Follow up to my last post: Non traditional degree programs
For people who "can't" or don't want to go to college full time, there are other ways to complete a degree. Non traditional external degree programs like the ones at Thomas Edison State College and Charter Oak State College are good options to look into. Both are accredited and eligible to use federal student financial aid at. Thomas Edison State College has been featured in the Dear Abby column as an option for people needing to complete a degree who can't go to college the traditional way. I'm mostly familiar with TESC (having considered it seriously myself a few years ago when I was working full time), but Charter Oak is similar. At TESC you can complete your degree by earning credits in a wide variety of ways: Taking classes at other schools and transferring the credits, taking classes from TESC through online/distance learning, taking exams for credit, and putting together credit for life experience portfolios. Because you can receive credits for exams and life (and work) experience this can be a lot less expensive (and quicker!) than going the regular way. Someone has even put together a website with a atrategy for completing a degree in 4 weeks entirely through examinations: BA in 4 Weeks. That plan assumes that you already have a lot of college level knowledge (and that you can study/take exams full time for a month!) so of course it will take most people longer than that. So, as you look at your college options, consider including Thomas Edison State College and Charter Oak State College on your FAFSA and check them out too.