College is an important experience. It’s not just a time for learning – it’s also a time for personal growth.
Unfortunately, spending four years in college is just not feasible for some.
Whether this is due to financial pressure or life goals, some people want to get the college experience faster.
Below are three ways you can get everything you need from college on a shorter timeline.
Picking a Different Path
One of the best ways to get a college experience without putting in four years is to pursue a career that doesn’t require a four year degree. If your dream job requires an associate’s degree, for example, you can attend a community college. As many community colleges have the same kind of social atmosphere as a major university, this will allow you to enjoy the social experience of college on a smaller time scale.
The same principle applies to trade schools – you’ll learn a valuable trade quickly, while still enjoying a very typical college experience. Institutions like the Interactive College of Technology often cater to the needs of older or working individuals who need a more accelerated course of study, and can provide any student with the same services.
Doubling Down on Classes
If you want a four year degree quickly, you can speed up the process by doubling up on your classes. Most colleges suggest that students take roughly one eighth of their required credits per semester; if you want to speed things up, taking just one three credit class per semester can actually shave a full year off of your schedule.
If you want to go even faster, you can take classes during the summer. If you combine these two methods, you can usually finish a four year degree in under three years.
Taking Online Courses
If you’re looking for a good way to speed up the class portion of college, you can also look at schools that offer online classes. If you primary goal is academics, this is perhaps the fastest way to graduate. Classes are generally available at any time of the day or night, so those students who couldn’t usually manage a heavy course load will be able to make their classes suit their schedules. While you might miss out on some of the socialization of college this way, you can still meet with other students to form online study groups.
With the help of trade schools, community colleges, and online classes you can finish college at your speed. You don’t have to give anything up to get through the process faster and you’ll enjoy your experience more. Once you know how to accomplish your goals, the speed of completion is up to you.