In line with the thinking that less time in school benefits the pocketbook, students should also keep their eyes peeled for opportunities to earn their credit hours in a compressed fashion. Schools offer the ability to do so in a couple of ways.
As a part of their core strategy to entice older enrollees, schools or programs with an adult learner orientation build their courses with completion speed in mind. Even a teenage student should be aware of this and consider taking classes away from the normal flow of young students, perhaps transferring in credits earned at an extension campus or night school (after checking with a registrar first).
The more common and better known way to earn your credits in less time involves summer school. Most schools schedule their curriculums into semester or quarter units, which include the summer months even if most students don’t attend school at this time. Interestingly enough, students who do attend classes in the summer can complete them in a fraction of the time the same class would take in other months. Further, most schools offer discounts, sometimes heavy discounts, to these off-season classes.
Savings-oriented students should consider working summer school into their plans. Not only will they save money directly, but by doing so they will tend to get their total requirements out of the way faster. Integrating summer coursework into your plans does take some foresight and planning in that you will have fewer subjects offered during this off season, so will need to purposefully hold off on certain courses until the summer to enjoy the savings.
In addition to the direct time and money savings, summer school students enjoy other significant benefits. Summer attendees tend to enjoy smaller class sizes, more intimate student interactions and greater ease of access to the school’s facilities thanks to the overall diminished population on campus.