Students who have a plan to graduate and stick with it are more likely complete their degree programs. Don't waste time and money on the wrong courses or the wrong major. Plan on finishing college faster with Learn More Indiana’s tips for success.
Take 15 to finish
Indiana launched the 15 to Finish initiative to show college students how important it is to take at least 15 credits each semester. The faster you finish college, the sooner you'll jumpstart your career and have more money in your pocket. An additional year of college can cost you more than $50,000 in extra tuition, lost wages and related costs. Learn more about why you need to commit to 15 to Finish. If you're receiving state financial aid, 15 to Finish can help you meet 30-60-90 requirements (30 credits by the end of your first year of college, 60 by the end of your second, 90 by the end of your third, and graduating at the end of your fourth).
Commit to a major
The most important thing you can do to finish college on time is commit to a college major—the subject you will spend the most time studying. Changing your major will change your graduation requirements. That means many of the courses you've already taken won't count.
You can make sure your major is right for you by exploring your skills and interests. You should also talk to professionals in your field to make sure you’ll like the job after you graduate. An internship can help you decide, too.
If you’re not sure which careers are a good fit for you, you can also investigate careers with Learn More Indiana’s resources.
Create a completion plan
Having a plan is the only way to know where you’re going. All public Indiana colleges should provide students with a degree map that clearly outlines which courses you need to take to finish your degree. You can find contact information for these colleges at the 15 to Finish website. If you're at a private college, you can still learn how to create your own college completion plan. Some semesters might be tough, but you will be proud of yourself for completing college with as little debt as possible.
Check out community colleges & regional campuses
If you are planning on a four-year degree, you may be able to start your college education at a two-year community college. Community college courses are cheaper and many transfer directly to Indiana’s four-year institutions. Check TransferIN.net to see how courses transfer among Indiana’s colleges.
If you are planning on attending the main campus of a public university, there may be a more affordable regional campus in your area. Regional campus courses may also transfer to private colleges, but you’ll have to check with the college or visit TransferIN.net.
If you are planning to transfer, make sure you talk to an advisor at your final destination. You'll want to make sure you are taking courses that will transfer towards your degree.
Try summer school
Earning credits in the summer could help you earn your degree in fewer semesters. Some colleges even discount their tuition rates during the summer semester, so it pays to ask. See which courses your college offers, or enroll at a community college or regional campus to save money on tuition.
A summer internship will provide valuable experience and help guide your career path. But, don’t make the mistake of thinking summer school and internships are necessarily incompatible. Many colleges offer first session or “Maymester” courses for just the month of May, allowing you to earn a few credits before starting an internship. You may also be able to take an evening or online course. Don’t forget to check out local community colleges, which usually offer many summer and online options.
Double dip on courses
If you’re still in high school, take advantage of dual-credit courses that allow you to earn high school and college credit simultaneously. Often the cost is less than it would be if you were taking the course as a college student, too. Check to make sure the class will transfer to your prospective colleges before signing up.
In college, you can double dip on courses, too. You can finish your degree faster and save money on tuition if you plan to take courses that count towards two or more requirements. For example, a British literature course may fulfill a general education requirement at your college while also counting toward your literature major and your history minor. Ask your advisor for help.
Get help on campus
If you find yourself struggling in any of your classes or you know that your math skills are in need of a brush-up, there are plenty of academic resources to help you – and the sooner you seek them out, the better off you’ll be. Ask a professor, your advisor or visit your college's homepage.
Sniff out graduation bonuses
Some of Indiana’s colleges have committed to helping students graduate on time by offering graduation incentives such as lower tuition. See if your campus offers a graduation bonus, and make your graduation promise today.