15 to Finish
You may be thinking, “I want to ease into college. I’ll start off with 12 hours before taking a heavier load.”
But the reality is that students who start with 12 or less credits rarely increase their course load later. Your plans to graduate in four years can be quickly derailed.
Why Take 15?
You are more likely to graduate on time. Parkside students who complete 30 credits in their first year are eight times more likely to graduate in four years. The longer you stay in college, the more you increase your changes of never earning a degree. Time really is the enemy!
You need 30 credits to be a Sophomore. Some aid programs require you to make progress toward your degree. Don’t lose out on resources that might be available to you by not accumulating enough credits.
Your savings account will thank you. When you spend extra semester in college, you lose out on the full-time salary you could earn as a college graduate. Meanwhile, college debts accumulate. Each additional year adds at least $7300 in tuition costs each year.
It feels good. There is a huge sense of accomplishment in finishing a degree in four years. Setting a goal and realizing it sets the stage for future success.
Your life is waiting! After four years, you risk being left behind while your friends move on to their careers or graduate school. Don’t make career out of being a college student.
Get on Board
College is a commitment. Know the courses you need to graduate, meet with an advisor and map out a plan to graduate on time.
Find your purpose.
Get to know your advisor. Identify your interests and take 9 credits in the first year that are directly related to your major. The sooner you declare a major, the more likely you are to graduate in 4 years. Major Declaration Form ►
Get your math and English done.
Take these courses as a part of your first year of college. Students who take 15 credits per semester and complete their English and math courses early in their career are more likely to graduate on time.
Take summer courses.
Not sure whether you can take 15 credits each term, take advantage of summer or winterim. It is a great way to stay on track.
Work on campus.
If you have to work, consider working on campus while taking 15 credits. Your commute to work will be shorter and you will have more flexibility. Ranger Trak ►
Ask for help from professions, academic advisors and even fellow students when you need it.
Degree plans ►
This tool allows you to see clearly which classes you need to take and when.
Parkside Academic Resource Center ►
Parkside offers free support services for student success. You can join a study group, get help with time management, and find a tutor.
Connect with an Advisor ►
Unsure? Take advantage of the career exploration resources available to you. Schedule a time to chat with an academic advisor.