Arkansas Plan Provides Associate Degrees
Arkansas education officials are putting a plan in action that will award associate's degrees to people who transferred to a university from a two year college and have earned enough credits for a diploma. The program was announced Wednesday and is part of an initiative pushed by Governor Mike Beebe to double the amount of Americans with college degrees by 2025. Education officials are to use a $500,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation to help put in place a system that the state's 22 community colleges and 11 universities will be able to blend into student information. This will enable the officials to be able to determine which students should be awarded associate's degrees. Officials have said that nearly half of Arkansas students who have transferred from a two year school to a university haven't earned a bachelor's degree at all.
The new plan couldn't come at a better time. With the amount of money that most people have to pay for tuition in order to pursue their education, there are many who are reluctant to pay for that same tuition again when they have transferred to a college or university, only to be informed that their credits aren't relevant at that location. The new plan would enable these individuals to be able to earn their associate's degree at the new location and continue towards the educational pathway of earning their bachelor's degree. With student loan interest rates about to double, it's even more important that students begin to try saving as much money as possible when they are in pursuit of their education.
A Senate vote on a bill that would keep the current lower rate in place for another year is scheduled for July 10. But even if that happened, the student loan crisis would still be a problem. The total student loan debt for the country is near $1 trillion dollars now. Some experts have acknowledged the issue by trying to provide some advice for those who are still seeking to earn their education despite the financial challenges. One option is to consider going to a less expensive school. Students are advised to start considering beginning their education at a community, city, or in-state college and then trying to transfer into their dream college or university later on.
Ultimately, those in Arkansas are already beginning to feel very positive about the opportunities that are waiting for them now that they are about to receive their associate's degree. The new plan ensures that a large amount of students within the area will be able to focus on pursuing their bachelor's degree and many other degree programs which will be crucial for their success. By being able to be awarded an associate's degree now based on their previous college credits, it ensures that they will be able to pursue their education in a quicker amount of time.