low-cost-ba.jpg

CSEA is excited to offer free bachelor’s degree completion programs with the option to earn a teaching credential.

Who can take advantage of the Free College Programs?

CSEA members, active and retired, and all their family members* can earn a bachelor’s degree at a no-cost for tuition, books, and student fees. Family members do not need to be living with you or be your financial dependent to be eligible.

Online – Attend Part or Full Time

All courses are conducted online generally in 8-week formats. Attend part- or full-time. The exceptions to online are the clinical experience courses including the student teaching course required for the teacher credentialing portion of the degree in Education at Central State University. These courses require time in the classroom under a supervising teacher in California.

University/College Partners and Accreditation Information:

CSEA’s Free College Programs are offered in partnership with Union Plus, Central State University, Franklin University, and Paul Quinn College. Central State and Franklin Universities are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and credits are transferable. Paul Quinn College is nationally accredited. Please note that many regionally accredited universities, such as California State Universities and University of California for example, do not generally accept credits from nationally accredited institutions. If you are planning on pursuing a graduate program after you attain your bachelor’s degree or have your credits accepted at any other regionally accredited college or university in the United States, you must check with that college or university to ask if they will accept transfer credits from Paul Quinn College.

Central State University


Central State University (CSU) is a non-profit university located in Ohio regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). CSU is our partner for the bachelor’s degree completion program in Education. Earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with a focus in Educational Studies or earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education that includes teacher credentialing in either Multiple Subject or Education Specialist (Mild/Moderate). At least 30 prior college credits with a minimum GPA of 2.2 is required for admission.

 

Free programs offered:

  • Bachelor of Science in Education (non-teacher licensure)

  • Bachelor of Science in Education inclusive of a teacher license (Multiple Subject)

  • Bachelor of Science in Education inclusive of a teacher license (Education Specialist-Mild/Moderate)  

  • Bachelor of Science in Humanities-Interdisciplinary Studies

Teacher Credentialing FAQs:

Two of the three degrees in Education at Central State University include teacher licensure as part of the degree program. See this document that answers all the frequently asked questions (FAQ) for all the details regarding the Education degrees, teacher licensure, and how to apply for your California Teaching Credential upon completion of the program.

 

Start Dates:  January 17, March 14, May 14, 2022

Franklin University 

 

Franklin University is a non-profit university located in Ohio regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The free Bachelor of Science degree completion offerings are: Business Management/Leadership, Criminal Justice, and Social Science. There is also an RN (Registered Nurse) to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) option available for low-cost. At least 45 prior college credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for admission.

 

Free programs offered:

  • Bachelor of Science – Management/Leadership

  • Bachelor of Science – Social Science

  • Bachelor of Science – Criminal Justice

  • RN to BSN option - Bachelor of Science-Nursing for those with an RN (this program is not free but is low-cost)

 

Start Date:  January 3, 2022

Paul Quinn College

 

Paul Quinn College is a non-profit college located in Texas that is nationally accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TACCS). A variety of degrees are offered and only 1 prior college credit is required to get started. See the complete listing of degree options below.

 

Please Note: Many regionally accredited universities, such as California State Universities and University of California for example, do not generally accept credits from nationally accredited institutions. If you are planning on pursuing a graduate program after you attain your bachelor’s degree or have your credits accepted at any other regionally accredited college or university in the United States, you must check with that college or university to ask if they will accept transfer credits from Paul Quinn College.

Free programs offered:

  • Bachelor Arts, Business Administration-Accounting

  • Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration-Entrepreneurship

  • Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration-Fundraising and Philanthropy

  • Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration-Management

  • Bachelor of Arts, Legal Studies

  • Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Studies-Communications

  • Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Studies-General

  • Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Studies-History

  • Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Studies-Political Science

  • Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Studies-Psychology

  • Bachelor of Arts, Religious Studies

 

Start Date:   January 18, 2022

Ready to get started? It’s easy!

 

1. Complete the interest form

Complete the interest form on our partner Union Plus Free Bachelor’s Degree page:

  • For “Local Union Number” enter your CSEA Chapter number and name.

  • For “Union membership number” enter your CSEA Member ID number.

  • For “Council number”, enter N/A unless you are a CSEA retiree, then enter your CSEA Retiree Unit Council number.

  • For “Local Number”, enter your CSEA Chapter name and number again.

  • For “Where does the union member work?” enter the name of the school district where the CSEA member is employed (not the name of the individual school within the district where you work).
     

If you do not have this information, please call CSEA Member Benefits at (866) 487-2732 or email memberbenefits@csea.com and we will provide it to you.
 

2.  Complete the application form – After completing the interest form, wait for an email that you will receive within 24 hours and follow the instructions to complete the application form for either Franklin University, Central State University, or Paul Quinn College depending on your degree program of interest. NOTE: You can also go to https://freecollege.unionplus.org/ and scroll down the page to find your program of interest and with links to application form and degree information.  

 

Note: This is a degree completion program so you must have a certain number of prior transferable college credits, including at least 30 for Central State University with a minimum 2.2 GPA;  45 for Franklin University with a minimum 2.0 GPA; 1 (one) prior college credit for Paul Quinn College.  If you don’t have the required number of transfer credits according to their academic policies, you can take needed courses at no-cost at Eastern Gateway Community College and then transfer.
 

3.  Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This is required for all students unless you are a DACA recipient. Any grants you are eligible for will be applied to your tuition, books, and student fees and then a “last-dollar” scholarship is applied to cover any remaining balance due. Even if you do not qualify for any federal aid, your tuition, books, and student fees will be covered in full by the scholarship.
 

4.  Order official transcripts from all prior colleges attended to be sent directly from the prior college to the university you are applying to. Note: Foreign transcripts must be evaluated on a course-by-course basis first by an evaluating agency such as World Education Services
 

5.  Wait for an Admissions decision and check your email for follow-up emails from the university. Wait four to eight weeks for an admissions decision from the time you submit your prior college transcripts and your FAFSA (just like any university this part takes a little time). Be sure to check your email for ongoing communications from the university regarding your application and admissions process. There are multiple start times throughout the year so you can get started as quickly as possible.

 

Questions?

If you have questions, do not contact the partner universities directly. Instead, call the Student Resource Center at 888-590-9009 to speak with an enrollment advisor or call CSEA Member Benefits at (866) 487-2732 or email memberbenefits@csea.com.

 

*Family members include spouses, domestic partners, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, parents, siblings, in-laws, step-children and step-grandchildren, cousins, and more.