The Fastest and Most Affordable Path to a College Degree — Regardless of Your Major

It’s no secret that the cost of education continues to increase year after year. Education Data Initiative reported in January 2022,” The average price of college tuition & fees at public 4-year institutions has risen 179.2% over the last 20 years for an average annual increase of 9.0%.” In most cases, wages haven’t kept pace with the cost of higher ed, so what can a prospective college student do to offset some of this cost? I want to share what I’ve learned that may help you save $10,000 to $40,000 or more!


Years ago, I found similarities in university degree programs, on-campus or online; most programs require several general education courses. These courses may account for up to 2 years of a 4-year degree. While that number may be smaller in programs such as medicine and engineering, tuition for these courses costs no less than those in the major area of study.


General education courses are required for most undergraduate degree programs. They do not change based on the major. While there are literally hundreds of college majors, most need the same general education courses. You should consult your school to determine what they require.


I’ve taken advantage of programs offering a cost-effective solution to this coursework for my children and grandchildren. They did not need to sacrifice the quality or transferability of these courses as they navigated their program, and we’ve saved thousands of dollars literally in the process.


Here are some examples of general education courses:

  • Music
  • Art
  • Philosophy
  • English Composition
  • English Literature
  • Foreign Language
  • Western Civilization
  • US History
  • Math
  • Statistics
  • Sciences
  • Sociology
  • Public Speaking
  • Psychology
  • World Religions
  • Anthropology


Distance Learning System offers a program you may want to consider. They provide 100% online courses that are recognized by the American Council on Education and accepted by over 30 of their top-tier university partners. These online courses cost less than half the national average and are completed online in about half the time of traditional college courses. My position has always been, why pay more for the same thing? My answer has always been that I shouldn’t.


If you can save 60% to 80% on the first two years of your 4-year degree and receive the same quality education, why not take advantage of the opportunity? These programs are open to high school students preparing for college or working adults interested in fast-tracking their career and income potential. Good luck in your quest for higher education.


Written By: Dave Christy

Professional Certificates – An Employers Perspective

Years ago, when I first started flying, my flight instructor gave me advice appropriate for anyone involved in aviation. His advice was, “never stop learning.” Indeed, that was true for a new pilot, but even in an environment where life and death are not the issues, that advice always rings true. Many years have passed since my instructor challenged me to keep learning, and in all these years, I can honestly say that I’ve never once felt like I didn’t need to know more. There are always new technologies and challenges in business, and even our personal lives present new challenges almost daily.


Dating back to 1597, Francis Bacon coined the phrase “Knowledge is Power,” which Thomas Jefferson used when discussing the establishment of a state university in Virginia. In 1817 he also related knowledge with power, safety, and happiness. I think it’s widely accepted that there is a quantifiable benefit to knowledge.


Most everyone would agree that a university education lays the groundwork for a successful professional life, but today there are options that many employers value and support. These are professional certificates. We all know that a degree may prepare the holder for almost any type of degree, but professional certification does even more. A professional certificate provides focused training for a specific career. These could be in marketing, data science & analytics, environmental, social, leadership, business, finance, or hundreds more. Certificates are earned more quickly and at a significantly lower cost than a degree and may prepare you for that dream job!


As an employer, I view the holder of professional certification as:

  1. A team member or applicant is someone committed to excellence
  2. A team member who is committed to growing with the organization
  3. An asset that helps build trust with clients
  4. An individual interested in a long-term relationship with our organization


A professional certificate holder demonstrates:

  1. Validation of Knowledge
  2. Increased marketability
  3. Increased earning power
  4. Enhanced credibility


“Never stop learning” has served me well over the years, and this fundamental truth will work for anyone interested in growth. Several institutions provide this exciting growth opportunity, but you might explore certificates from Distance Learning Systems by visiting They also offer an accelerated and affordable path to over 450 online degree programs sponsored by major universities throughout the US.


Written By: Dave Christy

5 Reasons You Must Go to College

Much has been written about college versus the trades, work versus school, and other similar comparisons. I’ve heard so many young people say they want their own place, a new car, toys; you name it. Very seldom do you hear a young person these days say, “I can’t wait to go to college!” And yet, that remains the primary source for acquiring all those other things they want out of life.


Is college important? Absolutely! What about going into the trades; is that a good option for young people? Absolutely! But, regardless of a young person’s path, the college experience provides a solid foundation in life and business. There are so many options available to post-secondary education students; the real dilemma might be where to attend and what to study rather than whether I should get a college degree. Of course, you should. Education has no downside, and it is important to remember that knowledge is power.


So, what are some of the advantages of earning a college degree?

  1. You’ll earn more over your lifetime. The BLS confirms that workers with a bachelor’s degree earn a median income of $524 per week more than workers with only a high school diploma. That’s an increase of more than $27,000 a year. That translates to a lifestyle change for the college graduate.
  2. Reduced chance of unemployment. Even though not required for some positions, a college degree is NOT ignored by future employers. As an employer myself, I understand and appreciate the discipline and hard work needed to complete a college education, and I absolutely factor that in when evaluating prospective employees.
  3. According to a 2016 Pew Research Center report, workers with a bachelor’s degree or more advanced education were 70% more likely to view their job as a career than just 39% of workers without college. The bottom line, college-educated workers experience greater job satisfaction.
  4. While the other reasons for earning a college degree are statistically impactful, there are other more personal reasons to earn a college degree. The Lumina Foundation determined that college graduates may demonstrate healthier habits than those without a degree. It may be hard to believe, but your education can directly impact your health.
  5. According to findings by the Lumina Foundation, 94% of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher reported being very happy with life, compared to 89% with no college education.


There isn’t a downside to acquiring post-secondary education. Time spent earning that degree will give the young person an opportunity to mature, learn, make more, and secure their future. A college degree may translate to achieving a lifelong dream with countless personal and financial rewards for the mature adult.


At Distance Learning Systems, we speak to incoming adult students every day. Some may require retraining for a new career, others may need a degree to upgrade within their chosen profession, and others may wish to achieve personal goals. Our 30+ university partners offer over 450 fully online degrees, and we can help you save significant time and money. Whatever your reason for considering college, we wish you the very best and want to encourage you to take advantage of some of the world’s finest institutions of higher learning.


Written By: Dave Christy

Ever Dreamed of Becoming an Airline Pilot?


It may be faster and easier than you think!

If you’ve traveled lately or even watched the news regarding airline travel over the July 4th weekend, you certainly know there is a shortage of airline pilots. Most sources say there are about 14,000 openings for commercial pilots annually—results of many things, including buyouts over COVID-19, the return of pre-pandemic air traffic levels, and more. The jobs are available, and airlines are scrambling to fill them, but it’s an uphill battle. If you have ever dreamed of becoming an airline pilot, I advise DO IT NOW!


Here are some of the most popular reasons to become a commercial airline pilot:

  1. Indescribable fun flying an aircraft (might as well have fun at work, right?)
  2. Flexible schedule
  3. Live where you want
  4. Dynamic work environment (no two days are the same)
  5. Travel benefits for you, your family, and friends
  6. Public perception (who doesn’t look at an airline pilot when boarding and think, what a fantastic job)
  7. Very High Income: Seniority translates to higher pay, choice schedules, and quality of life


You would be hard-pressed to find a more secure profession with higher pay and a more exciting lifestyle than an airline pilot…and you can do this! I remember how I felt when I did my first solo flight; there is simply nothing as emotionally satisfying as pulling back on the yoke and lifting off—an incredible sensation.


The pay and benefits of being a commercial airline pilot are pretty hard to beat. Aside from the travel and other benefits, you’ll receive as a commercial pilot; your income will firmly place you in a profession that provides an exceptional lifestyle. While the average annual wage for a commercial pilot in 2018 was $130,059 (CHRON), the yearly income for captains with Delta, Southwest, FedEx, and others with experience can eclipse $300,000 annually. Lots of fun – Lots of travel – Lots of money!

How do I get there? 

To become a commercial pilot with an airline, you’ll be required to earn a bachelor’s degree. Here’s the good news. Distance Learning Systems and our university partners offer a fully online bachelor’s degree in aviation. You will begin your program with Distance Learning Systems, save about half the typical tuition, and complete your courses 100% online in about half the time. You’ll also receive a discount on the remainder of your bachelor’s degree. You’ll have access to a flight center near your home where you’ll do your flight training (the most fun you’ll ever have). As you complete your degree and flight training, you’ll receive a private pilot license, instrument rating, flight instructor status, and commercial pilot license. You can even earn money as an instructor while you complete your program!

If this is your dream, we encourage you to contact us today! Classes start weekly, and we’d love to get you started on this incredible journey.


Written by Dave Christy

Choices Matter in Higher Education!

I would like to tell you a short story that I feel you might find helpful. If you’ve been out of school for several years, or if you’ve just finished high school and considering college; it’s important to understand you have options that frankly didn’t exist just a few years ago. These changes translate to the possibility of reduced tuition in a world that has seen the cost of a college degree skyrocket year after year.

Practically a generation ago I had just left the military and knew that I needed additional education if I was to build a suitable life for myself and my family. I chose industrial engineering and started my journey. At that time the word “options” didn’t exist in higher ed. Our schedule was set, books were purchased (ouch), my parking permit for Parking Lot G was issued and my journey began. While many of my classes were interesting and some inspiring, nothing was simple. Frankly, the discipline required to navigate school at that time seemed very similar to my life in the military, but of course without the threat of death. There were days I felt that my life was not my own. I know we’ve all felt that way at one point or another. The rigors of that program I will never forget, but at the same time, I am so thankful I had that opportunity.

Some years later I married a nursing student at a local university. Her experience was not so different from my own. The school of nursing told her where to go, how long she would be there, what to wear, and even how to cut her hair. The challenges of a traditional RN program are well known, but she graduated, got her RN, and has had a great career for many years.

As I look back on our personal experiences in contrast to what you as a student might experience today, I realize this is a different world. A better world in terms of choices you have available to you we never imagined.

While a global pandemic certainly expanded the availability of online learning, online classes have been around for several years now. My own son completed his master’s degree online and has only his thesis yet to do for his Doctor of Education, also online. He married his wife who also completed her master’s degree online and took a job with the university. The beauty of earning a degree online can be summed up in one word, convenience. While completing his graduate studies he was able to maintain a full-time job and even buy a home. I’m a firm believer in online education. It works if the student will.

So, what about choices in higher education? What about the cost and delivery of classes. How can you save time and money and make the completion of your degree less stressful and more affordable? That’s where Distance Learning Systems might make a huge difference in your life just as they have in the lives of over 20,000 other students.

By contacting DLSI first, you will have a choice of over 450 online degrees awarded by their 30 university partners. But it doesn’t stop there. DLSI is part of your academic journey. Students will complete most general education and general elective courses completely online, on their own schedule, at about half the average tuition charged nationwide and in about half the time with DLSI. Most DLSI students then transfer their courses to their choice of a DLSI university partner and begin the second phase of their program as a sophomore. It’s important to note that most DLSI partner universities will also provide a tuition discount to DLSI transfer students.

Considering the stress involved in beginning a university education in this modern world, it’s good to know there is someone who understands you and is here to help. To learn more visit or call 888-955-3276.

Written by Dave Christy

Go Green! Brighten Up Your Life With Houseplants

Let’s be honest, the typical dorm room is bland, empty, and typically a mixture of beige tones. When moving into college, you want your room to be your safe space. It needs to be the place you can relax, unwind, and escape from the hustle and bustle of college life. Once you decorate your room to make it livelier, try adding houseplants to really give your room an extra pop of color. House plants are known to help increase productivity, lift your mood, and even purify the air (Lohr, V. I. (2010). Some houseplants are easier to maintain than others, especially when you’re a busy college student. If you’re a busy student, but want to liven up your living space, take a look at these three low-maintenance plants below:

  1. Succulents are by far the easiest plant to maintain in a dorm room. Succulents are small, compact, and only grow as large as the pot they are in will allow them to. Needing full light, succulents will do perfectly on a window ledge. If this is not possible, purchase a small grow light. These small spiky plants only need to be watered once their soil is completely dry, so they don’t need constant attention. A fun fact about succulents is that if you add a drop of food coloring to their water, their petals will absorb it and change to that color!
  2. Snake plants are a great low-maintenance option because they are extremely difficult to kill. These plants are slow-growing and don’t require much sunlight, so they can just hang out in pretty much any spot in your room. They don’t need to be watered often, just enough to keep their soil damp, so a cheap spray bottle is a great option to have on hand. If you’re limited on space in your dorm room, snake plants are a great option because they don’t grow at a rapid pace. Start off with a smaller plant to ensure it won’t cramp your space.
  3. Aloe Vera is not only an attractive houseplant but serves many other purposes as well. This plant is another low-maintenance option that is great for dorm rooms. Aloe Vera only needs to be watered once the soil is dry, typically once per week. Indirect sunlight is best for this plant, so it can be placed almost anywhere in your room. If your plant becomes too big, that shouldn’t be a problem. After trimming it, the aloe plant can be used for skincare or even treat sunburns!

Succulents are a great way to liven up your bland living space at college. Houseplants are proven to help increase productivity, lift your mood, and even purify the air. Additionally, tending to your plants will give you something to focus on other than the stresses of school, and are a helpful little distraction. Buying a houseplant (or two, three, five, or ten!) is a great way to add color and life to your dorm room. The plants listed above are all pretty low maintenance and easy to care for. Once you get the hang of caring for them, feel free to move on to more advanced plants!


Citation: Lohr, V. I. (2010). What are the benefits of plants indoors and why do we respond positively to them? Acta Horticulturae, 881, 675–682.

Creating the Perfect Work/Study Space at Home

Even before the pandemic, studying at home could be a major headache. A messy house, loud neighbors, and young children could all be distractions. Cellphones, gaming consoles, and even books may also be distractions. With the pandemic, students are spending an increased amount of time in their homes. Without a study space, your study time, and grades, may be affected. By just spending ten to fifteen minutes a day, you’ll be able to create the optimal study zone.

First things first, you’ll need to pick a room in your home to create your study space. If you can find a room without much foot traffic and distractions, then that’s the place to start. Oftentimes living rooms and kitchens have family members coming in and out, so these rooms are best to be avoided. A bedroom, study, sunroom, or basement are all great places to set up your study spot. Make sure you have a comfortable chair and be mindful to avoid your bed. You want to be relaxed but not so much that you’re able to fall asleep.

Next, make sure you have the perfect amount of light. Natural light will be best, so a spot near a window is a good choice. If you can’t be near a window, make sure your overhead light isn’t too dim or too bright. Lamps are also great additions if you need to add or soften the light in the room. Once your seating and lighting are arranged, you need to establish your desk. A real desk is optimum, but if cost or space is an issue, a lap desk or TV trays can be great alternatives.

Now it’s time to liven things up! You want your study space to be somewhere you look forward to going to, not something you dread. Customize your area to fit your personality. Hanging twinkle lights to soften the room, putting up posters with your favorite pictures or motivational quotes, and color coordinating the room with your favorite colors help the room feel relaxing rather than a simple, cold space. This is your opportunity to get creative and make this space your own.

Lastly, get organized and get rid of distractions. If you can find a room without a tv, that’s great! If not, remove tv remotes, gaming console controllers, and radios out of the room. Cellphones are one of the biggest distractions when it comes to studying, so place yours on silent and move it to a different room as well. If you live in a loud environment, noise-canceling headphones may also be a good investment. Organize your space by getting pencil/pen holders, sticky notes, folders, and binders. Labeling your items will allow you to know where your things are at all times and reduce clutter. Keep these items nearby so you don’t need to constantly leave the room to retrieve them.

Every student needs the perfect study space to achieve their optimal goals in school. Taking the time to create your perfect space, may help you study better and even boost your grades. Take these tips above and spend some time finding your space and making it your own. Study on!