If you’re an adult who wants to go back to studying and get the degree you’ve always wanted or enhance your education with a masters, a fast track degree would be in your best interest. Perhaps you’re a student who is eager to kick start your professional life as soon as possible. There are ways in which you can get your degree faster. Check out these suggestions we have for you to finish your bachelor’s or master’s degree ASAP:
8 ways to get your degree faster
Find a college which has accelerated degree option
One of the fastest way to get a degree faster than usual is to attend a college or university which offers accelerated degree courses. These are called fast-track programs in which a bachelor’s degree can be completed in 3 years time. These degrees are very structured which do not offer you much choice. Some colleges offer extra support and guidance to those to want to complete the degree in the time allotted.
However, you have to check whether you would qualify for an accelerated degree, for example you might have to have a particular GPA in high school and maintain a certain GPA throughout the course too. Some programs stipulate that you live with parents during the course so that you don’t have to work to meet your housing expenses. Find out the easiest program so that you can clear it easily.
Consider an associate degree
One of the ways to get your degree faster is to get as associate degree. Associate degrees can be completed in 2 years time, and some accelerated associate programs last for only 1 year. Therefore, it is possible to get a degree in just one year. An advantage of an associate degree is that it costs less. The associate degrees are available in most of the community colleges, and in many online educational institutions.
Most of the associate degree programs in US require students to have 60 semester credits. Or you will need the credits from the coursework of approx classes or 90 quarter credits.
Associate degrees are accepted by most employers, for example you can get jobs such as web developer, assistant to occupational therapist, medical technician and so on. You will be able to find a lot of job opportunities online which are possible with an associate degree.
Attend college while in school
One of the ways to finish college early is to attend college while you’re in school. This is quite possible, as some universities and colleges make certain courses available to children who are still in school. This is known as ‘concurrent’ or ‘dual’ enrollment. Your high school counselor will have the information about dual enrolment so you could ask her help to start college early.
Some of the colleges which offer dual enrolment to help you get your degree faster require students to travel to the college campus. Others allow students to take the courses online, whereas some other colleges, the university faculty might teach college level courses at the high school or at a local center for career. Taking the easiest program will help you study concurrently in a successful manner.
Study while you’re working
The fastest way to a degree could be to study while you work before starting college. You can finish some of the classes by going in for courses which are meant for flexible schedules. Weekend or evening classes at the community college near you is one of the ways. Or, you could enroll for fast-paced online courses. In this manner, you can get some requirements cleared before you join college, and get credits before your degree program.
Part-time classes can help adults to get in the habit of going to school again full-time.
Take AP classes
You may already know this – taking AP or Advanced Placement classes in school are great to get your degree faster, as you can get college credit for AP classes. If you take the exam for your AP classes in school and score high, then you need not take as many classes in college. You do have to pay a fee for AP exam, but most high schools offer financial assistance to students who face difficulty in paying the AP exam fee. Your AP Coordinator or school counselor will help in reducing the fee.
Skip your minor
Find out about the colleges which do not require you to declare a minor. If you are not really interested in pursuing a career with the help of your minor, then you can skip the minor. If you drop all the minor classes, you could save a whole semester of work. So if the minor is not critically important to you, just focus on the major and skip your minor to save time.
Study for a degree online
One of the ways for adults to finish college early is to take courses online which are usually self-paced. This is a great solution for adults who want to add a qualification to their resume in the shortest time possible, without leaving their jobs. You can sincerely give all the free time you have to your course, so you can finish it as soon as possible. There are many master’s and bachelor’s degrees online you can study when it is convenient for you, without attending a college.
Get credits for life experience
To get your degree faster, you need as many credits as you can, as fast as you can. Depending on the college, you can get limited credit based on your portfolio, which proves your understanding of specific skills and knowledge. Make an impressive portfolio, which details your previous jobs, leadership activities, volunteerism, accomplishments, community participation and so on.
Get your CLEP credits
College Level Examination Program or CLEP allows students and adults to pick up credits for things you know already. To get CLEP credits, you have to give the CLEP exam. Talk to the school counselor or visit the CLEP website to find a CLEP center near you. However, before you take your CLEP exam, make sure that the college/s you are interested in, accept the CLEP credits.
There are online courses to help in the preparation for CLEP exam. Presently there are 33 CLEP exams covering business, science and math, social sciences and history. You would have to pay around 85 dollars to take one CLEP exam.
To get a degree fast, you have to stick to your plan, forego extra-curricular activities, which do not earn any college credit and just concentrate on your studies to pass all your semesters on time.