+ PROGRAM & ACADEMICS
Is Concourse a university? If not, how does Concourse help students earn an accredited bachelor’s degree? What institution will appear on my diploma?
Concourse is not a university. We partner with accredited universities to enable our fellows to earn bachelor’s degrees. Our founding degree partner is Southern New Hampshire University, a private, nonprofit university (established in 1932). Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) was founded as a brick-and-mortar campus in Manchester, New Hampshire (not far from Boston). In 2014, SNHU — working with the Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, and the US Department of Education — launched College for America (CfA), the nation’s first competency-based, online program approved for federal financial aid. Fellows graduate Concourse with a bachelor’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University, and a certificate of completion from Concourse itself.
So what does Concourse do, and what do its degree partners (like SNHU) do?
Our university partners (like SNHU) provide a flexible, online, and accredited degree program for our fellows. This includes feedback from instructors who review student work. University partners also manage the financial aid process, and provide tech support and 24/7 online tutoring. Concourse pairs fellows with a personal academic coach, provides access to a comfortable co-working space (the microcampus), connects fellows with resources and tutoring when they get stuck, supports them with a community of peers, and provides supplemental career-focused training. While we play different roles, Concourse and our university partners work closely to provide fellows a seamless learning experience.
Does Concourse help fellows earn associate’s degrees? Or just bachelor’s degrees?
In most traditional universities, associate’s degree programs and bachelor’s degree programs are totally separate. That’s not the case with Concourse. Fellows enrolled as students in College for America begin the program in the associate’s degree track. Once students earn their associate’s degree, they then begin their bachelor’s degree coursework. (Students who enter into College for America with 60 transferable units — or already having earned an associate’s degree — may be eligible to begin directly on the BA track.) The benefit of this structure is simple: While our mission is to help fellows earn a BA, those who choose to leave the program (or who decide to pause their studies) can do so with an associate’s degree in hand.
What degree programs do you offer?
Our first degree program (offered by CfA) is a BA in Management (with concentrations in public administration, insurance services, and logistics and operations). You can learn more about this degree program here.
How much time does Concourse require each week? How often do I need to be physically present?
We expect Concourse fellows to log approximately 10 hours of work time per week. For the most part, fellows choose when and where they'd like to work. We do, however, require fellows to attend bimonthly in-person "study sprints," which we host across the Bay Area. Our big-picture goal is to help you build the habit of dedicating enough time and attention to earning your degree, while still allowing you to balance other priorities in your busy life.
I’ve heard bad things about for-profit universities. How are you different?
Concourse is a non-profit educational program with one mission: To help you earn a job-relevant degree as efficiently as possible. Unlike for-profit universities which charge lots of money for very little support, we charge you as little as possible (just enough to cover our operating expenses) and offer as much support as we can.
+ COSTS & FINANCIAL AID
How much does Concourse cost?
Tuition and fees are $3,250 for a 6-month semester — this includes $1,750 in tuition for SNHU's College for America program, and $1,500 in fees to Concourse for support services. There are no additional costs to the program (no textbook fees, for instance).
We also require new fellows to join us for a six-week, no-risk onboarding period and trial. If, before the end of this trial period, you decide to withdraw from the program (or find that you are unable to meet program expectations), you don’t pay anything.
Am I eligible for financial aid? How can students pay?
Concourse fellows may be eligible for a variety of financial aid options, including the Federal Pell Grant (you can estimate your eligibility using the federal government’s student aid forecaster here), a special scholarship program for DACA recipients, and interest-free student loans. Even students who are eligible for financial aid may be required to pay some money out of pocket. Students can make payments in a lump sum at the beginning of the term, or through a monthly payment plan (for a $25 service charge). If you’re interested in Concourse but want to better understand your financial options, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call or text us at (510) 727-5484.
+ CREDITS & CREDIT TRANSFER
I have college credits. Will they transfer?
If you’ve earned 60 or more credits from an accredited institution, you will likely be eligible to begin your studies directly with College for America’s BA program (skipping the AA and significantly reducing your time to degree). If you’ve earned fewer than 60 credits, please reach out to us for an individual consultation — we can review your options, and work with you to initiate a (free) unofficial transcript review with College for America.
What happens if I move or pause my studies before I graduate? Can I transfer credits out of the program?
The short answer here is that it’s complicated. Each institution has its own rules about credit transferability, and so neither we nor College for America can guarantee that credits you earn in the program will transfer fully to a future institution of your choice. That said, previous students enrolled in College for America have successfully transferred credits to schools in the University of California and California State University systems.
+ APPLYING TO CONCOURSE
Am I eligible to apply to Concourse?
If you have a high school diploma or a GED and live in the Bay Area, you're eligible to apply to Concourse.
Is applying to Concourse competitive? What are my chances of getting in?
Most higher education programs define success by the number of people they keep out. At Concourse, we’re more focused on how many people we can get in. Which is all to say — while we have limited spots available in our program, we’re working hard to make Concourse available to as many fellows as we can support.
What steps do I need to go through to apply to Concourse?
- Inquire. If you're interested in joining Concourse, your first step is to submit an inquiry through our website, which you can do here.
- Learn more. You'll then receive an automated email that presents you with two options: 1) If you've already spoken at length to a member of the Concourse team, or have attended a formal information session, you can immediately begin an application; 2) If you haven't spoken with a member of the team, you'll be able to sign up for an info session.
- Apply. The Concourse application includes three main components: 1) A brief initial application form, 2) a short "readiness check" exercise (to help us make sure that you're a good fit for the program), and 3) an application to our partner university.
- Welcome! If we decide you're a good fit for Concourse, we'll welcome you into onboarding — a 6-week trial period where you'll get started on college work. If, during onboarding, you find it difficult to meet program expectations, or otherwise decide that Concourse isn't the right fit, that's totally fine. During this time, you can exit the program with no financial penalty or obligation. When you make it through onboarding, you'll be a full-fledged Concourse fellow!
Is there an application deadline?
Application to Concourse is rolling, but we have limited spots available. If you're interested in becoming a Concourse fellow — or in learning more about the program — navigate to our inquiry form here.
Don't see your question answered? get in touch — we'd love to chat.
Phone/text: (510) 727-5484