First Nationally Available $10,000 B.A. to be Launched by College for America at SNHU, for Working Adults & Employers

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More than 50 employers nationwide partner with the nonprofit school to offer the competency-based, newly accredited degree to working adults.

College for America is a nonprofit, competency-based school dedicated to working adults and employers which just launched the first nationally available, fully accredited $10,000 bachelor's degree

We finally have the nation’s first truly $10,000 bachelor’s degree, and it required two things: exceptional partnering with employers and a radical new model of delivery that promises quality and relevance in the workplace.

College for America at Southern New Hampshire University announced today the launch of the first nationally available, fully accredited $10,000 Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in the country, offered through a competency-based curriculum designed specifically for working adults and their employers. The announcement was made at the American Society of Training and Development’s annual conference in Washington, DC. Initial degrees will include a BA in Healthcare Management and a BA in Communications.

More than fifty employers nationwide are already partnering with College for America to make the degree opportunity available to their employees—including McDonald’s, Wellpoint/Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and some of the largest hospital systems in the country. More than two hundred additional employers have expressed interest in launching similar partnerships in the coming year.

“We finally have the nation’s first truly $10,000 bachelor’s degree, and it required two things: exceptional partnering with employers and a radical new model of delivery that promises quality and relevance in the workplace,” said Southern New Hampshire University President Dr. Paul LeBlanc.

“This is the most remarkably priced college degree in the country, and the truth is that the price is the least remarkable thing about it. What draws students and employers is the promise of mastering competencies they can immediately apply in their workplace. The price is just our way to make it accessible as widely as possible.”

Full details about the degree are available at

College for America administers competency-based college degrees designed to be more applicable in the workplace and more accessible and affordable for working adults. The nonprofit’s students demonstrate mastery of workplace-relevant competencies by completing real-world projects­—instead of traditional courses, lectures, and credit hours—that are directly informed by industry, academic and subject-matter experts. Student work is submitted online in a flexibly scheduled, self-paced program designed for working adults with busy lives. Degrees are awarded by Southern New Hampshire University, a respected and accredited 80 year old nonprofit university that offers both in-person and online college degree options. College for America launched its first degree—an Associate of Arts in General Studies—in 2013.

While the $10,000 milestone for a BA degree is a historic one, most students will actually pay far less out of pocket for the degree. Tuition is $2,500 a year with no additional costs, and students proceed through the degree at their own pace—fueled both by what they learn in the school and by what they already know have mastered through life and work experience. Most employers offer to reimburse the tuition costs for their employees, and eligible students can also apply for federal financial aid.

The new BA degrees will require students to demonstrate mastery of 240 total competencies—including 120 core competencies included in the original Associate of Arts degree launched last fall and an additional 120 advanced competencies reserved for BA students.

The bachelor’s degree was approved last week by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, one of the country’s seven regional accrediting bodies sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Education. Employees of companies or nonprofits partnering with College for America are eligible to apply now for enrollment as new BA students this fall.


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Colin Van Ostern
since: 08/2012
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