A total of 3.8 million Some College, No Degree students re-enrolled in undergraduate studies between 2013 and 2018, and 940,000 completed college. Many of our Adult Degree Program students complete their undergraduate degree for personal reasons, employment potential, or educational goals. As you decide if JMU's adult degree program is right for you, here are some additional things to consider:

1. Greater Earning Potential

Many students who return to complete their undergraduate degree are driven by increased earning potential. As of 2017, individuals with a bachelor’s degree on average make approximately $337 more per week than those with an associate degree, and $400 more per week than those with some college, but not a degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. An individual with a bachelor’s degree will typically make around $17,500 more annually than someone with an associate degree. Over the course of a 30-year career, that equates to over $500,000 in additional income!

2. A Change of Direction

Graduates of JMU's Adult Degree Program can work in health care, start their own business, work in information technology as project managers, and much more. Many of our students enrolled in JMU's Adult Degree Program because they needed a bachelor's degree to qualify for a promotion, change career fields, or gain prestige in their company. Though there are positions available for those with only a high school diploma or an associate degree, these positions are typically entry-level. Earning a bachelor’s may be the key you need to move into a higher-level position or make your next career move.

3. Better Job Stability

A college degree leads to greater job stability. During an economic downturn, it’s not uncommon for employers to cut jobs. The positions that are often first to get cut are those entry-level positions that don’t require a college degree. During a recession, the unemployment rate among college graduates is substantially lower than among people with only a high school diploma. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, having an associate degree suggests you are 30% less likely to be unemployed. However, individuals with a bachelor’s are around 50% less likely to be unemployed.

Some jobs have an even lower unemployment rate. According to U.S. News & World Report, some of the jobs with the best job security during a recession include nurses, public school teachers, accountants, and actuaries. Not surprisingly, most jobs with high security also require a college degree.

4. Impact on your Family

When considering college, most people realize a degree will impact their economic life, but another benefit of earning a college degree is the positive impact it can have on families, especially children. Not only are children of parents with a college education better off socially and economically, but studies have shown that children in households where parents have a college degree are themselves more likely to earn a college degree. Earning your college degree may have an impact on your children, grandchildren, and generations to come!

5. Improved Employment Benefits

Individuals who re-enroll in their undergraduate studies as adults are intrinsically motivated to complete their degrees. They are passionate about taking charge of their educational success. Since 1977, JMU's Adult Degree Program has helped many students graduate with a bachelor's degree. Many adult learners re-enroll for the sense of accomplishment they will feel as they walk across the stage at graduation or can finally display their diploma.

In Summary

All in all, a bachelor’s degree is a great thing if you are looking for a rewarding career with opportunities to take on increasing authority and to earn a comfortable living.

At James Madison, we’ve developed a program that makes it possible for adult to return to school and earn their bachelor’s degree, even while continuing to work full-time. If you are 22 years of age or older and have 30 or more college credits with a 2.0 or higher GPA, contact us today to learn more about applying to our Adult Degree Program. It might just be your next great life decision!

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