Here it is the end of the Fall Semester. Some college students are graduating this December because they took an extra semester to earn their degree. Many college students take more than one extra semester. They might take five, even six years to graduate.
But, that extra time means money. If you can graduate on time, or even ahead of time, think of the money you save and about the fact you are earning a full-time salary sooner.
It is well worth any effort you take to graduate on time.
Time—that’s the first place to start. Make college time as important as your time. It’s nice to have free Fridays, but take courses when they are offered even if it’s inconvenient for you. Better now than to wait until next semester when suddenly the course may not even be offered.
Speaking of time, some college students are short on time because they have to work to earn their way through college. Indeed, you may have to work, but remember it’s a part time job that you are working to give you the opportunity for full time work. The longer you wait to graduate, the longer before you have a decent paycheck. Weigh carefully how important a part-time job is and what it pays against the extra cost of another semester. Sometimes it’s better to switch jobs so you get a better schedule that complements your college class load.
Don’t switch majors, especially if your major is only slightly different from the major you’re changing to. Remember that a general liberal arts degree goes a long way. A history, English, or political science major prepares you for lots of things: business, law, even medical school, if you take a few extra science courses. If you switch majors, you’re very likely to add time to your college stay.
If you need more courses, to finish early, to make up credit, or to double major, think about taking some courses at your local community college during the summer. That will preclude your needing to take more semester work at higher prices at your four-year college. Just make sure the courses at the community college will transfer.
And, for those of you planning for college, try to get a jump start. Take AP classes in high school. You then go to college with earned credits. You can even become an upperclassman early so you can register earlier and take upper level class classes earlier.
Time is money. An education is important, but only because it propels you into the full-time work world. Get there as soon as you can for the least amount of money!