Graduating on time can help make college more affordable, but many full-time students do not earn enough credit hours each semester to complete an associate degree in two years or a bachelor’s degree in four years.

Earning 15 or more credit hours a semester can help you finish a degree in less time – and at less cost.

Make a plan to graduate on time:

    • Know how many credit hours you need for the degree you are seeking. The number of hours can vary depending on your major and the college or university you attend.
    • Complete 15 or more credit hours each semester to put you on track to graduate on time. Make sure the courses you take count toward your degree.
    • Consider all your options – online and summer classes can help you get the credit hours you need. Taking dual-credit and Advanced Placement (AP) classes in high school can give you a head start on earning college credit.

Time is money

Attending school full time does not mean you will graduate on time. Taking 12 credit hours a semester is considered full time for most financial aid programs, but it is not enough to complete an associate degree in two years or a bachelor’s degree in four years. Students earning 12 hours a semester often need an extra year or more to finish their degree.

An additional year of college can cost more than $50,000 in tuition, fees, room and board, and the wages you would have earned if you had graduated on time and joined the workforce full time.

For many students, more time in college can also mean more student loan debt. Graduating on time is one sure way you can cut college costs and reduce the amount of money you borrow to pay for school.

Talk to your advisor about enrolling in 15 or more credit hours a semester.