To get a second bachelor’s degree for free, you have several options. You can try for financial aid options like federal grants, scholarships, and tuition reimbursements from your employer.
Whether you’re looking to enhance your career prospects, obtaining a second bachelor’s degree can be a valuable endeavor. It can also help you delve into a new field or simply continue your academic journey.
Read on to explore the reasons behind pursuing a second bachelor’s degree. You will also learn its admission requirements and how to achieve this without breaking the bank.
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Why Should you Get a Second Bachelor’s Degree?
When pursuing higher education, the decision to pursue a second bachelor’s degree is a strategic and multifaceted choice. Here is an insight into the compelling reasons behind this academic pursuit.
Get Ready for Grad School
If you aspire to attend graduate school but lack the prerequisites in your current field of study, a second bachelor’s degree can serve as a bridge.
It will equip you with the necessary knowledge and credentials for your desired postgraduate program. After all, most graduate programs require a minimum of a 3.0 GPA score.
Keep Up with Industry Developments
A second bachelor’s degree allows you to stay ahead of the curve. As a result, it enables you to acquire the most current and relevant skills and knowledge in your chosen field.
This adaptability is particularly crucial in sectors like technology, healthcare, and business, where staying current is synonymous with success.
To Follow Career Goals
If you are looking to change career paths or ascend the ranks within your current one, a targeted second degree can significantly enhance your qualifications. This will then make you a more attractive candidate in competitive job markets.
Affordable Alternative to a Master’s Degree
Not only do second bachelor’s degree programs tend to be shorter in duration, but they can also be more budget-friendly. This affordability makes a second bachelor’s degree an appealing choice if you are mindful of your financial commitments.
To Better your GPA Score
Your academic record, often quantified by your GPA, plays a pivotal role in various aspects of your academic and professional life. If your initial bachelor’s degree didn’t reflect your full potential academically, a second degree provides a chance to raise your GPA.
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Admission Requirements For a Second Bachelor’s Degree
Before embarking on your journey to obtain a second bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to meet specific admission requirements. These requirements may vary between institutions but generally include the following:
- Your first Bachelor’s degree certificate: You should provide an original copy of your completed first degree as a fundamental requirement.
- College transcript reflecting a minimum GPA of 2.0: Most institutions require a minimum GPA for admission. However, this minimum GPA may vary depending on the school and program.
- Information about your intended major: You will need to specify your intended major for your second bachelor’s degree.
- Letter/essay explaining why you want another degree: This essay should convey your motivations and goals for pursuing a second bachelor’s degree.
- Standardized test scores (if required): Some institutions may require standardized test scores like the SAT or ACT, while others may waive this requirement if you already have a bachelor’s degree.
Ways on How To Get a Second Bachelor’s Degree For Free
The prospect of obtaining a second bachelor’s degree without incurring significant financial burdens for yourself is indeed possible. You can thank the various funding options and strategies that are available for you. Here is a breakdown of all these options.
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1. Federal Student Grants
Federal grants, such as the Pell Grant, can provide financial assistance for your second bachelor’s degree if you meet the eligibility criteria. These grants do not need to be repaid, making them a great source of funding.
You must meet the following requirements to qualify for these grants.:
- Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The first step in assessing your eligibility for federal aid is submitting the FAFSA. It’s essential that you provide accurate financial information on this form.
- Demonstrate financial need: Many federal grants, including the Pell Grant, are need-based. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated through the FAFSA process plays a role in determining your eligibility.
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): To continue receiving federal grants, you must meet and maintain the academic progress standards set by your institution.
- U.S. Citizenship or Eligible Non-Citizen Status: Generally, federal grants are available to U.S. citizens, nationals, or eligible non-citizens.
Scholarships provide another avenue for funding your second bachelor’s degree. Here are the key requirements and considerations:
- Many scholarships are merit-based and reward outstanding academic performance. Maintain a strong GPA to increase your eligibility for these awards.
- Some scholarships are specific to certain fields of study. Research scholarship opportunities aligned with your intended major to maximize your chances of getting one.
Examples of these scholarships include:
- University-built scholarships like North Park University’s
- Cameron Impact Scholarship
- ScholarshipOwl No Essay Scholarship
- Burger King Scholars Program
- Google Scholarships, among others.
3. Tuition Reimbursements From your Company
If you are currently employed, inquire about tuition reimbursement programs offered by your employer. After all, many companies provide financial support to employees seeking to further their education.
However, some companies may require you to maintain a certain level of employment or meet specific academic standards. You should also ensure that you keep records of your expenses and coursework for reimbursement claims.
4. Free Online Courses
Depending on the type of degree you are looking for, you can find it being offered for free online. For example, Harvard University has a free online course for the following programs:
- Biological and Biomedical Sciences
- Communications and Journalism
- Computer Sciences
- Liberal Arts and Humanities
- Medical and Health Professions
- Physical Sciences
- Visual and Performing Arts
And just like Havard, other universities also offer a number of online free courses. You should be able to find your desired course offered online by a reputable university after doing some research.
5. Serve in the Military
Military service can provide opportunities for educational benefits, including funding for a second bachelor’s degree. Requirements and benefits vary by branch and service commitment:
- Eligibility: To access military education benefits, you typically need to meet service requirements, such as completing a 2-year minimum term of active duty service.
- GI Bill: The GI Bill offers financial assistance for education and training to eligible veterans and active-duty service members. Different versions of the GI Bill may have distinct eligibility criteria and benefits, so research which one applies to your situation.
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Alternatives to a Second Bachelor’s Degree
While a second bachelor’s degree can be a valuable pursuit, it’s not the only option available to you. Consider these alternatives:
- Dual degree: If you are interested in two different fields, a dual degree program allows you to earn two degrees simultaneously. It will save you time and potentially reduce costs.
- Professional certificate: Specialized certificates can provide targeted training and expertise in a particular field without the commitment of a full degree program.
- Double major: If your first degree aligns with your career goals, but you want to explore another field, you can opt for a double major within your current degree program.
- Master’s degree: Depending on your career objectives, a master’s degree may be a more suitable choice than a second bachelor’s degree. It offers advanced knowledge and can open doors to higher-paying positions.
Obtaining a second bachelor’s degree is a commendable pursuit that can expand your horizons, enhance your skills, and open doors to exciting career opportunities.
By understanding the admission requirements and exploring these several funding options, you can embark on this educational journey without incurring significant financial burdens.
Ultimately, the pursuit of knowledge and personal growth is a valuable investment in your future, and with the right approach, you can achieve it both affordably and efficiently.