Only 41% of four-year college students graduate in four years! So what? Well, it costs much more to graduate in five or six years. Add between $18,000 and $45,000 to your four-year bill, depending on whether or not you are at an in-state college, at a public college, or attending a private college. Also the longer you take to graduate the less likely you will graduate, according to statistics.
So how can you make it easier on yourself to graduate on time? Here are some tips.
Tip # 1 – Stay focused on academics. – Don’t let distractions take you away from studying. If you don’t study, you might fail courses and fall behind on credits, having to make them up. You can also be put on academic probation and even have to sit out a semester if you don’t get back on track. Commuting, living off-campus, too much extracurricular involvement, too much partying, and too much social media should be put aside for hitting the books. You should also keep work hours to 25 hours a week. It has been shown that 30 hours a week adversely affects grades. It’s the 80-20 rule, but it’s 20% in class time to 80% of out-of-class studying.
Tip # 2 – And, speaking of credits, take at least 15 credits per semester. – Yes, many times students can end up with more credits than they need doing it this way, but think of these facts:
• You can take up to 18 credits for the flat price of 12 credits in many colleges. Save money!
• You can graduate earlier if you take more credits. Save money!
• Students who take more credits have higher grades than those who don’t. Be smart!
• Taking 15 credits a semester can be a good cushion against anything that might set you back unexpectedly, or it can give you an easier last semester to allow job hunting time. Be smart!
Tip # 3 – Avoid transferring. – Why?–because you often lose credits, adding years to your degree. First, many colleges, even within the same system, do not honor all credits earned elsewhere. Second, requirements for a degree can vary so you might be able to transfer credits but still be missing requirements that you thought you had met. Finally, professors may check your syllabi of courses you have taken and can ultimately refuse credits toward your degree because those classes might not meet the criteria they are looking for. The department where you earn your degree has the final say.
College is a great experience, but who can afford more than four years? Not many!