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

How is R.B.A. Today different from the R.B.A. degree?
The R.B.A. is a degree program, while R.B.A. Today represents a commitment made by some of the state’s colleges and universities to provide more options and greater support for students in the R.B.A. program. In other words, many adult students may be able to earn an R.B.A. degree more quickly and easily, thanks to the additional course options and personalized support institutions are now providing as part of the R.B.A. Today initiative.

Who can enroll in the R.B.A. program?
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 R.B.A.. The R.B.A. at Shepherd University Martinsburg Center focuses on upper-level courses and is designed for students with some college credits or work or life experience that can translate into college credits.

I’m interested in getting my R.B.A — where do I start?
Begin by contacting the Martinsburg Center’s R.B.A. coordinator, Beth Thomas, at 304-263-3372. She will guide you through the process and get you on track to earning your bachelor’s degree!

Are there financial aid programs available for R.B.A. students? How can I fund my degree?
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.

What sort of time commitment is involved?
The R.B.A. program really is designed to fit your schedule. You can work at your own pace to complete your degree. Typical courses in the Martinsburg R.B.A. meet once a week in the evenings and are supplemented by online content.

Can my work experience count toward a degree?
One of the great benefits of the R.B.A. 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 R.B.A. Today coordinator about the portfolio submission process.

I’ve attended college before, but didn’t earn a degree. Can I count the credits I earned the first time toward my R.B.A.?
Yes, you may be able to count credits you’ve already earned toward your R.B.A. degree–even if you’ve been out of school for a long time. Talk to your R.B.A. Today coordinator or admissions counselor to see if your prior college experiences can count.

If I enroll at the Martinsburg Center, can I take courses at the Shepherdstown campus?
Yes! As a Shepherd student, you can enroll in any Shepherd course for which you meet the prerequisites. Courses at Martinsburg are schedule to be especially convenient for working adults.

For any questions, please contact:
Beth A. Thomas
Program Coordinator, R.B.A. and Continuing Education
Shepherd University-Martinsburg Center
261 Aikens Center
Martinsburg, WV 25404