Sick of online classes? I received a message today from a HS4CC parent asking about paper-based correspondence classes. Some of you may remember a time when “distance learning” was actually a paper-based snail mail process. Though most have faded away, YES, I do keep a list of these programs if you’re interested in something a little different.
First thing to know, this list is small. The colleges that were pioneers in first offering paper-based courses have shifted to online delivery, so you won’t have a lot of options in terms of brand, major, or price- but if you really want to study off-grid, these schools can help you get it done.
One other thing to know, every college that I write about is ALWAYS accredited, and almost always Regionally Accredited. Everything on this list is Regionally Accredited (gold standard- the best kind). You’ll want to keep in mind if you’re Googling non-traditional options, you might end up in a diploma mill or phony website. I encourage you to always confirm a college’s accreditation before giving them your time or money. You can do that easily at this US Department of Education’s College Look-up Link.
Ohio University (OH)
Students can take a single course or pursue a full degree via print-based courses.
The lessons typically require you to submit answers to objective questions, write brief essays, or complete a project. Some course guides will include self-check tests to monitor your progress. Generally, a mid-course examination and a final examination are required.You may enroll any time, and you have eight months to complete a print-based course.
High School Students: Ohio participates in a free tuition / reduced tuition dual enrollment program for high school students called College Credit Plus (CCP) and students eligible for CCP may be able to participate. Please contact Ohio University directly regarding information about pricing for CCP and eligibility.
High School Graduates: Apply normally per instructions. In-state is lower cost than out of state, but price range is $240-$350 per credit. A typical course is 3 credits.
Degrees Available entirely through print-based courses:
- Associate in Applied Business (A.A.B.) — Business Management Technology Major
- Associate in Arts — Arts & Humanities Emphasis (A.A.)
- Associate in Arts — Social Sciences Emphasis (A.A.)
- Associate in Individualized Studies (A.I.S.)
- Associate in Science (A.S.)
- Bachelor of Specialized Studies (B.S.S.)
- Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies (B.T.A.S.)
Murray State University (KY)
Oklahoma State University (OK)
I’m including this program since it appears on many lists of programs- but this program is not “fully” designed to be print-based. The Individual Studies program is an online program of courses (not degrees) but for “individuals without internet access can complete assignments, correspond with the instructor and IS staff offline.” In other words, they will accommodate paper-based learning but it is not their primary program.
Students that are local are encouraged to arrange to take their exams on campus, and students living away will have to find a proctor (prior approval required) or use web-based proctoring for exams. An advantage of their program is that you do not need to apply to the university to participate.
Each course carries its own fee, it is not a straight- tuition program. Based on the courses I looked at, most seem to be 3 credits and cost about $700. See course list.
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