College is supposed to only last four years. With the expense of going to college in the US these days, you need for it to only last four years. However, life gets in the way and sometimes, getting all 120+ required credits done by your Senior year seems like an impossible task. Through strict planning and commitment, though, graduating on time is possible. These are our tips for walking on graduation day with your class:
Plan ahead. Most colleges give students access to all the courses they need to complete in order to graduate with a specific major. If you know you major, map out all four years of school. This way, you know exactly what classes you need to be taking each semester. Of course, be flexible to changes in the curriculum as well as interests or spontaneous study abroad trips. It’s okay if you decide to add a minor or switch your major at some point. Just make sure you update your plan accordingly.
Meet with your advisor. Most schools assign an advisor to all students to make sure they are all on track. Make sure you set up a time to meet every semester before registering for classes, to make sure the courses you have selected are the best choices for you. Make sure you’re always prepared and are well informed on the curriculum of your specific major or program. Advisors are great but they meet with a lot of students and can make mistakes. You don’t want to end up in the wrong class and then having to change your graduation date!
Take summer classes. If you are a double major or decide to change your major at the last minute, chances are graduating in eight semesters will be tough. However, most schools offer summer classes where you can knock out at least two courses in two months. Plus, most schools will let you take a certain amount of credit hours from other institutions. So even if you go home for the summer, you can take online classes and knock out some credits. Make sure you always talk to your school about transferring credits from other schools because they sometimes have strict rules.
Don’t fail any classes. That’s just a dumb way to give more money to your school.
Understand additional graduating requirements. Most schools have some other requirements, besides completing the coursework, that students need to mark off before graduating. From exit exams, to attending a certain number of seminars, make sure you know what you may be missing before graduation date creeps in. You don’t want to have to stay an extra semester just because you didn’t have enough volunteer hours!