One of my sons is graduating from Charter Oak State College in a few weeks with a Bachelor of Science degree. His concentration is in “Hospitality & Management” by taking advantage of their “Individualized Studies” option. Since Hospitality degrees are always expensive, I wanted to share how he earned this degree for under $10,000.
Charter Oak State College allows you to use alternative credits to fill almost a full degree. We used credit found on my list of 30 Ways to Earn College Credit, so the trick to earning a degree (without debt) at Charter Oak is to take full advantage of alternative credits. For every course you take at Charter Oak, you’ll have to pay about $1,300 so the more courses you replace, the lower you keep the cost.
His degree started in high school. He earned most of his general education, business, and management credits through Straighterline, Sophia, and community college dual enrollment. (about 75% of the degree) In our case, these all served double-duty as his high school curriculum, so he didn’t take any class twice. These first 90 credits cost us about $3,000 spread out over 4 years of high school.
After high school graduation, we planned his upper-level credits from Study.com to finish out his concentration (aka major) and missing credits (speech, lab science, management). Over the final year, we subscribed to Study.com ($200/month) and paid cash as needed through a third community college. We moved at the speed of budget and spent about $3,000 in that phase.
Finally, as required by Charter Oak State College, he had to take the mandatory writing-intensive courses required for every degree: the Cornerstone and the Capstone. Tuition and fees for these two courses were at rack rate (full price) tuition, so with that bill coming in at about $3,000 I was glad we only had to pay rack rate for 2 classes!
Our approach works for dozens of concentrations, not just hospitality, but since hospitality is hard to find, I wanted to share my experience with you. Charter Oak State College has written partnership agreement with Study.com (and many other alternative credit companies) so I knew in advance which ones would transfer perfectly. Enjoy!
Study.com offers a list of colleges they partner with. Browse their lists and see if you can find the perfect fit like we did!
Hospitality 101 Intro. to Hospitality, ACE evaluated as 3 credits lower level
Hospitality 105 Intro. to Tourism and Travel, ACE evaluated as 3 lower level
Hospitality 301 Hospitality Marketing, ACE evaluated as 3 upper level
Hospitality 304 Hotel and Lodging Management, ACE evaluated as 3 upper level
Hospitality 309 Food and Beverage Operations, ACE evaluated as 3 upper level
If you’d like to know more details about how to plan more than just a few credits, you should check out my 4-part series on degree planning.