Set Your Sights on College CompletionBy Hannah Rozow, student representative on the Indiana Commission for Higher Education
Students across Indiana are creating graduation plans, exploring career options and applying to colleges this fall as part of Learn More Indiana’s College GO! Week campaign, an annual effort aimed at helping Hoosiers of all ages plan for college success. But, if like me you’re already in college, you may be wondering what any of this has to do with you. Quite a bit, as it turns out.
Less than a third of Indiana’s four-year college students graduate on time, and just over half graduate after six years. Only four percent of the state’s two-year college students finish on time, and 12 percent graduate within three years.
College offers opportunities and distractions in equal measure, and it’s largely up to us as students to stay focused, make smart choices and seek help when we need it. These three simple tips can keep you on track to graduation:
Go to advising. Meet with your advisor every semester, and make the most of each meeting. Ask questions about degree requirements and course offerings. Your advisor can also direct you to on-campus resources and tutoring if you need extra help.
Make a plan. Work with your advisor to develop a college completion and career plan. A clear road map can keep you on track to graduating on time and landing a job. Your plan should detail specific courses you’ll take and when, as well as which extracurricular activities, internships and study abroad opportunities you plan to pursue each year. This will help you build a support network, enhance your résumé and compete for jobs after graduation. Your advisor is an excellent resource for developing a comprehensive plan.
Take 15 to finish. To graduate on time, you need to complete at least 15 credit hours each semester. Extra semesters cost time and money, and falling off course can render you ineligible for certain grants and scholarships. Studies also show that students are less likely to graduate when they take additional semesters, so be sure to take at least 15 credits that count toward your degree requirements each semester.