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College is an exciting time for students and parents, but if your student isn’t careful, they can end up in college for longer than 4 years! At first thought, this may seem fun, but when it takes longer to graduate from college, this will cost you more and delay the next steps for your student, whether that’s into the workforce or another degree of study. Founder of Transcript Maker, Matt Bass, is covering tips to graduate from college in 4 years (or less!)

Can you graduate in 4 years?

Though it seems that many students end up taking longer, you can still get a degree in 4 years, or less. However, this won’t just happen on its own because it’s very easy for students to get off track with the classes they need or the timing of those classes. These tips will help your student graduate from college on-time, or possibly early, saving money and time.

7 Tips to Graduate On Time (Or Early!)

  • Create a plan: Students need to know what courses you’ll take and when. Plans can change, but be aware of what the degree requires, talking with the college counselor if needed: that’s what they’re there for!
  • Consider your major: Choosing a major you already have interest in will help you be happy with that choice- changing majors can mean that you need additional courses which can slow you down. If students do want or need to change majors, try to do it within the same broader area of study.
  • Be wise with your selection of courses: Hopefully you follow tip number one and have a plan. But then, you need to stick with it. Make sure that the courses you select fulfill requirements. Electives are fun, but don’t take too many; be aware of how demanding the classes are when you plan your semester or quarterly schedule- you don’t want to have to drop classes or change plans mid-way through the term.
  • Don’t change schools midstream: If you change schools, chances are some credits will transfer, but not all, so you end up needing more time to make-up classes. It can also take time to get used to a new school, people, and living arrangements. Try your best not to change schools, unless it’s a part of your plan, like starting at a junior college and then going to a 4-year University.
  • Don’t work too much: We’re very supportive of having a job to help make college more affordable, but if you work too much and this gets in the way of taking classes or studying for them, then you’ll end up taking more time to get your degree.
  • Earn college credit while still in high school: Dual-enrollment is a great option, as well as AP classes when you’re in high school, so take a look at what courses might count for college credit.
  • Get credit for previous work experience: Depending on the work you do before high school (or even those summer jobs while you’re in college), you may be able to get credit for college. Talk with your counselor to see if any past or current work experience can get you college credit.

With all of these tips, it becomes much more realistic to graduate from college in 4 years (or less!).

Resources Mentioned:

How to Make College More Affordable

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