Getting a Degree On Time

Obtaining an online bachelor's degree in the standard four years is becoming less common. Students now take five, six, and sometimes even seven years to earn a four-year degree because of personal life obligations or the need to work while in school. While outside factors may affect your ability to earn a degree on time, there are things you can do to expedite your college career to be sure you get your degree in a timely fashion:

First, it’s important to be realistic. Associate’s degrees typically take two years to complete, bachelor's degrees four years, and graduate programs can take anywhere from two to eight years. (Remember, these are estimates for full-time students who can complete at least 12 semester hours per term.) Tailor your goals to your ability to complete course hours realistically, and consider all extra factors like home and work obligations. By setting a realistic timeline you are more likely to complete your course work in this frame, without stretching out the time it takes you to earn your degree.

It costs money to stretch our your college career. Each additional semester you spend enrolled in college comes with a hefty tuition price tag, as well as extras like books and transportation. Keep your college costs to a minimum by earning your degree in four years. You can even minimize your overall college cost by taking college courses or AP courses in high school. 

Speaking with a career advisor will help keep you on track towards earning your degree. Your advisor will be able to provide information regarding exactly what you need to earn your degree on time. Additionally, they will keep you accountable for the classes you’ve missed and the grades you’ve earned. Even missing one course can force your college career to take longer than expected, so it’s important to take advantage of career and academic advisors.

If you’ve dropped more than one class, or received a grade in a class that you were not happy with, consider taking courses over summer or mid-term break if there is an opportunity at your school. Not only will you benefit from smaller class sizes, but you’ll also be taking steps to make sure you graduate on time. If the course you need to take isn’t being offered in the summer, research whether or not it is available in neighboring community colleges.

There are a number of ways to stay on track during your college career, but the most important thing is to set goals and make sure you’re being held accountable for those goals. Graduating on time will allow you to enter the job market sooner and keep your tuition bills to a minimum. Work with your career center to be sure you will graduate on time.

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