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Yes, You Can Graduate Early!

Going into my undergrad degree in business management, I knew that I wanted to graduate faster than the typical four-year plan. I knew that financially, it made more sense to graduate sooner, so that I could begin my career. I also did not want to spend four more years in school! I always like a good challenge, and when I set my mind to accomplish something, I go for it.

I was told by my advisor that I could graduate early. I contacted the Registrar’s office as well to make sure my classes lined up. I was able to plan my schedule to graduate in 2.5 years and take off three semesters. I did not have any credits from post-secondary or AP courses, so I was starting with 0 credits and needed 128 credits to graduate.

Every summer, Grove City College offers over 60 courses either online or on-campus. The on-campus courses take place for two weeks before classes begin in January and two weeks after the spring semester ends in May. It is called “intercession” and I was able to take a four-credit Chemistry course in just two weeks! Grove City College also allows students to take a maximum of 21 credit hours every semester, so taking overage classes is another option to get more classes out of the way.

My plan was to take full-time summer courses, while working part-time. I would focus on taking major related courses while on campus, and do most electives during the summer. I would take intersession courses if needed.  There are also some online courses during winter break, so I signed up for a Business Law course and then came back early to campus to complete the chemistry course during intersession. The great thing about the summer courses is that you can take multiple courses at one time and they are usually four weeks in length for three credits. There are both early and late summer courses, so it is staggered. Usually the same courses are offered every year, so I was able to plan out my schedule accordingly.

There are many options of classes to take over the summer and during intersession. Some examples of the variety of online classes I was able to take included: Intro to Graphic Design, Accounting, Business Ethics, and Medical Terminology. The wide variety and flexibility the online courses offered was the selling point for me. I was able to go on vacation and work ahead in most classes so that I was not behind. Some classes opened up all the coursework on the first day, and I was able to go at my own pace and knew that I could finish the course sooner than the four weeks offered if I wanted to.

Graduating early offers many benefits. For those ready to join the workforce and get out of an academic setting, Grove City College offers an opportunity to do so. The money saved on room and board is also another benefit.  Some might criticize that graduating early means that you cannot enjoy college life because you are so focused on school. I would argue that is not true. If a person is good at time management, then they should be able to have a great college experience and graduate early.

I would tell new students who are looking to graduate early, that “Yes, you can!” The thing you have to do is plan ahead. Look at what classes are required and when those classes are offered. Go talk to your academic advisor if you need help. It might seem overwhelming at first, but dedication and hard work will pay off in the long run!

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