The Basic Approach

From Degree Forum Wiki


This is a simple outline of steps to take when starting out. First written up by forum user bjcheung77, it has been expanded on by wiki users. It serves as a basic introduction to the methods discussed at DegreeForum. This is "the basic approach." Nobody ever really gets to go through a process this simple, but this is the general outline of what you should expect to have to do in order to get through this successfully.

The Basic Approach[edit]

  1. Find out what you have credit for / what you already know
  2. Research the Big 3, WGU, PUG, UMPI, SNHU, Peirce College and similar schools to find candidate degree plans
  3. Decide on one or more schools and get an initial evaluation ($75 or so per school, plus the cost of each transcript you have to send in)
  4. Based on the initial evaluation, decide on a school and degree
  5. Build a degree plan using your unique combination of existing credits, CLEP/DSST/UExcel/TECEP tests, ALEKS/Sophia/Penn Foster/Saylor/Straighterline/ courses, etc. If you have no credits, it's currently recommended you start with Free Sources of Credit and because Sophia can fulfill most of the Gen Ed requirements of The Big Three
  6. To lock in a catalog, enroll at the school you have chosen. At TESU especially, enrollment unlocks certain benefits (see TESU page for more details). If you're pretty sure that you want a TESU degree, it's a good idea to enroll as early as possible. Alternatively, you can wait until you are all done (all courses/tests completed) to enroll in the school, however you risk the school changing degree plans as you're not locked into a catalog.
  7. Once completed and approved, pay the graduation fee, then sit back and wait for your sheepskin to arrive!
  8. Start planning on that Masters Degree as you aren't done learning for life!

Throughout all of the above: Read a lot over at and ask questions as needed for guidance!!

More Information[edit]

  1. How/When To Start? Start Now For Cheap!
  2. Several Sources Of Cheap Credit
  3. The Spreadsheet - Track Your Progress - Reference Tool
  4. The ABCs - A, CBD, E, F, G - Accreditation, Competency Based Degree, Evaluation, Fees, GPA
  5. Overwhelmed - Too Long Didn't Read - Just Help Me Please, Step By Step!