As I have mentioned before, I am working on completing my undergraduate degree, which I put on hold a number of years ago so I could go to work and support my family. For me, it's more a matter of pride than advancing in the workforce, but I'm sure that will also be a benefit of completing my degree. I had been studying with Penn Foster College, which is a bargain at about $54 per credit hour, or roughly $900 per semester. That's a pretty difficult price to beat when it comes to distance learning schools. Until now.

Andrew Jackson University in Birmingham, Alabama has rolled out a "zero tuition" deal in which students only pay semester fees, which total about $400-$500 per semester. Students only need to sign up for one of the sponsor offers available through their web site, and the tuition is covered. The sponsor offers are free.

AJU, like Penn Foster College, is nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council, an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Most state colleges and universities are regionally accredited. Credits earned at a nationally accredited college will transfer to some, but not all, regionally accredited schools, so you have to make sure a nationally accredited college will meet your current and future needs. For me, a nationally accredited degree will work just fine, and the schools I am eying for my masters degree will accept an undergrad from a nationally accredited college. ITT Technical Institute is an example of a nationally accredited college.

For the price, it's a deal I just couldn't pass up. I enrolled in the BA in Communication program, and I will start my semester at the end of the month. I should complete my bachelor degree in about a year. All of my credits from Penn Foster College will transfer into the AJU program.

Unlike PFC, the text books are not included in the AJU courses, but I have been purchasing my text books for my first few courses through places like Amazon and For the texts I cannot find cheaply on those sites, I have been renting textbooks through, which saves at least 50 percent over the cost of purchasing a new textbook.

All told, it should cost me about $2,000 to complete my bachelor degree through AJU, a significant cost savings over attending a local brick-and-mortar college. AJU also accepts monthly payments, so cost no longer needs to be a barrier to obtaining an education and a degree.


  1. Anonymous // September 17, 2008 at 10:29 AM  

    I recieved a message from Penn Foster College that effective October 1, 2008 they will start charging by the credit hour. The price will be $90
    per credit hour.

  2. Anonymous // December 26, 2009 at 10:39 PM  

    For some careerfields a regionally accredited degree, not nationally accredited, is required. You can get a bachelors for about $5K total through Thomas Edison State College, Excelsior College or Charter Oak State College. Most of the course work can be done through CLEP and DSST exams.I'm currently finishing a degree through TESC. Btw, the $5K figure is approximate and includes the annual fee of $2,600, costs for CLEP/DSST exams ($70-80 + approx $20 for proctor fee), study materials, any course you need to take through the colleges, etc. Your actual costs may be lower, especially if you have previous college credit from other regionally accredited schools. A useful website to learn more is

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