Early Graduation: What Students Need to Know
Typically, a student who has been able to graduate school in less than four years is an early graduate. By becoming a graduate in less time, students can save money and still earn the credential they need to begin their professional careers. There’re different ways to graduate early and step into the job market more quickly.
One of the simplest ways to graduate early is to begin early. Beginning college with credits allows students to begin at higher course levels. High school students can complete a full semester’s worth of necessary courses well before the beginning of college. Many high schools offer International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) programs and exams by clearing which students might earn credits from colleges. Students can also take summer courses at community colleges to earn professional certificates. Obtaining practical skills in areas such as real estate or medical administration might count toward the elective requirements of a college.
Students can test out of different intro-level college courses via the College-Level Examination Program or CLEP. It’s administered by the College Board and is accepted by 2,900 universities and colleges. Students can earn three or more credits by passing each CLEP exam. However, the number of credits that can be earned varies by the college, so students must check their institution’s policy.
Students can plan to earn more credits by enrolling in classes over the summer. Most colleges have limitations on the number of credits students can earn per term. While in some cases, colleges can make special exceptions, they might charge extra fees for earning additional credits.
By graduating early and entering the job market quickly, an individual not only receives an additional year of wages but fast-tracks higher wages and promotions as well. When students, who took four years to graduate, enter the job market, an early graduate is hitting their second year in the field.
However, higher education isn’t only about the career students get out of it. The college experience involves exploration and conversations, but students, who plan to graduate early, might fail to leverage these opportunities. They also get less time to digest their learning and explore new ideas. A college education is aimed at developing well-rounded individuals, and it takes time to become one. Leaving college sooner means having less time to become acquainted with the professors, develop a college circle, and take part in activities that make college life unique.