of knowing what you want to do and where you want your education to take you. Now it’s time to choose the right school to complete your bachelor’s degree.

Making a Plan to Transfer

Just as you prepare for classes by doing homework, you need to prepare a plan for transferring schools. Think about your goals. Ask yourself what you are looking for in your next academic experience. If there is a specific career you want to pursue, do your research, and find out which universities offer the coursework you need.

When transferring to a bachelor’s degree program, you will also want to know:

  • Whether financial aid is available
  • If you will have the option to attend part-time, full-time, online, or in a hybrid format
  • How many credits you can expect to transfer
  • If you will have an advisor

Once you’ve done some preliminary research and selected the college that seems like the right fit for you, reach out to an admissions counselor who can help you throughout the application process. This includes a thorough review of your transcripts, assessing the equivalency and transferability of any previously earned credits.

Seeking Degree Completion Programs

A return to college after some years away may seem daunting, but with a solid plan, adult learners can transition smoothly back to the classroom through a bachelor’s degree completion program.

Start by focusing on the reasons you want to complete your degree. You may be thinking of changing careers, advancing in your current field, or enriching yourself with coursework in a particular area of study. Knowing what your goals are is essential to choosing the right college and program for you.

Adult learners often need flexible schedules. Choose a college that understands your unique needs. Learn what you can about availability of financial aid and policies regarding transfer, professional, and life experience credits.

Contact an admissions counselor who will answer your questions, assess your credits, review courses you’ll need to take, and work with you on the next part of your plan:  completing your bachelor’s degree and setting you on the path to your next success.

What are the benefits of earning your bachelor’s degree?

If you are wondering whether a bachelor’s degree is worth the investment, statistics show the answer is a resounding yes.

In their annual report The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society, the College Board reported immense benefits to earning a bachelor’s degree, including:

  • Higher earnings
  • Higher employment rates
  • Job security
  • Higher marketability
  • Retirement plans
  • Social mobility

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people holding an associate degree earned an average annual salary of $48,776 while those with a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $67,860 annually.

A bachelor’s degree also gives you the opportunity to follow your passions and work in a specialized field, such as education, finance, healthcare, science, and many others where a higher level of education and specialized skills are required. This keeps you growing personally and professionally, meaning your bachelor’s degree won’t be the end of your education but the beginning.

Take the Next Step to Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree

At Elmhurst University, we welcome more than 500 transfer and adult students to our campus each year. We know what you need to succeed.

Our transfer process is streamlined, allowing you to launch into a major from the strong foundation you built with your associate degree. And our bachelor’s degree completion programs are designed to seamlessly fit the schedules of adult learners, enabling you to balance work and family life, finish your degree, enhance your skills, and advance your career.

Our admissions counselors are here to help you make a smooth transition to Elmhurst. Talk to us about your academic and life experiences, and we’ll see how it might apply toward completing your degree. We offer generous financial aid packages that include scholarships specifically for transfer students.

Request information about how you can complete your bachelor’s degree and discover your full potential at Elmhurst University.

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Illustration by Telegramme
Posted April 18, 2023

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