Graduating faster and for less money is a “win” for any college student, especially for busy adult learners ready to start or move forward in their careers. That’s why the University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC) has partnered with organizations for “transfer partnerships” that help our students graduate faster and for less money. Not only do we want to see you in all of your red and blue UAGC pride at graduation, we want to see you get there in a timeline that you’re proud of and with as little financial burden as possible.
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY "TRANSFER PARTNERSHIPS?”
UAGC has three transfer partners – StraighterLine, Sophia Learning, and Study.com. They are not colleges or universities, but they are reputable alternatives that offer a variety of online course options approved to fulfill general education, elective, and even undergraduate major courses for students at your own pace and at a lower cost than UAGC tuition.
Let’s dive deeper into three ways UAGC transfer partnerships benefit students.
1. You’ll Graduate Faster
As an academic advisor, I often had students ask, “How can I graduate faster?” There are many reasons students look for ways to complete their degrees at a quicker pace. Maybe new job opportunities are coming available but only if you have a finished degree in hand, or perhaps you have set a goal for yourself to finish school by a particular date? You might just feel like you have some momentum, and you want to take full advantage of it.
All are great and perfectly understandable reasons to want to move your graduation date forward. Taking courses through one of our transfer partnerships provides an excellent way to accomplish this. Because the courses are self-paced, you have the potential to complete them faster even than a five-week course at UAGC, especially if it is a subject area you feel confident in. Since these courses are offered through our approved third-party partners, it’s OK to take them alongside your UAGC coursework.
2. You’ll Save Money
Getting your college degree is often a huge financial commitment, and if you’re using financial aid, that commitment may last long after your diploma is in-hand. Taking courses through one of our transfer partnerships is a great way to lower your college costs and the amount of financial aid you will need to borrow along the way to complete your program.
While you cannot use financial aid funds to directly pay for transfer partnership courses, they are far less expensive than the cost of a three-credit course at the standard tuition rate. Finding methods of responsible borrowing for financial aid students can be a game-changer when it comes time to pay back student loans.
3. It’s a More Feasible Way to “Double-up”
“What do I need to do to take two classes at a time?” This question often accompanies questions about graduating fast, as it’s the most obvious path to an earlier graduation date. Your advisor wants to see you succeed, which is why they may point you to one of our transfer partners rather than taking an additional UAGC course.
There are many reasons for this recommendation. First, it’s more academically manageable. Because you set your pace when taking transfer partner courses, it’s a great way to be actively participating in more than one class and earning your credits faster, while also avoiding having multiple papers or double the discussions due on the same day. Second, for many students, taking concurrent UAGC courses means having to pay for the additional course out of pocket. While transfer partner courses are an out-of-pocket expense, it is a smaller expense than the standard tuition rate for one UAGC course.
Explore Transfer Partnerships
While all of the transfer partnerships available to UAGC students have some basic similarities, they differ in cost and in the approved credits they offer. Let’s look at the options and help you find the one that’s best for you.
StraighterLine offers general education, electives, and some undergraduate major courses. When you complete courses, you can have your transcripts sent to the UAGC registrar’s office with the click of a button. StraighterLine wants their students to know they are not alone when they take courses, so they offer unique support with advisors you can contact via phone or live chat seven days a week, and a membership includes 10 hours of on-demand tutoring. Some StraighterLine courses even have a professor-led option, where you can get assistance from knowledgeable instructors while working through the material.
A StraighterLine membership is $99 per month and courses start at $59 and include all of the materials you may need, so your cost may depend on how quickly you complete your courses. Students who successfully complete 12 college-level credits at StraighterLine and are currently enrolled and active or plan to enroll and matriculate into an online undergraduate program at UAGC may even be eligible to receive a 15% tuition grant on eight future UAGC courses, making the potential savings even greater.
Like StraighterLine, Sophia Learning offers a variety of general education courses, electives, and undergraduate major courses that are taken online at your own pace. The Sophia platform works from any device with internet access, so you can make progress even when you’re on-the-go. One of the ways Sophia is unique is that they offer several one-credit courses. These courses often come in particularly handy in fulfilling elective credits.
Sophia also operates on a membership model. Memberships may be purchased for $99 per month, and there is no additional cost for courses or materials. Students also have access to a complimentary learning coach. Sophia does limit students to two courses at a time, but since the average time it takes for students to complete a Sophia course is 17 hours, there is the potential to get a lot of bang for your buck. Of course, since classes are self-paced and all students are different, some courses may take longer to complete. Sophia also provides a way to seamlessly send documentation of your completed coursework to the UAGC registrar’s office for transfer.
Study.com is the newest and perhaps most robust of UAGC’s transfer partnerships. Students can choose from more than 200 courses that can fulfill general education course requirements, electives, and undergraduate major courses. They even offer several courses that are upper-division. All undergraduate students are required to complete at least 30 upper-division credits to graduate, and there are scenarios in which students may fall short of this requirement. Study.com is a great option for students should this occur.
A Study.com membership is $199 per month, and students may complete up to two courses per month, allowing for huge potential savings on college costs. Study.com does not use textbooks. Instead, students learn via video lessons, flashcards, and interactive quizzes, so you can expect an engaging experience as you work through your course.
Before You Register
Prior to signing up to take a course through any transfer partnership, talk to an academic advisor about your degree requirements and ensure that the course you want to take will transfer in. Advisors can submit a request to the UAGC registrar’s office to confirm the transferability of any course, so you can feel confident in the work you’re doing.
For more information about these partnerships and to view transfer guides, or to find information on other ways of earning credit, visit the Transfer Credits page.
-- Whitney Bradford is a UAGC content specialist and former academic advisor for Ashford University*.
*Ashford University is now the University of Arizona Global Campus.
The transferability of credits is subject to the University of Arizona Global Campus transfer credit policies, and requires the submission of official transcripts. The official transcripts will be evaluated to determine the credits that will officially apply toward a University of Arizona Global Campus degree program.