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How to Earn Your Degree Faster

August 26, 2019 9:49am

Between work, family, and life, adults today are stretched thin. So when it comes to heading back to school to complete their college educations, time is of the essence. While it does take time to earn a degree, the good news is that earning an education doesn’t have to take years anymore! In fact, some degree programs today can be completed in under two years! Here are some ways to shave time off the clock to graduation!

Choose an accelerated online program

Online degree programs offer an array of benefits – especially for adult learners. For starters, you won’t lose time commuting to and from class since you can attend class from any location of your choice! Online classes also make it possible to study and complete homework as it fits into your schedule. Most online programs offer accelerated courses every six or eight weeks. While this does mean you will have more work to do in a shorter amount of time, you also complete classes more quickly. Online classes are usually offered throughout the calendar year, saving you from losing time waiting out winter and summer breaks to start your next class.

Stick to the plan

Meet with your academic advisor at the time of your enrollment to discuss your academic plan. They will be able to tell you what classes to take and in what order, so you don’t miss a class that’s offered or waste time taking unnecessary classes. Once you’ve created a plan, do your very best to stick to it. Missing out on a class that’s being offered during a certain session could potentially throw you off track for a few months if it’s not being offered again right away. Maintaining good communication with your advisor is crucial to them helping you stay on the right path in the event you do need to suspend classes for one or more sessions, or other issues arise.

Test out of classes

Why take classes if you already know the material? If you think you know enough about a class, you should test out of it. This will not only save you time – it will save you money. You can test out of classes via Advanced Placement (AP) testing, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), or DSST (formerly DANTES Subject Standardized Testing). Many schools offer college credit for AP scores of 3 or higher. CLEP tests are administered at CLEP centers and consist of intro-level college course material that learners can test out of. They are often used in conjunction with DSST which are utilized for both lower and upper level college credit. They are similar to final exams in undergraduate level courses. The tests cost around $85, but it’s much cheaper than a college course, so it’s worth exploring with an admissions counselor prior to enrolling in a program.

Transfer credits

Transferring credits from a prior college is the easiest way to walk across the graduation stage faster. Be sure to submit all your academic transcripts from every college you have ever attended – no matter how long it’s been. Each college’s transfer policy is different, but this could shave a number of classes off the list of those required for a degree. There is no reason to repeat classes you’ve already spent time and money completing.

You might also enjoy reading these articles:

How to Make College More Affordable
What to Look for When Choosing an Online Degree
Are Accelerated Online Courses Right for Me?

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