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Best Ways to Graduate On Time in 4 Years

graduate on time

The average college student is taking 6 years to get a 4 year degree.  Don’t be part of that statistic!  Use these tips to graduate on time.

  1. Do your research!  When you are looking at colleges, look carefully at graduation rates and make sure that the majority of students are graduating in 4 years.  If they aren’t, ask why this is happening.  Is it because they run out of money?  Is it because they don’t have enough professors in certain majors?
  2. Meet often with your Academic Adviser.  You want to make sure you are always on top of requirements so you can graduate on time. Your Adviser should know the ins and outs of the courses, majors and credits available at your school.  If they don’t, ask for another Adviser or ask for a Dean.
  3. Take required general education and major classes first.  Getting requirements done with first means that you have more flexibility later.  Leaving requirements until the end if often problematic for students for a variety of reasons.
  4. Transfer in elective credits. Electives are the courses you take that are not part of your major or general education requirements at your school.  Electives are the easiest courses to transfer in for general credit.
  5. Meet with the department chair for your major. They might be more flexible than you think about required courses in the major.  Maybe they will help you find appropriate substitutions for required classes or maybe they can help you find an equivalent class in another department.
  6. Think about changing your major.  Many majors overlap such as psychology and communications or sociology and anthropology or history and political science.  Based on your interest and coursework, you might find it easier to finish one major over another. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you major in, if you can articulate your skills and interests clearly in a job interview.
  7. Take more than the required courses in a semester.  Some schools will allow you to take more than the usual 3 or 4 courses for full-time student status.  You will be extremely busy but it might pay off if you can finish more courses in less time. Just don’t let those grades or your health suffer!
  8. Work for credit.  Some campuses will allow you to work in an internship for credit.  Make sure you know what the procedures, fees and policies are. Again, your Adviser or Career office should know the details here.
  9. Take summer courses.  Summer courses are often given at less cost and are less crowded.
  10. Make sure to do well in all your classes.  Many students do not finish on time because they have failed a class or two along the way.  If you feel like you are in danger of failing, talk to your teacher and see if you can re-take the class for a better grade without re-registering for it or if you can do extra work to pull up your grade.
  11. If you have changed your major, talk to your adviser or department chair to see if you can use some of the old major’s classes in your new major somehow.

If you are currently in HS or college and worried about graduating on time, please contact My College Planning Team‘s Academic team and we will assist in finding possible solutions.

Anita Gajula is a caring, dedicated, and experienced professional. She received her Bachelors in Psychology from Williams College and a Masters in Higher Education from the University of Michigan. After ten years of experience in the college setting, she is now an Independent College Counselor because she loves to learn about different colleges and match students to their best fit. She is especially passionate about the liberal arts setting and working with undecided students.

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