Earning your college degree bit by bit might feel like a financially responsible route, but it could actually end up costing more in the long run. The extra years you spend as a student are years spent in the workforce without a degree.
This can have a detrimental effect on your bottom line because, as a general rule of thumb, earnings increase with education level, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).* This is likely one of the reasons you want to finish your degree as swiftly as possible.
So how can you finish college faster and start maximizing your earning potential as soon as possible? Keep reading to learn about six opportunities you may have to speed up your higher education journey and begin life after college sooner.
6 Practical ways to finish college faster
If you’re motivated to finish college quickly and dive right into your chosen career, there are some things you can do to help achieve that goal. Not all six of these options will be feasible for everyone, but the right combination may help you find the fastest way to finish college.
1. College coursework in high school
For some, the ship has already sailed for this option. But if you happen to be reading this while still in high school, do whatever you can to enroll in some advanced placement (AP) or international baccalaureate (IB) classes that offer college credit to students who pass the final exams.
Some schools also offer dual-enrollment courses. In these programs, you can earn college credit by taking the same courses as students at a nearby community college. These course credits often come basically free of charge and don’t take any additional time since you’d be taking them as part of your high school fulfillments.
Do your homework to ensure any dual-enrollment credits will transfer, …