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Harvard Extension School Liberal Arts Bachelor's Degree
As much as you are getting info for your son (and I applaud that), I think you need to add some perspective for him as well. When talking to my kids about college, I've always been very open, honest and transparent about 1) how much each option costs; 2) what they can expect us to pay; 3) the pros and cons of the options that we can all afford (because student loans are a definitive NO for any of this to happen). Everyone has their own views on these things, but kids still need a TON of guidance in college choice, selection of major, etc. I look at transcripts all the time for work, and I can tell you that I see so many people changing majors, it's ridiculous. If you really don't know what you want to do for a major at 18, that is perfectly acceptable - but it's not the time to fork out tens of thousands of dollars to a 4yr school - it's time to start thinking about what you want to do, taking classes at your local CC, going online to do free stuff through MOOC's, working, doing a good "major search" or "career search" course - all kinds of things can get you focused on what you are good at, make the best of your abilities, and get you a job you just might really like to go to every day.

All of this to say that if he doesn't know what he wants to do, I wouldn't go the Harvard route, even HES. I appreciate that he hears "Harvard" and sees a back door and thinks it might be a cool way to get in, but you're going to have to explain the difference, the experience he'll have, all kinds of things will be different. He should be well-prepared for that.
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(07-09-2019, 11:46 AM)bjcheung77 Wrote: Hmm, interesting.  You're an amazing dad, pretty much planning everything for your son... Question, what if he doesn't want to go the Harvard route?  What if he wants to go into trades or go to the local CC to get a "grounded" education the traditional way and then move up to a state college/uni for the Bachelors?  

For the cost of $30K for the Ivy Bachelors maybe a great deal for someone like yourself who makes 6 figures, however, is it needed?  Would a $35K Ivy Masters from HES sound better?  For the $5K difference, if he works for a company that pays partial tuition through reimbursements, he can probably drop that down to $25K if he does go through with it for two years.

My suggestion is this, do an associates at a community college, bachelors at a local uni or through Big 3/WGU and other competency based degree providers and do the $35K "MASTERS" at the IVY uni (HES).  If he does get the tuition reimbursement, that becomes $25K - and with the added associates/bachelors at the Big 3/WGU, you won't even need to hit $35K.   Bam - 3 birds with one stone...
I also agree with bjcheung too. You can save money. Most of the company will look at your master which it is the best to have a ivy master degree. They will not look for 4 bachelor.
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(07-08-2019, 11:54 PM)EducationSeeker Wrote: I am not sure where to post this question so I am posting it in the General Forum.  Does anyone have any experience or background information regarding younger adults going to Harvard Extension School for the Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree?  I heard about Extension School within the last year and have limited knowledge of it. My son will be a High School Senior next year so he is going to take 12 College Credit Plus classes (early College from state of Ohio - not AP) during the next calendar year (inc. this Summer).  As we have already have invested a good amount of money in his private religious school, we are looking at various options including the traditional 4 year route.  Depending on the aid he would get, we are encouraging him to take a combination of College Credit Plus classes, Community College classes (they would be free), and CLEP classes and then earn his Associates degree.  We are looking for the best combination of lower cost to free courses and the best ROI for his degree so we are keeping options open.

Typically, the Harvard Extension Liberal Arts degree requires individuals to be working adults and have to be a minimum of 21 years of age. However, I have heard of some home schooled teens getting special permission to attend this program.  If he takes 2 years of Community College and gets his Associates Degree, he would just turn 21 before the Fall of his Junior year.  I would curious to hear about experiences with the HES Liberal Arts program and if anyone 20-30 year old children or even teens who attended?  He does not have the grades to get into Harvard in the regular route so this might be an option to get an Ivy League degree for $30k or less. Opinions welcome.


Education Seeker

I do know at least one homeschooled teen who did that degree, however, that was before the age restriction, and like your plan, it included an associate's through the community college first.
As a homeschooled parent who is pretty convicted that all my kids have degrees (or three) I think that it's a 2-part problem, not a 1-part problem about where to go to school
Part 1- finishing a degree in something. You can check the box, no question. And while I would never suggest someone pursue a $200,000 liberal arts degree to check the box, if you can do a work-around and do something like the big 3 for under $10k, that's one option, but the other side of the coin is that Harvard's name does have value, so I like "check the box" but not if it means debt. I think anything in this category has to be funded by savings, pell grants, scholarship, dual enrollment, etc.
Part 2- they need an occupation. A liberal arts degree just delays that decision a bit, but there still has to be a decision at some point. I am a huge fan of a trade credential + a bachelor's degree (not necessarily in that order) because the bachelor's degree keeps you from hitting barriers that will pop up for those who only have their trade credential. As an example, if your son liked welding, he could complete his bachelor's in anything (business, management, etc. make sense, but liberal arts is fine) while learning his trade.
I realize that this is not the traditional path, however, the traditional path doesn't work. Traditional path = 6 years of college with only a 50% graduation rate and 30K student loan as well as another 30k borrowed by most parents and still no trade or degree most of the time. I think you have to be smarter. Focus on the endgame, which I think should include something they can do for a job PLUS a degree that keeps them climbing UP the ladder.
The days of a college degree being a golden ticket are gone. The college degree is now a filter. Having it means getting through one more level - but they still have to know how to do something. If he doesn't know what he wants to do, he can start working + volunteering + job shadowing + taking free classes through the adult education dept at the community college. Find out what this kid likes and help him find a career that matches.
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