GENERAL FAQs

Q. What is an RBA Degree?
A. 
RBA stands for Regents Bachelor of Arts. The RBA is a bachelor’s degree program designed to fit the needs of adult students — particularly those who already have work and family commitments.

Q. Who can enroll in the RBA Today program?
A. Students who have earned a high school diploma (or a GED) and who have been out of high school for four years or more can pursue an RBA.

Q. I’m interested in getting my RBA – where do I start?
A. Begin by contacting an RBA advisor. He or she will guide you through the process and get you on track to earning your bachelor’s degree! To begin working with your advisor, contact the RBA Office at: 304.696.6400 or send an email to rba@marshall.edu.

Q. Are there financial aid programs available for RBA students? How can I fund my degree?
A. There are many ways to pay for your degree. If you enroll part-time, you may be eligible to participate in The Higher Education Adult Part-time Student Program (HEAPS). If you enroll full-time, you may be eligible for the WV Higher Education Grant. You should also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you can receive help from the federal government. To find out more about financial aid, check out the Financial Aid Resources for Adult Learners page. To learn more about your financial aid options, see the COSTS/FINANCIAL AID section of this FAQ or clickhere.

Q. What sort of time commitment is involved?
A. The RBA program really is designed to fit your schedule. You can work at your own pace to complete your degree.

Q. Can my work experience count toward a degree?
A. One of the great benefits of the RBA program is that knowledge gained from your work and life experience can count toward college credit. If you are interested in earning credit for your career experience, ask your RBA advisor about the portfolio submission process or see the PORTFOLIO section of this FAQ.

Q. I’ve attended college before, but didn’t earn a degree. Can I count the credits I earned the first time toward my RBA?
A. Yes, you may be able to count credits you’ve already earned toward your RBA degree — even if you’ve been out of school for a long time. Talk to your RBA Today coordinator or admissions counselor to see if your prior college experiences can count. For more information, see the end of the ACADEMICS portion of this FAQ

ACADEMICS

Q. Can I go on to graduate or professional school with Regents Bachelors of Arts Degree?
A. Yes. Regents Bachelors of Arts Degree graduates go on to professional schools, law school, and a variety of graduate programs. Students planning to seek graduate or professional school admission should consult directly with the programs they are considering about which courses will meet the admission requirements of these programs. (Note: In some professional programs there is an expectation that at least 50% of the student’s undergraduate course work should be in regular, graded courses.)

Q. Do I have to take a foreign language?
A. No. A foreign language is not required.

Q. Do I have to take the ‘24 hours of Residency’ credit at Marshall ?
A. At least three credit hours must be taken from a course offered by Marshall University , but the rest of the residency credit may be taken at any one or a combination of the public higher education institutions in West Virginia.

Q. Can I meet the Residency requirement with college-equivalent-credit?
A. No. Residency hours must be earned by taking traditional courses. Likewise, you cannot use CLEP or other tests or credit-by-exam to meet the residency requirement.

Q. Can the same courses I take to satisfy the Residency requirement satisfy the General Education or Upper Division requirements as well?
A. Yes. Some courses might meet all three requirements at once (but they only count once toward the 120 hours needed for graduation).

Q. What are upper-division credits?
A. Upper-division credits are earned for course work that is considered to be of a junior or senior level at a four-year institution. At Marshall University , upper-division courses are  those numbered in the 300s and 400s.  Course work completed at a community college is always considered lower division.

Q. Do I have to take traditional courses to satisfy the General Education and Upper Division requirements?
A. You may satisfy the General Education and Upper Division requirements by passing appropriate CLEP, Dantes or AP exams with specified scores, earning college-equivalent-credit or earning credit by exam from Marshall University .

Q. How quickly can I graduate?
A. The Regents B.A. program is unique in that there is no specific time for completion. How long it takes you to graduate will depend upon (1) the requirements you need to complete your degree, (2) your course load, and (3) how much time you can devote to your courses.

Q.  I never finished high school, and would like to get a Regents Bachelors of Arts Degree. What do I have to do?
A. You will need to earn a G.E.D. (General Education Development), degree in order to be admitted to Marshall University . You must attain a standard score of 45 on each of the five parts of the General Education Development Test or an average standard score of 50 or above on the entire test. GED scores must be sent directly to the Admissions Office from the testing center, West Virginia Department of Education or county superintendent of schools.

Q. If I earned a GED recently, do I still have to wait 4 years to be admitted to the Regents BA program?
A. This depends on your individual situation. You would be eligible for admission at least four years after your class graduated from high school.

Q. Some of my college credits are pretty old and are from different schools. Can these credits be used in this program?
A. Credit earned at regionally-accredited colleges and universities is generally transferable. Courses taken through the U.S. Armed Forces, business, industry, and hospital schools may be acceptable if recommended by the American Council on Education.

Q. What if my GPA is below 2.0?
A. The Regents Bachelors of Arts Degree program allows failing grades earned more than four years ago to be excluded from your GPA calculation.  (Note: those failing grades will still remain on your transcript.)

Q. Can I complete the Regents Bachelors of Arts Degree without taking courses on the Marshall University campus?
A. Marshall University offers college courses online, through interactive video, and from the Office of Outreach and Continuing Studies locations throughout the state of West Virginia . Completing the RBA degree program requirements without coming to campus is possible depending on where you live and/or the number of credits you’ve earned before you begin the RBA program.

For further information on Marshall University courses offered through interactive video and online, please visit our website: http://www.marshall.edu/muonline

For further information on Office of Outreach and Continuing Studies locations through the state of West Virginia , please visit our website: http://www.marshall.edu/ocs

Q. Is there any limit on the amount of credit I can transfer from other institutions?
A. While all passing grades are accepted, only 72 hours of lower division credit from community and junior colleges can count toward the 120 hours needed for graduation.

Q. Can I transfer in “D” grades from other institutions?
A.
 Yes.

Q. Are there credits from other institutions which will not transfer?
A. Developmental courses do not transfer, nor do credits earned as credit-by-exam at other institutions. College-equivalent-credit is not transferable, nor are most credits earned on the basis of articulation agreements between colleges and their local agencies and industries. Aside from these exceptions, almost all satisfactorily completed course work taken at regionally accredited higher education institutions is transferable.

Q. Do CLEP test out credits work in the RBA program?
A. Yes. The RBA staff will evaluate your CLEP credits.

ADMISSIONS

Q. How do I apply for admission to the Regents Bachelors of Arts degree Program?
A. You must complete and submit a Marshall University Admissions Application FormYou can do this online or you can download a form, print it, and mail it to the Regents Office.

Application forms are also available from the Regents BA Office in Laidley Hall 127A, or from the Marshall University Admissions Office in Old Main 125.

Click here to obtain an admissions application form online.

Our team of dedicated Admissions counselors is waiting to hear from you — contact them at 1-800-642-3499 oradmissions@marshall.edu.

Q. What if I don’t take any classes at Marshall University for one or two semesters. Do I have to re-apply to Marshall University to continue in the RBA program?
A. You will remain an active student at Marshall University for one year from the time of your initial admission (even if you do not take a course every semester).

If you become inactive for a calendar year or longer, you must re-apply for admission. You will be re-admitted under the policies in effect at the time of readmission (which may include new requirements, higher portfolio fees etc.).

ADVISING

Q. Will I have an academic advisor knowledgeable about the RBA program?
A. Yes. The experienced, professional staff in the RBA office will assist you with all of your RBA program questions and needs.

COSTS / FINANCIAL AID

Q. How much will the RBA degree program cost? 
A. For complete information on tuition and fees see our website:
http://www.marshall.edu/bursar/

Q. Is financial aid available?
A. You may be eligible for financial aid. Call us for information our see our website:
1-800-438-5390 or 304-696-3162
http://www.marshall.edu/sfa/

NOTE: If you are employed, check with your company’s human resources department. Many companies and government agencies offer tuition assistance.

You may also be eligible for a federal income tax credit, the lifetime learning credit. For more information see our website: http://www.marshall.edu/bursar/tax-information/tuition-tax-credit-1098-t/

For federal assistance and many other opportunities, file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may submit a paper copy or apply online at: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov

ONLINE COURSES

Q.  What is the difference between online classes and regular classes?
A. There is no difference between online classes and regular classes in terms of credit earned. The classes are “delivered” differently and communication takes place electronically over the internet rather than face-to-face.

Q. What are the advantages of taking an online course?
A. The main advantage is convenience. You will be able to access the course materials at times and places convenient to you.

QDo I need special computer equipment or skills to take an online course?
A. All the information you need to learn about taking online courses at Marshall University is at this website:
http://www.marshall.edu/muonline

DISABILITY SERVICES

Q. I am disabled and need special software and hardware to work a computer. Will Marshall University help me obtain this equipment?
A.  While Marshall University will not purchase this special equipment for you, the Marshall University Disabled Students Services program has some equipment available to loan to students on a semester basis.

Equipment currently on hand includes manual wheelchairs, electric scooter, tape recorders and players, and a laptop computer.  A Braille printer, large print screen computers, and scanners are available in the Study Center of the Drinko Library.  There is also a CC TV located in Prichard Hall.

LIBRARY RESOURCES

Q. Are library resources available to Regent’s degree students?
A. Yes. Marshall University Libraries offer complete library services. These services include an on-line catalogue as well as many online databases of journals and other research materials. In addition, for students who do not come to campus, Marshall offers a full array of off-campus library services. For more information, see our website:http://www.marshall.edu/library/offcamp/default.asp

Q. Is there a toll-free number for Marshall University library services?
A. Yes.  Please dial 1-800-818-9816

REGENTS BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE (RBA) PORTFOLIO

Q. Exactly what is an RBA Portfolio?
A. A RBA Portfolio is a written document justifying and documenting your request for college-equivalent credit. Portfolios have four parts: 1) a request for credit for specific college courses; 2) a resume identifying your educational, professional, and other relevant activities; 3) a narrative demonstrating that you have “college-equivalent” knowledge and skills; and 4) documentation to support your claims of accomplishment.

Q. Who reads the portfolios and determines whether credit is awarded?
A. Once reviewed and approved by the RBA program, portfolios are sent to the departments which offer the requested credits. Faculty in those departments read and recommend the credit awards.

Q. How do the credits earned by creating a portfolio appear on my transcript?
A. They are designated as “c.e.c” credits. “College-equivalent credit” is not graded.

Q. Can I get college credit for my Military Service?
A. Yes. Credit will be given for documented military training which has been assessed by the American Council on Education. There is no fee for the posting of military credit. Students must send a copy of their military transcripts directly to Marshall University Admissions.

Q. Is there a limit on the amount of college-equivalent credit that can be earned?
A. No.

Q. How do I find out about Standard Awards of Credit for licenses or certifications?
A. Awards of credit change over time. Standard Awards of credit require specific documentation. Check with the RBA staff to determine what is required. There is a $300 fee for evaluating credentials and awarding credit.

The RBA Program also recognizes standard credit awards that are listed in the ACE (American Council on Education) Guide.