Students planning their course schedules should think twice about the number of credits they are taking. Many colleges and universities are encouraging students through the “15 to Finish” campaign to take 15 credit hours each semester in efforts to help students finish their degree on time.
“We know that students who enroll in at least 15 credits finish college faster and can start on a career that provides financial independence and increased lifetime earnings,” says Dave Buhler, commissioner of higher education in an interview with Deseret News.
On average, if students take 15 credits every semester, they’ll be able to have an associate degree in two years and a bachelor’s degree in four years.
Utahns with degrees earn more than those without degrees. On average, graduates will earn $8,000 more per year with an associate degree and $18,000 more with a bachelor’s degree.
Apart higher paying jobs, students can save money because they finish school earlier.
Taking the right amount of credits per semester can ensure that students graduate on time, get out into the working world faster and start paying off student debt.
Many colleges and universities charge the same amount for 12 credits as they do 15 credits. Studies have shown that students that add a class who are already taking 12 to 14 credits in a semester have better grades.
Though the benefits can be appealing, not all students have the resources or time to take 15 credits every semester.
“Taking the right amount of credits is subjective to each student and needs to be,” says Gordon Storrs, academic and career advisor for SLCC. “For most students, they want to get finished as soon as they can, but that is subjective to the circumstances of their lives.”
Students should consider many factors when planning their coursework through the semesters.
Meeting with an academic advisor can aid in accomplishing the goal of graduating on time. Students can benefit from guidance that comes from a professional that has helped other students achieve their academic goals.
“For most students, [meeting with an advisor] is really essential,” says Storrs. “Even if they’re really good at self-guiding their education, there are questions they don’t ask that a student can be assisted to ask if they have a chance to visit with an advisor.”
Even if students have a good idea of how they want to plan their education, having a guide can be useful throughout their career. Even the best student can have difficulties that can be aided by an advisor, family or friends.
“For many it’s easy to get distracted and take breaks and then never come back,” says Storrs. “It’s really important that some people have that cheerleader in their life.”
For more information on the “15 to Finish” campaign visit www.15tofinishutah.com
For more information about academic advising at SLCC visit www.slcc.edu/academicadvising