Getting a 4-year degree, as the name suggests, usually requires you go to school for 4 years. In addition, for a typical individual, this education will cost more than $50,000. That's a lot of time and money, both of which are in short supply these days. Fortunately, there are ways to get your degree faster and cheaper.
You can challenge a course by taking examinations - if you pass the test, you get the credit for the course. Credit-by-Exams are available for a wide variety of subjects, including general education requirements and degree specific upper division coursework. DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support) Examination Program offers these exams free of charge. Among the exams offered by DANTES are the CLEP (College Level Examination Program), DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Test, and Excelsior College Exams (ECE). Be sure to stop by your local education services office or Navy College Office for assistance.
Go online: Online courses offer the advantage of taking a course from anywhere; all you need is access to the internet. In addition, online courses are generally shorter than traditional classroom courses and are often structured differently. Learn more about online courses.
Get someone else to pay for it: Getting a degree is expensive, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are a number of options service members have to reduce the cost of getting a degree. Tuition Assistance (TA) is available to all active duty personnel. TA will pay up to 100% of all tuition.
In addition, Federal Student Aid (FSA) is available to military service members. FSA can come in the form of grants and low interest loans.
Finally, there is the GI Bill, which is available to discharged veterans and reserve component service members. Active-duty servicemembers are also eligible to use the GI Bill, but it is not recommended.
Getting a college degree requires time, money, dedication, and commitment. While only you can provide the dedication and commitment, there is help available for the time and money. CLEP tests, Tuition assistance, and online schooling are three ways you can cut the cost of your education and the time it takes you to get it. Go for it.