How to Speed Up the College Completion Process

How to Speed Up the College Completion Process
  • Opening Intro -

    The typical college student is no longer the 18- to 24-year-olds that finished high school and immediately went on to college.

    Today's college students are a diverse lot and include military veterans, stay-at-home mothers, business folk, and others.


Those that are not part of the younger set are considered “non-traditional students” or individuals that typically attend classes on a part-time basis.

Going to college part-time is often the only option for returning students. The process can take the better part of a decade to complete, putting pressure on marriages, families and employers along the way.

Here is how you can speed up the college completion process:

1. Investigate CLEP. The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) may make it possible for students to take exams to prove proficiency in certain subjects. If accepted by a college, CLEP exams can help students quickly acquire credits that will count toward graduation. Before you take a CLEP exam you need to find out your college’s CLEP policy.

2. Prior classes may transfer. If you have been out of college for years, credits you have taken earlier may still be transferrable. There are time limits and credit limits that colleges allow, but that “Modern European History” or “Health Science Foundations” courses you took years ago may count toward your current degree. Speak with your college adviser about your past academic work.

3. Stay on target. One of the frustrating things that college students must contend with are those courses that cannot count toward their degree. Typically, this happens when students switch majors, perhaps moving from Biology to Business Administration. Some courses may count as electives while others will not. Clearly, you need to know what degree you want to pursue and stay on track at all times. Deviate just a bit and you may extend your already lengthy degree pursuit by a calendar year or more.

4. Take online courses. Even if you attend college in person, you may be able to supplement your courses by taking online classes too. Online courses typically allow students to work at their own pace, enabling them to acquire credit as they complete each course. Your current college may offer such courses or accept courses from accredited colleges and universities for transfer to your school.

5. Get the good grades. No matter your pace of study, you need to get good grades in every class. That definition of “good” is typically a “B” or better. Getting at least a “C” can be acceptable too, but if you get a “D” grade you may not be able to transfer that course to another school if you have to. The higher the grade, the better for your GPA. Graduates with higher GPAs tend to get better job offers and may have a better chance of getting promoted too.

Scheduling Matters

Balancing work, family and school can be very difficult to do. You can ask your family members to help out by having everyone pitch in and share the burden of cleaning the home, picking up younger siblings from school and sports practice, and by shopping and food preparation. The less pressure on you, the more likely you will reach your education goals and sooner too.

See AlsoCLEP Your Way to a College Degree


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Categories: Academics