Blog

Browse All Blog Topics

Graduating Early: Should I and How Should I

Aug 27, 2007

by Scholarships.com Staff

With an increasing number of students taking and passing AP tests during their senior, sometimes junior, years of high school, early college graduation is an option for many. At numerous schools, entering college with AP credits is the norm—and I’m not just referring to the Ivy Leagues. When students enter their freshman year with sophomore status, they may have to decide if early graduation is a good option for them. Here are some things to consider before deciding whether to leave or to hang around.

FinancingLet’s start with the practical. For some students, financing is not a problem. They can afford to stay the whole four years—or will choose to stay, regardless of financial need. For others, this is not the case. Students who are already burdened down by loans may want to seriously consider early graduation. Yes, the college experience is important, but so is the post-college experience. Travel issues may not be a big deal until you find that a college bus doesn’t circle your workplace every seven minutes. You will need a car and your may want a new place to stay. Students should also remember that additional expenses kick in after college. You may be unable to claim dependency on medical insurance and tax returns, you don’t get good-grade discount on car insurance, and your movie tickets will cost more than $8—at least in the city.

InterestsEven those who are passionate about their major are likely to have unrelated interests. Most colleges do force students to take classes outside of their major, and, whether students like it or not, they will get a taste of something else. However, many students find ways to get around these requirements. They turn the opportunity to explore interests into the chance to take classes that scream experience on a resume or ones that scream easy credit—I’m not saying that I’m not guilty.

College is a great place to take classes that are odd and interesting, even if they require additional work. I wish I would have taken that class on Middle Eastern relations. It may sound odd to you, but it sounded cool to me. It would have made my hard life harder, but when am I going to get that chance again?

If you like college and want to explore options before leaving, you should do so. Just don’t stretch your reasoning for doing so. When I spoke to my counselor about leaving early, she was adamantly opposed to it. “Think of all those things you wanted to do,” she said.  “You can take those ice skating classes you have always dreamt about.” Ice skating? I don’t want to skate, especially if it costs $13,000 per year.

Those who have their minds made upIf you’re reading this article because you know what you want but need help getting there, here are my suggestions. Know that to graduate early, you need to stay organized: you need to plan ahead.

 
     
  • Get a list of graduation requirements. Check your college department website or contact your counselor for a list of required classes as they relate to your major. Take note of how many total credits, not just which classes, you will need. If you plan to graduate early by taking additional classes, split them up between semesters and, if possible, take some over the summer.
  •  
  • Pay attention to seasonally-changing classes. Some advanced-level classes may only be taken after the lower levels are accounted for. However, both levels may not be offered each semester. Take the lower levels as early as possible to make future scheduling easier. If this is your last semester and the required Biology 205 and Chemistry 302 are offered at the same time, you may have a problem. I know. You totally would have taken Bio 205 if it was offered last semester.  Don’t worry, this scenario is very avoidable.
  •  
  • Let your counselor know. Oftentimes, students need to declare their decision to graduate months ahead. Schools, especially big ones, assume that you will graduate within a certain amount of years. Let your counselor know about your plans, and ask who else, and when, needs a heads up.
  •  
  • Don’t be swayed. Counselors are there to help you, and it’s always good to take outside opinions into consideration. However, counselors cannot figure you out after a few meetings, and their experience with other students does not always apply to you. If you know what you want, don’t ask if you can. Ask how you can.
  •  

And remember, there’s no need to rely on expensive student loan options to pay for your college education. For more information on finding free scholarship money for college, conduct a Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

Posted Under : College Culture

Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



If you can read this, don't touch the following fields


 

Most Shared Articles

Prospective Rhode Island college students may score two years of free college with Governor Gina M. Raimondo's $30 million plan, Rhode Island's Promise. Beginning with the class of 2017, the plan would foot full tuition bills and mandatory fees, according to Inside Higher Ed.

In an effort to "knock down the financial barriers to obtaining a college degree," Gov. Raimondo's proposed [...]

0 months ago 0 comments Read More

College is supposed to be the best four years of your life. Or as one sociology professor claims: "a big four-year orgy." Was college always this fun? History may indicate otherwise, and Lisa Wade highlights a "demographic shift" 300 years ago that changed the college campus landscape and made colleges bastions of sex, booze, and entitlement.

U.S. colleges during the colonial era [...]

0 months ago 1 comments Read More

While you can always increase your chances at landing a scholarship - increasing your community service and extracurricular involvement, having good grades and writing strong essays - winning one isn't always guaranteed...or can it be? According to TIME Money, one way to secure a scholarship is to apply to, and attend a college that guarantees its incoming class free college money. Here [...]

0 months ago 5 comments Read More

A burglar who targeted college apartments in Cobb County is now in jail after Kayla Mesar, a freshman university wrestler threatened and scared him off campus property.

The identified suspect, Amir Williams had allegedly broken into several other college apartments near Life University before entering Mesar's unit through a back unit where her mother had stood. Mesar, who was around [...]

0 months ago 2 comments Read More

In hopes of boosting the local economy, Tennessee state education officials spent roughly $1 million this past year in advertising enticing college dropouts to finish what they started.

The state's partnership with Tennessee Reconnect is just one of several comeback programs established to combat the "nearly 37 million working adolescents nationwide [that] have some college credits [...]

1 months ago 1 comments Read More

College can be expensive, and while some may rely on scholarships, grants, loans or their parents to foot the bill, one Jacksonville woman got creative and sold her urine and positive pregnancy tests on Craigslist for a little extra cash.

Why would anyone ever purchase positive pregnancy tests or urine? The three-months pregnant woman, who chose to remain anonymous, didn't really [...]

1 months ago 3 comments Read More

Teenagers aren't using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco as much as they used to, according to a new national study. Substance use rates have declined significantly and are at their lowest since the 1990s. Despite this trend, researchers caution that there is still high use of marijuana for a certain age group.

The Monitoring the Future study, conducted by U-M's Institute for Social [...]

1 months ago 7 comments Read More

Rather than basically give you 23 birds for the first 7 of the 12 days of Christmas, we've compiled a holiday list of scholarships yule adore...with a head start too! Check out these scholarships that'll last a few days after you enjoy the holidays:

NATA Business Scholarship

[...]

1 months ago 3 comments Read More

The mantle of "College President" is one that includes a lot of responsibility and scrutiny, but for some in the higher ranks, the lucrative pay makes it worth it. According to data released by The Chronicle of Higher Education, some private-college presidents have made over $5.4 million in a single year.

The average annual salary for full-time college/university presidents in 2014 [...]

1 months ago 2 comments Read More