Is it possible to graduate college early, or faster than the average student? Find out!
College is often a key prerequisite for achieving long-term success. It can lead to great career outcomes, high earning potential, and advancement opportunities in life. The benefits are easy to see. However, committing to a college program is not as easy as it sounds. Traditional colleges often boast a four-year degree model, which can be intimidating for students with other obligations. If you are already working, have a family, or simply have ambitious goals, you may be seeking a faster, more flexible option.
Fortunately, there are ways to graduate college early. The flexible degree programs at Goodwin University, for example, can be customized to meet students’ unique needs. Most of our students today have full-time jobs, family obligations, and busy lives outside the classroom. We work hard to ensure a college education is still attainable for them.
If you are wondering how to graduate college early, here are our recommendations:
1. Take accelerated courses.
One of the best ways to graduate college early is to enroll in accelerated classes. Accelerated courses allow students to complete their degrees faster than average. Rather than a standard semester that runs for 15 weeks, accelerated classes typically take 7.5 weeks to complete (half the typical time!).
While accelerated classes are more intensive than standard courses, they often offer more flexibility with online or hybrid class formats. They can also help students save money on tuition, due to the shorter duration. Accelerated college classes are ideal for ambitious students looking to finish their degree early, and can even be a resume highlight, demonstrating your drive to future employers.
2. Commit to more semesters per year.
Traditional colleges and universities offer fall and spring semesters. However, if you are looking to finish college earlier than your peers, you may consider enrolling in a summer semester, too. At Goodwin University, there are always three academic sessions offered each year. Students may take the 15-week summer semester for faster degree completion. Students can meet their goals at an accelerated pace, and have the potential to earn a bachelor’s degree in just three years full-time (vs. the traditional four). In addition, we accept applications year-round and have six class starts per year, so that you can get started on your college career when you are ready.
3. Transfer credits! If you’re still in high school, start earning college credits now.
Transferring credits can also help you graduate college early. If you have already completed some postsecondary education, be sure to transfer those course credits over to your new program. You have already spent some time in school, and those hard-earned hours should count! Most college credits do not expire. Talk to your admissions counselor about the transfer process and requirements. At Goodwin, we are here to make the transition as seamless as possible. We can evaluate your prior learning (usually in less than one business day) and transcripts, and help you earn credits for prior:
- College education
- Work experience or professional development training
- Military training
- Personal and volunteer experiences
If you are still in high school and researching ways to graduate college early, you can start by planning ahead now. Many high schools – such as Connecticut River Academy – allow juniors and seniors to earn college credits early. There are also “early college” programs designed for high school students who aspire to finish college fast. You can learn about some of Goodwin’s options for high schoolers here.
Graduating from Goodwin University
At Goodwin, our goal is to help you achieve your career goals and put college within your reach. Most of our degree programs offer a range of day, evening, and weekend courses. In addition, many classes are offered online and in accelerated formats, for added flexibility.
Upon enrollment, our academic advising team will evaluate any previous college credits you’ve earned. We will discuss your needs, help you prepare for class selections, and design a course schedule that works for you – rather than a schedule you have to work around.
To learn about the flexible programs available at Goodwin University, please call 800-889-3282. You may also visit us online.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.