30 million Americans, like Robert, have some college credit but have not completed their degrees. We are honored to assist them in their comeback journey.
*This interview has been edited slightly for clarity*
SA: Can you describe your comeback journey in more detail? From the point where you realized you weren’t getting the education you wanted, to now.
RL: My journey…Let me begin by going back to March 2020. Like so many other parents, when the pandemic first came upon us, I quickly found myself at home; furloughed, and now filling the role of teacher to my 3 boys. At the time, I also had a lot of momentum going in my personal development journey and did not want to lose that just binge-watching Netflix or getting lost in the 24 hr news cycle. While I had desired to go back to school for some time, I had pretty much written it off because of the amount of student loan debt I already had. I did not believe that I had enough money left available and credits earned to be able to finish; however, I had not made the calls to confirm that. Once the pandemic started, I decided I owed it to myself to know for sure. I did some research, called a few schools, and initially it looked as though my fears were going to be confirmed. Then I spoke with someone at SNHU, and she informed me that SNHU had partnerships with Saylor Academy (ACE Credit) and Sophia Learning where I would be able to earn credits for little to nothing out of pocket. Within the week, we developed a plan that would save me about $15k and allow me to graduate with very minimal out of pocket. Of that $15k, $5k was directly because of Saylor & ACE Credit. Not only did these programs allow me the opportunity to finish my degree, but they also allowed me to do so at an accelerated pace. When I started back in March, I had 45 credits that SNHU transferred in. Today, I have 99 and am set to complete my degree (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration w/ a concentration in Organizational Leadership) this August.
I am so grateful to Saylor & Ace, and at 40 years old I am more excited about my future than ever. I think the main reason most people do not pursue this path is because they simply do not allow themselves to believe it is possible. They gather up all the reasons it won’t work in their mind and that becomes their reality. Another reason, they just don’t know! I had never heard of these programs before I made the call to SNHU, and not to seem cynical, but with all the money available to students these days through the government I don’t think it’s any wonder why most universities do not promote such programs. As far as the content goes, I learned just as much through these alternative methods as I did in my SNHU courses. That is no knock on my university but just a credit to Saylor & ACE. Even though I only have 2 courses left through Saylor for my degree program, I will continue to take other offerings through them to enhance my skills and engage my curiosity.
SA: Can you tell me a few of the Saylor courses you have completed & which ones you feel you learned the most from?
RL: I have finished Principles of Management, Principles of Marketing and Business Law. I am currently enrolled in Operations Management and plan on taking Managerial Accounting.
While I have learned much from all of my courses, I really enjoyed Principles of Management and Marketing. The course on management helped me as a leader, even in my current role, and the marketing course opened up my eyes in a lot of ways to how the human mind works and why we do some of the things we do.
SA: What motivated you to want to finish your education?
RL: Over the past few years, I found myself wanting more out of life. Not just more stuff but more out of myself, my marriage, my relationships, and my career. I set out on a journey of personal development and with some guidance began to read, listen, and grow. While I was not dissatisfied with the work I was doing in my current career, retail hours are tough on a family and more and more I began to feel like I was missing out on too much important stuff. However, I did feel somewhat trapped as I make a pretty good living and did not know how I could leave my role without taking a major pay reduction and “starting over” somewhere else. As I contemplated my dilemma I considered the college credits I already had and decided I owed it to myself to at least call some schools and see if going back was even possible.
SA: What do you plan to do in the future with your completed business degree and the new knowledge from your Saylor courses?
RL: While I am not sure exactly what field I will be going into, I do know that I have a passion for personal development and helping others grow. These courses will help me to lead in any organization I am a part of and build meaningful relationships with those I work with.
SA: How was Saylor Academy able to help you overcome any obstacles you may have faced?
RL: Saylor has been so instrumental in this journey. Due to some poor choices made when I was younger, I did not have enough financial aid left to finish my degree. In fact, had my advisor not told me about Saylor, I would not have returned to school due to a lack of funds to finish. Saylor saved me thousands, and that covered the gap so I could set a course to finish my degree fully funded. Saylor also allowed me to accelerate my degree as I have been able to complete courses at my own pace. I started this journey just over a year ago and have earned 54 credits in that time.Saylor saved me thousands, and that covered the gap so I could set a course to finish my degree fully funded. Saylor also allowed me to accelerate my degree as I have been able complete courses at my own pace. Click To Tweet
SA: Do you have any tips for other busy adults like you who want to finish or further their education?
RL: Set small goals along the way and use visual aids. I have a list printed out and hung in my office of every course I need to finish for my degree. Each time I finish a course, I highlight it in green and take a moment to enjoy the accomplishment.
Be disciplined. Don’t put off what you have time for now, even if it’s just 15 minutes, do something every day.
Believe in yourself! You are smart enough and strong enough to do it.
SA: Would you recommend Saylor to others looking to finish their degree?
RL: I would and do recommend Saylor! I also look forward to taking the course on Bitcoin and some other subjects after my degree to continue learning and growing.
If you are looking to finish your degree like Robert, click here to learn more about our Direct College Credit Program where you can complete your degree with substantial tuition savings! Click here to read more student interviews and learn more about our students all over the world.