April 1, 2021

How to Graduate University Early

The sooner you graduate, the sooner you can start your career and begin earning money In fact, by graduating just one semester early, you can save money, start paying off your student loans, and put yourself at an advantage over other students by entering the labour force first. To do all this, you’ll need to employ a few different strategies. 

1. Earn Credits at High School

The first thing to do is get a head start while you’re still in high school, if possible. Find out which classes your school offers that provide credit for university and take as many as you can. You may be able to cover an entire semester of the courses your university requires.

If gaining university credit at high school is not an option, an alternative is to dual-enroll in classes at another institution in your area.

2. Sign Up for Summer Courses

To meet some of your elective requirements, summer school at a local college is ideal. At the same time as earning credit, you’ll gain professional certificates to give your resume a boost and learn invaluable skills. Just make sure you find out how many credits you’ll be able to transfer by talking to the university you want to attend before you sign up for courses.

3. Take Tests for Credit

Even if you’re unable to use courses directly for credit, you may be able to apply what you’ve learned. Many universities now allow students to take tests to demonstrate they know the material covered in a university course — and this gives you the same amount of credit as if you had studied the course. Tests tend to be substitutes for English, science, math, and other general education courses.

You may also be able to skip foreign languages classes if you’ve already met your university’s requirements through what you learned at high school or middle school.

4. Maximize Credits Every Year

Many students need more than four years to graduate from university because they take fewer than the maximum number of credits each year. This is a good idea if you’re worried about struggling academically, as it gives you a better chance of doing your best at each course. The downside, of course, is that you’ll graduate late.

By making smart decisions, you can take the maximum number of credits and still keep your grades up. For instance, you could take a balance of difficult and (relatively) easy courses each semester, take a combination of daytime and night classes, or continue studying over the summer. Just be aware that your university likely has a limit as to how many credits you can take each semester and you may incur a fee if you sign up for more than this amount — which will defeat the point if your main incentive is to save money.

You’ll only be able to graduate early if you study hard during your time at university. This means having a comfortable place to live where you can focus without constant distractions. Most students find on-campus housing falls short and instead turn to student rentals. Ottawa students have The Revalie, which offers fully-furnished suites, study areas, and a variety of modern amenities. Sign up to join our VIP list to reserve your spot.


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