How to graduate from college early -Many people simply assume that college takes four years. However, when you are in your first and second year of undergraduate studies, or if you are still in high school, you may be wondering: what if I could finish college earlier?
Why graduate from college early?
Students think about graduating early from college for a variety of reasons. A common reason is the desire to save on tuition and other related college expenses. Based on the average cost of studying at a private college in 2020-2021, according to the College Council, a student who graduates in three years will save about $ 50,000 more than a student who graduates in four years.
There are also non-financial reasons to consider graduating in three years or less. Early graduation may seem like an exciting option for students who have a clear idea of their career goals and who want to get to work early to get a quick start in the real world.
How long does it take to earn a bachelor’s degree in USA?
The average American university requires 120 credit hours to earn a bachelor’s degree. If you’re not sure what credit hours are, you can view our article on credit hours by clicking here. The recommended period for admission to the college is 4 years, ie the average student will take 15 credit hours per period. In order to graduate from college early, you must successfully complete, with passing grades, 120 credit hours in less than 4 years.
Pros of graduating from college early
- It prepares me for graduate school. If you are attending medical school, law school, or other graduate schools, you know that you will spend most of your twenties in school.
- Completing a bachelor’s degree a year or a semester earlier can reduce your total time spent at school. You can use the extra time to prepare for the entrance exams, such as the MCAT or GRE. Or you can use the extra time to travel or work before picking up books again.
- Save thousands of students on the final cost of tuition.
- Allowing college students to get to work faster, allowing them to start paying student debts faster.
- Placing individual students on a schedule different from other students may lead to less competition in their job search, as they avoid the seasonal rush of resumes after graduation.
ALSO CHECK: Best Credit Cards for Students With no Credit in 2023
Cons of graduating from college early
- You will finish school with a different class than the one you entered. It’s not necessarily a big deal, but you may find that you end up losing a strong sense of class kinship.
- You just have less time to grow and mature. Many college students are really thriving in their senior year as their experience and confidence grow.
- For many students, college is a great time to make new friends, develop intellectually, and learn about themselves. Students often cry at graduation because they miss college. Make sure you really want to hurry during this period of your life.
How to graduate from college early
1. Take more credit hours per semester
The first option is to take more credit hours per semester. Given that the average student will take 15 credit hours in 8 semesters, the number of credit hours per semester will need to be increased. Assuming you didn’t come to college with no college credit or go to summer school.
2. Find accelerated semesters.
In most schools, typical 15-week semesters can be accelerated or made available in alternative formats. The accelerated format can be more complex, but allows you to meet consistent course requirements in less time.
3. Take online courses.
Like accelerated semesters, virtual classes allow you to take a course at your own pace. As it is easier to enter the required courses in your schedule, it is also easier to take more classes during the year.
4. Make it as full-time as possible.
People who have earned at least 12 credits are considered full-time students, but depending on the maximum workload of your school, you can earn 19 or more credits each semester. You can take 6-7 courses at a time with 4-5 courses. And if you attend a school where your education depends on your full-time student status, you may not have to pay for these extra classes.
5. Take courses during breaks.
Can you go to summer classes to finish college earlier? If you live at home in the summer or between semesters, consider summer classes at a local college. They are available for a fraction of the typical university tuition costs, and they can help you correct graduation requirements during downtime.
ALSO CHECK: 10 Best student retention strategies in 2023 | Full Details
6. Test out of introductory classes.
Most colleges allow students to take compulsory English or math courses, provided that the student can demonstrate knowledge on a standardized test. You can also take the test using high school AP courses and AP exams that offer college credits if the student is taking a national test.
7. Enrol in college with credit hours earned in high school
Students who choose to take AP / IB / high school exams have the opportunity to enter college with credit hours that count toward the 120-hour goal. Although it is difficult to find statistics on the average number of credit hours that high school students usually complete, you can often hear from 3 to even 20 hours. Remember that for every credit hour earned in high school, you need one hour less while in college and a ton of money saved.
8. Don’t change or switch majors
Although you should strive to choose the right career, a few major changes during college will bring your schedule back. If you are pursuing an engineering degree but decide to go into business, you will most likely have to obtain many other business credits.
9. Search for double-duty classes
This is where you need to start research. Have your school’s catalog (and your counselor’s phone number) on hand and see if you can find general education classes that are also suitable for your major or part-time loans. Often you can kill two (or more) class requirements with one shot! Also, try to find items that are related to each other.
10. Plan ahead.
Talk to your supervisor about your plans to graduate early. Many courses have prerequisites for enrolment, while others may be available only during the alternation of semesters. Without careful planning of your schedule, you may not be able to finish your studies as you would like.
What is the maximum number of credits students can take per term in USA colleges?
Most colleges limit the number of credits students can receive per trimester to 15, 18, or 20 credits, depending on the school and whether the system is used for a quarter or semester. In some cases, colleges make special exceptions. Keep in mind that some colleges charge extra for additional credit.
Is it possible to graduate college in 3 years or less?
YES, It’s possible to graduate college in three years or less for some majors, but few students do. Some colleges offer dual credit certification. This means that you get credits in high school and college for courses. Students can earn up to 24 college credits back in high school. Be sure to contact your local community college to find out which courses are double-credit certified. Admission to college with 24 credits is how to save TWO FULL semesters of tuition and time.