“Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world”. (1) When thinking about going back to school to finish my degree, I came upon this quote by Nelson Mandela. It touched me for two different reasons. The first, because I have not finished my own education; and second, because I am getting my degree in elementary education to be a grade school teacher. When trying to figure out which school would be best for my lifestyle and what I wanted to accomplish, there were several factors to consider. The main factors were degree, cost, time, and what fit my personality best.
In today’s society, a college degree is a necessity. It is no longer an option or privilege. Most people feel the need to look good in the eyes of society. With that, comes a degree and with going to school for so long, comes a debt to be paid. WGU is by far the cheapest and quickest way to get a college degree. In today’s society, those are the top two factors when looking into going to school. With the economy being what it is, everyone is trying to better himself or herself to get a better job and make more money. If you’re looking to get your degree, WGU is the answer.
The first thing I did when looking into colleges, was look for the schools that had a degree in elementary education. Not only that, but an accredited college with my degree. Several came up; options of online programs or schools with a physical campus. After seeing all the different choices, I had to think about what would work better for me. I am not a fan of a classroom, or a specific time to be in one. I hate driving to school. I am never motivated to do work, unless it is on my time, in the comfort of my choosing. Also, with the job I had at the time, I would not have been able to have a set schedule.
So, I decided that online would be the best option. Although WGU does not have a specific degree in elementary education, it did have a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8), which satisfies the requirements. WGU also has one of the more flexible schedules in the online world. In today’s day and age, most everyone going to school has a job. Some even have a couple. WGU is not only aware of that, but they encourage it. They work with your prior obligations so that you don’t feel like school is taking over your life. Once figuring out that online was my best option, I then needed to weigh in on the cost.
This was a bit tricky, since every online program sets their price differently. Some did it by the amount of credits taken each semester, some did it by the amount of classes, and WGU priced by term. That was initially what had caught my eye. I had never heard of that before. One set price for the six-month term; no matter how many credits you took? I was shocked. After doing all the calculations of what classes I still needed to complete my degree, WGU was the cheapest – by far. I also needed to see which schools applied financial aid, which most do.
But with most of the school’s costs for just the classes, financial aid wouldn’t even make a dent. With WGU, it would pay for tuition, books, fees, etc. , plus extra for cost of living. Sounds like a no brainer, but I wanted to make sure I got the best education for the time I was going to put into it. Which brings me to my next point. I took my top three choices, by degree and cost, and looked into how much time I could put into it and how much time was required of me, for both semester/term and total, to finish my degree. All of them required at least 12 credits per semester/term to be considered full time.
Which was what I wanted and needed for financial aid. Two of the three did not allow more than 18 credits a semester, with there being three semesters in a year. But WGU allowed as many credits as you are able to complete per each six-month term. So, although there are only two terms in a year, you could potentially finish school quicker, if you set your mind to it. This is an imperative point to be made when thinking of the future. WGU is the only school online that allows and encourages students to take as many courses as they can handle in a 6-month period.
The last factor I had to look at was whether the school was going to fit my personality or if it would be a waste of my time and money. Once all signs pointed to WGU, I called. I spoke with a very nice and informative woman, who told me exactly what to expect and what would be expected of me. She told me that I would be talking with a mentor, in my degree, once a week for the entire time I was in school. I would also have a community for each course, along with course mentors, to reach out to for help understanding the information.
She told me about the website and how easy it was to navigate through, and how organized I would be with the degree plan and other tab options they have. She ended the call with emailing me a couple informational packets, along with letting me know I could call or email anytime with any questions. After we hung up, I felt so warm and welcomed. Again, I was shocked. How could a simple phone call make me feel like I was already part of a community? That woman had to have been a great salesperson in a past life, or the school was really just that great, that it made her love her job more than one would think.
Either way, she sold me. It sounded like I would fit this school more than any I have looked into in the past and I had made my decision. If you are looking for a school that makes you feel like more than just money in their pocket, some place where you feel important, then WGU is the school for you. After looking at all the research and all the facts, I decided on WGU. When combining my degree with cost, time, and my personality, WGU had it all. The cost alone can sell the school to any Joe Shmoe, but that really was just the icing on the cake for me.
With the economy today, and most everyone having to work at least part time, no one has time for school. WGU has the most flexible schedule that works with your free hours, so that you don’t have to stress about getting things done by a certain time. WGU does not only have people who are there for you when you have a question, but they are there for you to root you on and they genuinely want to see you succeed. Who wouldn’t want a bunch of cheerleaders to stand on the sidelines of your own dreams? I have looked into several options for continuing education, and I would, hands down, recommend WGU over any other school out there.