By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS
College is about experiences and gaining new knowledge, but it culminates with obtaining a degree. Unfortunately, many students start attending a college or university, but do not finish all the requirements for graduation. Graduating takes a lot of internal motivation. These tips can aid you on your path toward graduation.
- Map out your class schedule with an academic advisor. You should have a plan beginning with your freshman year up through your senior year. Sure, you should take your education one class at a time, but you should also fully understand your path toward graduation. Your academic plan doesn’t have to be set in stone, but it should be the framework that allows you to graduate within your program’s normal length (four years for Bachelor’s, two years for Associates, etc.).
- Avoid dropping and withdrawing from classes. Unless failing is imminent, put extra effort into a tougher class. Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment, but you will also stay on track to graduate on time. Multiple drops and withdrawals have a negative effect on your progress as well as your financial aid.
- Save the majority of your elective classes until the end of your college career. Prerequisite classes and major/minor requirements should be fulfilled as soon as possible. You do not want to end up in a position where you have to take an extra semester to finish up specific requirements that may not be offered every semester.
- Stay in contact. Your professors, academic advisors and financial aid advisors — all are great resources who are happy to help you in your academic journey. Use them!
For many people, graduating with a college degree is the crowning achievement of their academic careers. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. But if you are strongly motivated and work hard, you will realize your dream of walking across the stage on graduation day!