How To Graduate College Early
Is it possible to graduate college early, or faster than the average student? Find out!
College is often a key prerequisite for achieving long-term success. It can lead to great career outcomes, high earning potential, and advancement opportunities in life. The benefits are easy to see. However, committing to a college program is not as easy as it sounds. Traditional colleges often boast a four-year degree model, which can be intimidating for students with other obligations. If you are already working, have a family, or simply have ambitious goals, you may be seeking a faster, more flexible option.
Fortunately, there are ways to graduate college early. The flexible degree programs at Goodwin University, for example, can be customized to meet students unique needs. Most of our students today have full-time jobs, family obligations, and busy lives outside the classroom. We work hard to ensure a college education is still attainable for them.
If you are wondering how to graduate college early, here are our recommendations:
1. Take accelerated courses.One of the best ways to graduate college early is to enroll in accelerated classes. Accelerated courses allow students to complete their degrees faster than average. Rather than a standard semester that runs for 15 weeks, accelerated classes typically take 7.5 weeks to complete .
- College education
- Work experience or professional development training
- Military training
- Personal and volunteer experiences
If I Finish My Major And Minor Early Why Sit Around An Extra Year
As a freshman just entering into the world of college, I was naive and unaware. For the longest time, I thought that everyone took one major and one minor. I was wrong. It’s a typical path, but not the only one. In a college with thousands of students, it’s impractical to think that everyone is following the same route. In fact, in a country with over 50,000 applicants to medical schools each year, that’s totally bogus. As I meeting new people every day, I was learning about the unique paths they had taken to get to where they are now and what they planned to do in the future.
I’ve met international students who have studied in medical programs abroad before transferring to college here. I’ve met students double majoring and double minoring. I’ve met students pursuing their master’s degree before going to medical school. I’ve seen students with more clinical and hands-on experience than I ever had. All that just goes to show the diverse experiences making up the applicant pool.
My biggest advice would be to consider your options. If you’ve really exhausted what you can do at college, then by all means, graduate early. However, that is rare. There’s so much to do at college. Consider taking on another major, converting your minor into a major, taking classes in new subject areas, study abroad programs, student organizations, and whatever else you can think of.
Graduate From College Early By Taking Clep Exams
CLEP exams will help you get college credit by taking exams on courses you already know the most about,
Research the College Board CLEP exam website and ask your college or university how many CLEP units you can apply toward your coursework.
The course of your time in college CLEP units will help save you money since youre not paying tuition for those courses plus give you the added benefit of earning the credits you need toward graduation.
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Get Credit For High School
Lastly, consider concurrent enrollment. In this program, you can receive college credit that meets the core and elective graduation requirements AND college credits.
That means high school students can concurrently earn an associates degree while still attending high school. Their transcript seamlessly reflects this efficient duality. The classes dont cost high school kids anything, and the program could save as much as two full years of tuition! Also, textbooks are generally subsidized by grants, and very motivated participants can actually finish college well before reaching their peers.
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Check Out Your Prospective Curriculum
Get the curriculum of your college path.
You can check this out on your prospective schools website or their information office.
Study the available course mapping.
You need to check this out as it will determine how you can shorten your stay in college.
You would be able to identify which course credits you can earn earlier.
You would also be able to pick out the critical courses, which you cant afford to fail.
These might delay your plans to graduate from college early.
If you can talk to current students of your chosen course, ask whats challenging them.
Try to get some pointers so you would know how to manage the difficult subjects and activities in advance.
If you can enroll in the summer before your first semester in college, do that.
Make sure though that high school classes are credited toward your college degree.
If youre going to study abroad, check out your options thoroughly as well.
Your advance credits may not apply in a different country.
Make sure that all your efforts are credited toward your college requirements and elective courses.
So, always doublecheck the options available to you.
Its better to know these things in advance.
Otherwise, your time, effort, and money will just go to waste.
During your stay in college, take summer classes.
Maximize the time available to you.
Summer classes are a good tip for those who have realized a little bit too late that they want to fast track their schooling.
They can effectively shorten your time in school.
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Does Graduating College Early Look Good For Medical School
Because we receive the most questions about getting into medical school, in this section well address what impact graduating early can have on the med school admissions process specifically.
Getting into medical school is challenging, and many applicants get nervous when they see that the average medical school matriculation age is 24. They confuse correlation with causation and think that they need to wait to apply simply because theyre younger than average.
As noted above, your age is far less important than the quality of your application. Some students are sufficiently strong applicants after three years of college whereas, for many others, graduating in three years means a lower GPA, less research and extracurricular experience, distant relationships with mentors, and missing out on opportunities like study abroad, coursework outside of the sciences, and campus life.
Similarly, some of our best students go straight through from undergrad to med school whereas others need more time to strengthen their candidacy via gap year activities like Special Masters Programs, post-bacc programs, MCAT study, and so on. This can be true for four-year and early graduates alike.
The bottom line is: it all comes down to the strength of your application at the time that you apply.
Earn College Credit During High School
One of the easiest ways to graduate college early is to start early. Coming into college with credits allows you to start off at higher course levels and stay a step ahead. High school students can knock out a full semester’s worth of required courses well before college even starts.
Many high schools offer Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes and exams, for which some colleges award credit. Other schools allow students to dual-enroll at nearby community colleges.
You can earn college credit at certain schools for passing AP and IB exams.
Another great option is to take summer courses at a community college. High schoolers can rack up professional certificates this way. Earning practical skills in fields like medical administration or real estate may count toward a college’s elective requirements.
Just make sure to check with the community college and ideally the four-year college or university you know you want to attend to ensure the credits will transfer.
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You Want To Pursue An Opportunity Before College
You might also have another opportunity you want to take advantage of that isn’t related to school or classes. This could be an internship to get career experience, a job to earn money, or a similar opportunity you think is worth finishing high school early for.
Gap years, in which students take a year or so off from school to travel, work, or have a different experience, are becoming increasingly popular among high school and college-aged students. If you decide to do one, there are lots of options available, depending on your interests. You could work at a theater, help out at an archaeological dig, volunteer, and so on.
Spending a year away from school can help you get a better idea of how you want to spend the rest of your lifeand it can also give you some great, enriching experiences.
Why You Should Graduate From College Early How Its Done
If you are wondering if you should graduate from college early, I have to start off by congratulating you for even considering the question. Just thinking about this issue proves that you are a forward-thinking person. Believe me, for most of your friends, long-term thinking doesnt extend beyond the weekend and deciding which party to attend this Saturday night. OK. Enough pats on the back. Lets get down to business.
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Younger When Joining The Workforce
It can be hard enough joining the workforce as a four-year graduate and possibly being the youngest one at the office, so graduating a year or a semester early could potentially be even more difficult. That is not to say that your age should affect your perception of yourself and your potential, but starting your first job always has a learning curve. Additionally, if you havent allotted yourself enough time to gain experience during college you may have a steeper learning curve than someone who has taken more time to graduate and develop their skills.
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Complete Guide To How To Graduate College Early
Everyone wants something different out of college. Some want the traditional four-year experience, while others would rather graduate college early and save their money. If you belong to the latter group, youve come to the right place! Not only will graduating early save you money, but it gives you time to take a break and relax a little after graduation!
Keep on reading to find out the best ways to graduate college early. We cover how you can prepare in high school all the way through your final year of college.
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Many Students Are Looking For Ways To Graduate From College Early
Here are 7 of the top ways.
College is a learning experience and the next step to take after you graduate from high school,
Many adults even opt to go back to college because they want to get a new degree in a different field or decided not to right out of high school.
While a typical Associates degree lasts two years and a Bachelors degree lasts four years, these are just estimates and averages.
It will be up to you to determine if you can graduate from college early.
The true determination that decides what degree you get is the number of credits you accumulate. You have full control over how long it takes to get from the beginning to the end of your college career and if you will be able to graduate from college early.
How To Fast Track Your College Career
So how can you graduate early? The math is pretty simple. A typical college load is four classes a semester, so in a year you’re likely to take eight classes. To graduate a year early, you need to acquire eight classes worth of credit. You can do this a few ways:
With some professional programs such as engineering and education, graduating early is rarely an option .
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Your Guide To Graduating Earlyand Staying Sane Too
As a college student trying to juggle school with internships and jobs, decide on a major, and pay for your education, its hard to imagine obtaining your bachelors degree in less than four years. In factmany people dont. The average completion time for a four-year degree is currently 4.7 years for full-time students, and 5.6 years for part-time students.
But not only is it possible to stick to the four-year track, its completely doable to graduate in even less time. Yes, it takes a little sacrifice and some hard work, but graduating early can help you save money and get a head start on the job hunt. Keep reading for some simple tricks to get on the fast track.
You Want To Enter The Workforce As Soon As Possible
Some high school students know early on what they want to do professionally and don’t want or need to go to college in order to enter this field and be successful as a result, you might want to graduate early so you can get started as soon as possible on establishing your career and earning a consistent income.
Entering the workforce at a younger age does come with its own set of challenges, of course , but it can be an ideal path for those who are ready to put in the energy and effort needed to find success.
Graduating high school early to start working might also be a good option for you if you want or need to start making money right away, whether to support yourself or your family.
The majority of college applicants are high school seniors, and most of the college application advice out there is aimed at them. But what do you do if you don’t fall into this narrow category? Our eBook on how to prepare for and apply to college as a nontraditional student will walk you through everything you need to know, from the coursework you should have under your belt to how to get letters of recommendation when you’re not a high school senior.
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Pro: You Could Save Money
According to data collected by U.S. News & World Report , the average yearly tuition and fees at an in-state public college were $10,116 for the 2019-2020 yearand $36,801 at a private college. That means if you graduated early, you could save a pretty penny by skipping an entire year of tuition.
However, before making this a deciding factor, it might be a good idea to calculate the cost of summer-school credits, a year-round dorm, and the cost of taking overload credits.
Many schools have limits on the number of credits you can take at a time, and they may require you to get permission to go over the max . You may also have to pay more for those credits.
Graduate From College Early By Planning From The Beginning
Speak with an advisor and inform them of your intentions to graduate from the program early. Many classes have prerequisites that need to be completed before enrolling.
If you dont organize your schedule very carefully, you may end up a semester behind in your planning. Lay out a base plan for the classes that you want to take from your first semester up through your last.
Also keep in mind that some classes are only available in one of the two semesters for the year.
Speak with your advisor every semester before registering to ensure youre on the right track to graduate from college early.
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S For Graduating College Early
It’s possible to graduate college in three years or less for some majors, but few students do. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, just 41% of college students graduate within four years.
Graduating on time or sooner even by just one semester means getting a jumpstart on your career and spending less time paying off student loans. Here are three ways you can plow through college to earn your degree and break into that job market more quickly.
Is Graduating Early For You
The obvious advantage to graduating early is entering the workforce as soon as possible and finding a job that much sooner. Even for students within the “traditional” age range with no kids or spouses, the possibility of saving money and time is certainly appealing. The College Affordability and Transparency Center, run by the Department of Education, can give you an estimate of how to graduate college early, how much traditional degrees will cost, and how much you might save by abbreviating your academic career.
But it takes more than just a desire for less time and tuition savings to fit in with an accelerated degree plan. Most programs court students who are career-driven and who already hold a solid idea of what they want to accomplish post-graduation. Students unsure about their career goals would more than likely benefit from a traditional education on campus, as it provides them with more time, training, and guidance to make decisions.
“Balancing work, family, and coursework is always a challenge,” says Deann Sterner, Director of Academic Advising, Undergraduate Programs, at Bellevue University, regarding how to graduate college early. Accelerated degree plans require just as many credit hours as their predecessors. Participants usually have to sacrifice summer vacations, sign up for minimesters, and/or take a larger-than-usual course load to finish within the given time and GPA parameters.
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How To Graduate From High School Early
Early graduation is a dream for many high school students. The earlier your teen graduates high school, the sooner they can move onto ideal college programs and/or kick-start their career.
However, while early graduation is touted as a common benefit of homeschooling a high schooler, it is hard work.
Its important to understand the benefits and reality of finishing high school early. The flexibility of homeschooling does provide wiggle-room for adding extra courses while homeschooling the high school years, but keep in mind: it is double the work. Completing high school early is an incredible opportunity for many students, but it can also feel very draining.
Be sure you know what youre getting into.
Still, it is an exciting idea and we are here to celebrate the possibility! This article will give you the why, the how, and the what for graduating early. Youll learn:
- The benefits of accelerated graduation
- How to graduate early as a homeschooler
- Graduate early according to homeschool high school requirements