After learning the pros and cons of early graduation in college, you will understand whether early graduation looks bad to colleges.
Many teenagers are making the decision to leave high school early, whether they are academically gifted or just eager to start college earlier. Parents of early graduates worry that their children will miss out on important high school social experiences.
Reading this blog first is recommended if you want to finish college sooner.
Does Early Graduation Look Bad to Colleges?
No. Since graduation rates are low, many colleges encourage their students to leave school early or within four years. Often, students who may not be able to maintain the grind will be on track to graduate in five or more years, and some end up not graduating at all because of it.
The average four-year graduation rate nationwide in 2017 was 35% for public colleges and 53% for private ones, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. More students are graduating within six (54.8%) or even eight years (60.4%), according to Inside Higher Ed.
This is primarily a focus due to the fact that colleges use graduation rates as a metric, in part, for evaluating the caliber of the university (which is controversial in many circles).
Programs like UH in Four at the University of Houston encourage students to complete their studies in four years, which helps the university’s four-year graduation rate.
Some students, however, merely require more time, perhaps in order to work in order to pay for their classes, to complete an internship over the course of an entire semester, or even in order to cultivate that vital critical-thinking skill that is a necessary part of the college experience.
It’s common to want or need to extend your studies by a semester or two for a variety of reasons, so neither universities nor you should be judgmental if this is the case. Learn How to Get Good Grades in College.
What Are the Cons of Graduating Early from College?
But the value of a college education goes beyond what jobs students can get after graduating. The college experience involves exploration and conversations, but students, who plan to graduate early, might fail to leverage these opportunities. Additionally, they have less time to process their education and explore novel concepts.
It takes time to become a well-rounded person, which is what a college education is meant to foster. Less time spent in college means less time to meet professors, form a circle of friends and engage in the experiences that define college life.
Here are effective methods to improve your grades:
How to Graduate Early in College?
Starting early is one of the simplest ways to graduate early. Students who start college with credits can enroll in more advanced classes. Before starting college, high school students can finish all of the required courses in one semester.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) programs and exams are offered by many high schools, and they allow students to earn college credits. Students can obtain professional certificates by enrolling in summer courses at community colleges. Learning practical skills in fields like real estate or medical administration may count toward a college’s elective requirements.
The College-Level Examination Program, or CLEP, allows students to test out of a variety of introductory college courses. 2,900 universities and colleges accept it, which is managed by the College Board. 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.
Enrolling in classes over the summer is one way for students to make plans to earn more credits. The maximum number of credits a student can earn in a term is typically restricted at colleges. Colleges may impose additional fees for obtaining additional credits, though they occasionally have the discretion to make special exceptions.
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. An early graduate is in their second year in the field when students who took four years to graduate enter the job market.
With what you now know, should you graduate in the following three years? Examine your priorities and requirements to help you make the best decision for your life.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What advantages does graduating earlier offer? What am I going to find waiting for me there?
You may have been drawn to a particular job opportunity, the chance to start a family sooner, or the prospect of paying off debt. Whatever the case may be, know your “why” before embarking on this ambitious journey.
- What will I lose out on if I graduate early?
Only you have the answer to this. It all comes down to priorities. Do you want to take advantage of college experiences like spring break, a summer trip to Cancun, and studying abroad? To graduate more quickly, would you rather limit or avoid those experiences?
- How will I proceed if I’m unsure of my intentions?
College students are known to change their majors a few times while earning their undergraduate degree. Students who are undecided may benefit from delaying their major declaration. You might need some time to decide what you want to do after college if you’re not sure.
You won’t likely have to struggle with this choice if your career path is completely clear to you. If you are debating changing your major, you could also start out with a goal of graduating in three years or less and then readjust if you change your mind. Remember that nothing in your life is final until you make that choice; it is your life.
- How much money do I actually save?
Make sure to account for the cost of your winter and summer break classes, as well as any additional fees you might incur during the regular semester if you take more credits than what is required.
Conclusion: Early Graduation
Should students try to graduate sooner, wait four years, or spend more time on campus? Naturally, that depends on your circumstances. Many students need to graduate college in as few semesters as possible for financial reasons and to manage affordability.
Does Graduating a Semester Early Look Bad to Colleges?
According to Next Step Magazine, “Although graduating early requires extra cooperation with your guidance counselor, and often a heavier course load during your remaining time at high school, it says something to college admissions officers about your dedication to your studies.”
Is It Worth Graduating Early?
By graduating early, you’ll be able to enter the professional world faster. This means that, in comparison to your peers who decide to complete an additional year of college, you will be able to enjoy the financial benefits of having a diploma sooner.
Is Graduating a Year Early Hard?
To graduate in under four years, you’ll have to take a tougher course load than your peers do. You might need to take five or six classes, as opposed to just three or four. It can be stressful to try to balance your schoolwork and other commitments with such a demanding schedule.
Is Graduating at 22 Too Old?
Most Americans start college when they are 18 years old. So many students who successfully complete a four-year program are 22 when they do so. Students are frequently older than 22 when they graduate from some programs because they require a 5th year (or 10 semesters’ worth of credits).