Five Tips for Completing Your Bachelor's Degree

Graduates of our Bachelor's Degree Completion programs offer advice to those who are considering going back to school.

A bachelor’s degree is your ticket to better job opportunities and higher pay over your career. Today, 90 percent of jobs with the fastest rates of growth—such as those in science, technology, engineering, and math—require some form of post-high school education, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require training beyond high school.

With a bachelor’s degree, you’re far less likely to be unemployed than people with only a high school diploma. And you’re more likely to have a job that provides health and retirement benefits, giving you a better quality of life.

So it’s no surprise that more people than ever are returning to complete their degrees. And their lives, like yours, look a whole lot different from those of traditional 18- to 21-year-old college students who have parents paying the bills. Today, 75 percent of college students in the United States are working-age Americans between 25 and 64 years old, single parents, military veterans, and others.

Bryan Klickstein ’13 earned his BA in Liberal Studies with a Specialization in Business Management from Lesley, which he started at age 35. “I'd had some success professionally, but I didn’t know if those skills would translate to college,” he says. “I realized that going to school as an adult is gaining confidence that all of the personal and professional skills you bring, and your years of experience, will translate into academic success.” Bryan is now in the Master of Public Policy program at the University of California, Berkeley, and is spending the summer as an intern in Washington DC.

"At Lesley, I discovered I was a great independent learner. Now, I help business owners and professional women discover their strengths.”
Clara Angelina Diaz ’14

Five Tips for Completing Your Bachelor’s Degree

You recognize the importance to your future of getting a bachelor’s degree, and now you’re ready to take the next steps. Whether you’ve been out of school two years or 20, you’re wondering how to make a degree-completion program work. We’ve talked with students who’ve successfully completed their bachelor’s degree at Lesley, and they came back with these five tips for ensuring that you’ll achieve your dream of finishing your bachelor’s degree.

1. Be clear about why you’re getting a degree. 

Whether you’re taking your existing career to the next level or going in a new direction, you want to be able to answer the question: “Will this degree get me where I want to go?”

2. Maximize your credits. 

Look for a school that will help you identify credits for work experience, professional training, or college courses you’ve already completed. (For example, you could receive up to 90 credits toward your bachelor’s degree from Lesley in our campus-based and online programs.) The more credits you identify, the fewer credits you’ll need to earn, which helps reduce costs.

3. Play detective.

Investigate financial aid availability at colleges you are interested in; look into student and private loans, and scholarships. Bachelor’s degree completion programs are often less expensive overall than traditional on-campus undergraduate programs.

4. Pace yourself. 

Take small steps to get back into practice as a student; take one or two classes at the beginning to build your confidence.

5. Build a support network. 

There’s no stigma in asking for help from professors, staff, or your advisor, or in taking advantage of tutoring and mentoring that the college provides. And getting support outside of school from family members or friends can help you stay on track by holding you accountable.