You have a goal: get educated, get into the workforce, and make more money so you can survive with less stress. It sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, achieving that goal isn’t as easy as dreaming it. The high cost of tuition, high living expenses, and the need to work while you go to school can make it difficult to achieve balance. But there are ways to cut back on the amount of time you spend in school so you can graduate faster and get into the workforce with less debt, less time lost, and valuable skills. You’ll find a few of these strategies right here in this guide.
Four years in a secondary education program? Who has time for that?! Cut back on the amount you spend on your learning path and get out of school faster with these savvy tips. From finding the right program to taking the initiative to get extra credits, these methods work for students in nearly all sectors.
Get Through School Faster So You Can Graduate into the Workforce With A Great Job And Less Debt.
Start School Earlier (In High School)
Thank you need to wait until high school is over in order to start college? Think again! There are plenty of programs and learning paths that allow you to start taking courses and collecting credits while you’re still in high school, especially if you have relatively good grades in the first place.
Options for collecting credits early are extensive. You might try studying online, attending a local community college, or taking high school AP classes, as these count towards accreditation through most secondary education facilities. Many high school students find it easiest to study online from home during off-hours at night.
Don’t Take Time Off
It seems logical at first; take some time off, find a job, increase your savings, and offset some of the costs of education. After all, you’re only in high school; there’s plenty of time to make up the lost time later, right?
The problem with this mentality is that it can set your entire schooling schedule back by as much as two to three years – or maybe even more, depending on how unmotivated you get. It’s also much easier to learn when you’re fresh out of high school (or even in high school) than in your mid to late 20s simply because your brain is primed to learn already, rather than being forced to re-acclimated to the learning environment after being away. So stay cool, stay in school, and you’ll have plenty of time to play after you graduate with a great job.
Explore Credits for Experience
Are you an older student? Maybe it’s too late for you to take credits in high school, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have the options for collecting credits without actually attending school. Some universities, colleges, and online programs will allow you to “test out” for credits instead of having you attend classes if you already know your stuff. You just have to register for the exam and pass with a minimum mark.
Here are the most reliable “exams for credit:
- ACE – The American Council on Education exam costs just $45. It is recognized by nearly 1800 different institutions across the country.
- CLEP – The College Level Examination Program includes 33 separate tests, each of which may qualify you for free credit at a variety of schools.
- DSST – the DSST is specifically for military personnel. It allows students to gain up to 3 baccalaureate or upper-baccalaureate credits in specific topics.
- UExcel Test – the UExcel test covers specific STEM topics, including calculus, psychology, political science, college writing, physics, and statistics. The fee is steep at almost $3k, but you get unlimited access to assessments.
There are other institution-specific exams-for-credit, too, so don’t be afraid to shop around and explore your options. Rarely, it is even possible to totally graduate without ever participating in a class.
Choose Fast-Track Majors
Not every major requires six or eight years of school. Determining which paths you can afford, and which get you into the workforce before you are buried in debt, is a critical and responsible part of taking control of your future. If you’re worried about making it through school while still taking care of the kids, working, or juggling other life responsibilities, fast-track majors may be a better option than, say, medical school or law school.
Note that not every university, school, or college offers fast-track programs. Furthermore, these paths are notoriously high-stress and move very quickly, meaning you shouldn’t take them if you have trouble keeping up. But they can carve literal years off of your completion date, making them an attractive choice. More online schools are offering these now as an option for busy people with busy lives.
Ready to start studying? Getting educated is still the coolest and most rebellious way to beat the system and make good money. Indulge your inner rebel by exploring your options for studying online from home.