You just graduated high school. You’ve chosen which college or university you will attend. Maybe you’ve explored the food and housing options at your new school. It’s an exciting time in your life. Right now, it probably seems like there’s so much you still need to do before you step on campus in the fall. Getting to campus is one thing – succeeding in college and finishing your degree is another! Here are four things to keep in mind that will improve your college experience in the long run.
You have options when it comes to which math course you take
Most colleges and universities require students to take at least one semester of math. For some of you, that sounds perfectly fine. You like math, and you’re good at it. For others, the idea of taking precalculus is not only terrifying, it does not match the work you’ll be doing in your field of study.
However, Missouri’s public institutions offer alternative entry-level mathematics courses that are most effective and beneficial to each academic major. For example: A journalism student doesn’t have much use for precalculus; however, a solid background in statistical reasoning can serve a journalist well throughout his or her career. So, make sure to know your options, when it comes to math pathways, and take advantage of them.
How many hours should I take? Think 15 to Finish!
You will hear the term “full-time student” fairly often in college. A full-time student, according to financial aid and the vast majority of colleges and universities, is a student enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per semester. But don’t think that means you can take 12 hours of class and still graduate on time.
You should strive to complete at least 15 credit hours a semester to put yourself on track to receive an associate degree in two years or a bachelor’s degree in four years. If you just can’t swing 15 hours every semester, consider taking summer courses to stay caught up.
This is important because additional time in the classroom comes at a steep price. An extra year in college can mean paying an extra year’s worth of tuition, fees, and housing, and missing out on that first-year salary!
Corequisite Courses can help you finish faster
Depending on your ACT/SAT scores or your GPA in high school, you may be asked to take remedial courses before enrolling into a credit-bearing course. These courses are meant to prepare you for difficult coursework in upper-division classes.
Students who must complete prerequisite remedial courses before they can enroll in credit-bearing courses often have to spend an extra semester or more in college, and are far less likely to graduate. The additional time in school can also increase college costs and result in more student loan debt.
Corequisite courses, on the other hand, allow students to earn credit toward graduation while they complete their remedial coursework. Corequisite courses provide additional academic support which may include tutoring, mentoring, labs, and workshops. Students take the corequisite course in conjunction with their credit-bearing course so they get the help they need simultaneously. Ask your advisor if your college offers this type of course.
Things to consider if you’re already planning to transfer
If you do decide to move from one school to another, you deserve to see the credits from one school transfer to another.
To simplify the transfer process, Missouri’s colleges and universities have worked together to establish the CORE 42, which is 42 credit hours of lower-division general education courses that can be transferred seamlessly from one Missouri higher education institution to another.
To give yourself optimal flexibility, take care of your lower-division general education courses first. If you know you’re going to switch schools at some point, use our Course Transfer Tracker to check out how the courses you’re taking now will transfer to the schools you’re considering.