Frequently Asked Questions

How is my student status determined? How do I know how long it will take for me to complete my degree?question mark

You need a total of 120 credits to receive a Bachelor’s degree.

To enter College Unbound you need a minimum of 9 prior credits from an accredited college or university. You may also have additional credits from other colleges or universities and you can submit them for transfer. All credits must be from regionally accredited higher education institutions and you are required to obtain official transcripts from them to transfer those credits. That will add to your 120 credits goal.

Additionally, you will be assisted in documenting life experiences through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process. This, too, may add to your total credits. Once all these credits are posted to your records, you will know how many more credits you need to get to
120 for your degree.

Will all my credits transfer from other accredited colleges or universities?

Credit transferring is a process. Most course credits from a regionally accredited college or university with a grade of “C” or better will transfer. Physical Education credits do not transfer. Courses you may have taken as a pre-requisite may not transfer. This is why you must submit transcripts for review.

Do I need official transcripts? I have some at home. Can I use them?

You must have official transcripts to transfer credits. Official transcripts have the college or university’s seal marked on the transcript and they are sent out in sealed envelopes with signatures on the back. They cannot have been opened. This is what makes transcripts “official” and it’s the same process for most colleges and universities.

Since a transcript is private information, only you can ask for your transcript. We will give you an address for where they should be sent. If you have them sent to you at your home, it must be in a sealed envelope and it must stay in that sealed envelope when you deliver it to College Unbound. You can start the process of requesting transcripts as soon as you like.

How is life experience evaluated for credit?

All students are required to take the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) course when they start College Unbound. In the PLA course, you will learn the steps it takes to have your experience evaluated for credit. You will demonstrate those steps by developing a complete PLA document, which is part of the course requirement. It will be submitted for evaluation. You’ll receive 3 credits for successfully completing the PLA course. In addition, the document you create of your prior learning could potentially earn you more credit.

THIS IS IMPORTANT: Past experience is evaluated based on the knowledge that you gained. It’s not simply a list of your experiences, but an evaluation of deep, meaningful learning that would match what you might learn in an accredited course. So, credit is not granted for experience alone, but for the knowledge that you gained as a result of the experience. The PLA course will guide you through that process.

Will I be able to have credits transferred from another college if I still owe them money?

The College Unbound team has a financial planning person to help students navigate the pre-financial aid process for completing a FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This process includes identifying the steps you need to take with prior colleges to clear any outstanding debt, and to make your credits available for transfer.

How much does College Unbound cost?

College Unbound is committed to tuition of less than $10,000 per year. We will do everything we can to maintain that level.

When are bills due?

A separate bill is due for each term, prior to when the classes begin. You will go through a course enrollment process prior to each term and then your bill will be provided.

Will I graduate with a Bachelor’s degree from College Unbound?

Upon completion of your 120 credits, you will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from a regionally accredited college. You will also receive a narrative transcript on behalf of College Unbound.

For this 2013-14 school year, College Unbound has partnered with Charter Oak State College in Connecticut, which is a regionally accredited school and is part of the Connecticut state higher education system.

What will my degree be in? What will be my concentration?

You will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Individualized Studies. Your Academic Advisor will help you pick a concentration area of study that you will pursue in your coursework, and which will document your area of Individualized Study.

How many days/hours a week will I need to attend class or meet with my Academic Advisor?

This is not like traditional coursework where you get credit based on how many hours a week you attend different courses. There is one weekly seminar that the entire student body is required to attend – usually on Monday nights. There are requirements for posting your work online and taking part in discussion groups with your peers. There are also regularly scheduled meetings with you Academic Advisor and Professional Mentor. All time is in line with meeting credit requirements.

How many hours a week will I need to dedicate to schoolwork?

At College Unbound, we don’t separate “schoolwork” from learning. We see this as a program that fits into your life and engages the issues you address in your job and your personal interests. You need to have time each week to have meetings, talk through your plan, and write about the work you are accomplishing in meaningful ways.

Yes, we encourage you to allocate time each week to address your college goals. We also encourage you to be vigilant and remember that this is a commitment you are making to yourself and your future, and that requires planning and carrying through to meet your goals.

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