Usually, getting a degree takes 4 years. It is a big commitment in terms of effort, money, and time. But it is possible to do it earlier. One can shave a couple of semesters off their degree to save money on tuition or enter the work market earlier.
There are several other benefits of getting a degree faster. It shows dedication and impressive work ethic to future employers. Graduating ahead of time also helps to reduce student loan debt and pay it off earlier as a result. You’ll also start your career before peers that study for 4 years.
At the same time, it won’t be easy. Students tend to lack time anyway. They often have academic overload, part-time jobs, and social life to deal with.
This is a hard combo to pull off with all these written assignments. Fortunately, one can always get a cheap write my term paper help on WritePaper to get this burden off their shoulders. Professional academic writers can help with any type of university paper in the shortest time. This way one keeps up their grades and has a little bit of free time.
This free time might be used to make a plan on how to finish college faster. Here is how you can do it.
The main way to cut down on time in university is to get more credits in a shorter time. And the earlier you start the better. If you are still in high school, it is the perfect time to begin.
Many high schools allow enrolling into programs that earn you college credits. Those could be International Baccalaureate (IB) classes, for example. Just check whether the university you are going to accepts such credit transfers.
Another option is dual enrollment. If the school allows, one can enroll at the local community college at the same time. Such courses qualify for credits and cost usually 90% cheaper than tuition at university.
The way you use your high-school years depends on you only. Another opportunity to enroll in community college is summer break. You can earn a professional certificate in such a way. For example, you can go for those that will cover college elective requirements.
Or one can follow general courses that are usually learned during the first two years, such as:
- Natural Sciences;
- Social Sciences;
- Arts, etc.
If you know what major you will pursue, you can also go for more specific subjects, like marketing or business.
Another way to get additional credits is to test the subjects you already know. If you pass the test successfully, you can earn 3-6 of them. The CLEP test costs about $85, so check with the university whether they accept it specifically.
You can test your knowledge on several subjects, including:
- Foreign languages;
- Science and others.
The test rating is usually from 20 to 80. The majority of colleges accept 50 and more as exams pass.
This is another type of exam one can pass to earn university credits. They can be available at high school as well. But these tests are more challenging than CLEP.
The subjects you can try your knowledge at include history, science, art, Math, and foreign languages.
Depending on the location, there are several other tests with similar conditions:
- DDST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) – accepted in almost 2,000 colleges.
- ECE (Excelsior College Exams) – has a wide range of subjects, but it is accepted by fewer institutions. It costs about $100;
- Challenge exams are offered by some universities. If you know the material taught in the course, you can go for them instead.
But before going for all these options check all the requirements and limitations with your university. Some allow only AP or CLEP and not both. Others do not offer challenge exams if you have similar CLEP/AP/DSST exams passed. Before you make the choice, look deeply into the institution’s policies.
The next step to earning a degree faster is to take more workload each semester. Consult with the policies on how many you can take without paying extra fees. Also, think realistically about how much responsibility and studies you can handle.
If you take too many courses, your grades might fall, and it will impact GPAs.
Another factor to consider is what subjects are necessary to get a degree. Some of them might not be offered each semester. Create a list of crucial disciplines and consult with a counselor when to take them.
And the more credits you earn each semester, the earlier you can graduate.
In the same way as high-schoolers can take summer courses, students in college can do it as well. Community college is a valid choice for some general courses. It saves a decent amount of money and you can cut down up to one semester in the summer.
Also, it is possible to learn on a mixed schedule. For instance, you can enroll in online courses at the same time. Those can be programs available digitally in your own institution.
Or it is possible to enroll in distance intensive programs at other academic institutions. Also, college-accredited programs like MOOCs can work as well.
Of course, taking on more responsibilities is not easy. But if you have a strong work ethic, it is manageable. Especially, if you consider how much money you can save in terms of college debt.
There is no secret way to graduate earlier. The system is pretty clear – the faster you get the necessary credits, the earlier you can get a degree. The question is how to earn them. If you have the opportunity to start in high school, do not miss it. Also, consider utilizing the summer months for that. Devote some time to tests and exams that your university accepts. And take more courses each semester so that you can finish early.