Less than a decade ago earning a bachelor’s degree meant a four-year commitment. As of 2014 only 19% of college students in the United States graduate in four years.
Adding a fifth or sixth year of classes means a greater investment not only in time but in money. Why should students spend another $20,000 or $50,000 when they don’t have to? Why should you miss out on starting your career just to take classes you’re not even interested in? If you want to be part of that 19% that finishes fast, follow these five tip.
1. Take Ample Credit Hours
Take 15 credits per semester. The definition of a “full-time student” is in flux. Some consider 12 credits per semester to be plenty, but it’s the 15 credits per semester students who finish in four years. Taking one extra course each semester adds up!
2. Test Out
One of the most frustrating things about trying to speed up the college track is getting stuck in a class you’ve already learned! “Demonstrate your knowledge” by taking national tests like the CLEP, IB, AP and the DSST. Isn’t one day of testing worth avoiding an entire semester of repeated material?
3. Consider Summer School
Attending school year round can take you on the fast track to getting your degree. Become a full-time student during the summer, and even on weekends. Even if you leave campus to return home for the summer, you can find appropriate courses with transferable credits at the local community college.
4. Avoid Elective Classes
If you can, declare just a major instead of a major and a minor. The number of credits you need to complete a minor can add up to an entire extra semester of school. Also, stay away from courses you want to take “for fun.” Join an astronomy club instead of taking an expensive astronomy class!
5. Distance Learning
Take online classes for your undergraduate degree to finish credit hours on your own time. If you want speed and also need convenience, becoming an online student is a great option. The courses are flexible depending on your schedule. That means you can work around your part-time job and around those 15 credits worth of classes. While everyone else in your dorm wastes their weekend, you can get ahead!
If only 19% of college students graduate in four years that means a whopping 81% are wasting a whole year of their life. Be part of the percent of students that doesn’t waste their time and money. Snag that job your roommate could’ve gotten if only they managed their time like you.