By Laurie Davies
A tool like this can be especially helpful for adult learners, who often enroll in school with work and life experience. (Think work credentials and certifications, previous college credit and even parenting experience.) At University of Phoenix, for example, the average age of new students is 38, and 80.9% are employed.
“At University of Phoenix, we understand our students are bringing their own life, work, education and training experiences to continue their educational journey with us,” says John Woods, PhD, provost and chief academic officer. “This understanding informed our creation of Savings Explorer as a tool to support individuals in assessing, before they even enroll, the potential opportunities to save both time and money in order to quickly leverage their degrees and pursue their chosen career path.”
There are currently about 39 million adults in the U.S. with some college and no degree. Additionally, a recent report from National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that during the pandemic, about 300,000 students who normally would have transferred, instead stopped their educational journey. For individuals who may have paused their educational plans, the Savings Explorer tool offers a quick assessment to understand how they might be able to leverage their prior learning, work experience and financial circumstances.
The goal of the Savings Explorer tool is to give prospective students as much information up front regarding how much they can save on their degree.
University of Phoenix offers generous credit transfer possibilities: Credit transfers can cover up to 75% of a bachelor’s degree. On average, University of Phoenix students save $11,000 and eliminate one year from their undergraduate degree with eligible transfer credits and relevant work experience. Master's degree students can save up to nine credits and $6,800 on their degree.
Options in the Savings Explorer tool go way beyond credit transfers. “Last year, we worked with our students to evaluate their experiences and other learning for potential college credits,” says Devin Andrews, vice president, Assessment and Evaluation. “The result was that students saved a total of $49 million in tuition and fees.”