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For Some Single Parents, Online College Holds the Key

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It’s a modern-day math problem: A single parent, age 31. A wage of $9.50 an hour. And a dream of a four-year degree. Elisa Magagna’s challenge was to solve it.

“I wasn’t making very much money at all, just above minimum wage,” says Magagna, now 34 and living in Pocatello, Idaho. “I was a single mom of four kids just trying to better myself and my life.”

Thanks to an online degree program, she did.

Magagna got her bachelor’s degree in business administration in just over three years while working full time and raising her family. She studied at home through online-only Western Governors University, graduating in June 2017 with just $3,000 in student loan debt. Her salary increased by about $8 an hour after she’d earned her degree.

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