A college education is the only promising bridge way to a successful career in your area of interest. However, with this great opportunity comes various challenges and large expenses. One of the most common challenges is the inability to finish college in time.
% OF STUDENTS WHO FINISH IN 4 YEARS
Percentage of students who are able to finish their college education within 4 years ( Statistics from the Department of Education)
AVERAGE NO. OF YEARS STUDENTS TAKE TO GRADUATE
On average, most students take 6 years to finish their college education (Statistics from the Department of Education)
Statistics from the Department of Education show that only 40% of college students are able to finish their education within 4 years. Averagely, most students take 6 years. Problem is, for every year a student spends acquiring a college education, the more debt they accumulate. Complete College America approximated a 70% increase in debt for money borrowed to complete two extra years; moreover, a student uses a total of $68,153 for each additional year for tuition and lost wages.
Your goal should be to finish school within 4 years and use the least possible amount of money. Luckily, there are many ways of achieving this goal as outlined below.
Golden Tips to Achieving a College Graduation on Time
Take exams to earn college credits
There are exams that you can take to earn college credits such as CLEP, AP and DSST. The time and money spent on studying for these exams is significantly lower than that of sitting through an entire class. These exams will save you from a semester or two in your course work. If you have advanced knowledge on a certain field these exams are the best option for you.
Seek advice and develop a plan
An academic adviser is the best person to advice you on which major or courses to choose. Know the classes that are required for your graduation, develop a plan and stick to it for a better speed. Avoid wasting time earning extra credits that are not required for your degree. You can take exploratory courses, join clubs or talk to other students to be sure which major suits your interest. However, make sure you are fulfilling the basic prerequisite and conforming to your academic plan while seeking answers.
Enroll in a community college
You can spend a year or two in a community college before transferring to a state school. The latter is expensive in terms of tuition, boarding fee and other expenses. This method is advantageous since, at the end of the four years all the credits are rated equally, regardless of where you started.
Verify the 4-year graduation rate of a college before enrolling
The success rate of students from an institution in terms of graduating in time is of great importance. This information can be found online or by visiting the admissions office of a college. High rates are a positive sign. You should also check the number of credit hours that an institution allows per semester: the higher the number, the higher the chances of graduating on time.
Take extra classes each semester
You should take advantage of the maximum number of credit hours that your college allows. If there are an obstacle concerning taking extra credit hours, visit the academic advisor to lift the limit for you. You can reduce your college years from four to three by taking more credit hours each semester. Moreover, it saves you money in the long run.
Choose a major early and avoid changing it
You should choose a major early enough so that you can develop the best strategies of earning relevant credit. Changing a major might cause you to lose earned credit since the change may come with new requirements. This automatically leads to you spending more years in college to earn a degree.
Skip the minor
Minors are not a necessary requirement for all degrees or careers. In such a case, it is very beneficial to drop minor classes. This action might just save you a whole semester.
Take online classes
Online classes are popular today; this is due to the great flexibility that they offer. You can earn credit by signing up for online classes from your college or from other institutions. You can do these classes at your extra time such as vacations or night hours.
Get an internship or work related to your field of study
You can get credit by participating in a work-study experience or an internship program. Such an experience will earn you a degree faster and in some cases, you may get to earn your living too.
Compile your portfolio
Some colleges give limited credit based on a portfolio that reflects acquisition of skills and knowledge related to the field of study of your major. These credits can be earned if you have volunteered, participated in leadership activities or worked previously. A well-presented portfolio will enable you to earn your degree faster by compensating for some classes.
Insist and petition for transfer equivalencies
There are chances of losing credit when transferring from one school to another. Ensure that the policy of the college you are transferring to is favorable. On top of being given some credit in the new school, petition for the classes that you had already covered for them to fill some of your graduation requirement.
Take summer semester
Summer semester are considerably shorter and less expensive than those scheduled during spring and fall seasons. You can always use the extra time constructively and it saves you personal expenses.
Avoid remedial classes
You should take college studies seriously to avoid being placed in remedial classes which will not earn you credit. Failure leads to you spending more semesters in school, which pushes your graduation very far away. You should avoid non credit classes by all means if you are to graduate on time.
Manage your time social activities and time wisely
Time management is an important requirement if you want to finish college on time. You may need to cut off on your social activities and spend quality time on academics. Extra time should be used to gain you credit.
Prepare early for college
You should start preparing for college education while still in high school. Colleges have introductory tests or classes; but, if you have taken AP or IB tests while in high school, you may be able to skip the introductory classes and get to the next level. College classes at high school level might fulfill some general requirement for your course and this earns you less time on college.
There are many opportunities present for you to take if you are focused on finishing your studies early. An early graduation means a better chance of starting out on your career and even pursuing higher degrees. Visit an academic counselor to know about the opportunities that your college has that will benefit you. Importantly, you need to be proactive to achieve success in finishing your studies in time.
Focus on graduating early
College life and work is quite demanding and filled with challenges. You should have the right attitude and find the motivation within you to finish your studies on time. If you focus on graduating early, you will be able to utilize given opportunities that will earn you extra credit and less time.