Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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. The transcript should be sent directly to the College Unbound Admissions Office at 325 Public Street, Justice Building, Providence, RI 02905. If you have already had them sent to you at your home, the transcript 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.
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.
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.
College Unbound is committed to tuition of less than $10,000 per year. We will do everything we can to maintain that level.
Currently, there is no tuition charged for the CU SOLO program or for the CU Aquidneck Island program, thanks to generous donations and grants.
A separate bill is due for each term, prior to when the classes begin. Tuition payers will go through a course enrollment process prior to each term and then a bill will be provided.
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.
College Unbound partners with Charter Oak State College in Connecticut, which is a regionally accredited school and is part of the Connecticut state higher education system.
Students enrolled with Charter Oak State College will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Individualized Studies. Your Faculty Advisor will help you pick a concentration area of study that you will pursue in your coursework.
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 Faculty Advisor and Professional Mentor. All time is in line with meeting credit requirements.
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.