5 tips on how to graduate on time

Vaughn Cockayne and Vaughn Cockayne

Every college student wants to finish their four-year degree in four years. However, that can be difficult when there are so many distractions and ways to fall behind. Students are often left to navigate the academic process on their own unless they ask for help.  Additional semesters can be expensive and shatter career plans for some. The following are pieces of advice from students and from academic advisor Bob Kline to help provide information on what you need and when you need it.

1. Know the attendance policy for every class.

Every class will have some sort of unique attendance policy. However, the best policy for students is to try and attend every class. Some students find this is not always possible, as things do come up and classes may have to be missed. In order to avoid damaging  grades and reputations is to know the attendance policy for every class and how much of a certain class you are able to miss. 


2. If you’re struggling, change the way you study.

The way that individual students study is completely dependent on trial and error. Some students succeed by studying very hard for days on end, and some only need to study for a few hours to succeed.  What is best for the individual student is something that has to be found out by trying different methods. If a certain class is too difficult and using the usual study methods is not working, it may be time to change the way you look at studying. BGSU academic advisor Bob Kline recommends the book “Teach Yourself How to Learn” by Saundra McGuire as a great source to find different ways to think about studying. 


3. Pay attention to the degree audit.

The degree audit is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your requirements to graduate. It provides students with a comprehensive list of classes they have taken, are currently taking and will have to take in the future to graduate. By figuring out how many credit hours you plan on taking a semester, it is an excellent way to see how in sight graduation is. The degree audit can be found by going to MyBGSU and scrolling down to tools. Once in the degree audit page you can simply select “run audit” and it will provide useful and concise information. 


4. Classes in summer or winter sessions are available if you are falling behind.

College is difficult for a lot of students. Accidentally taking on too much or an unforeseen personal emergency can make it possible for anyone to fall behind academically. There is no shame in falling behind, but not only is it fully preventable, it can also easily be fixed. Summer courses and winter session courses are available for all students who are either looking to catch up or to get ahead. 


5. Meet with your academic advisor. 

Academic advisors are there to help. One of the best ways to feel confident in your ability to graduate from university is to talk to someone. And the best people to talk to are those who have all the knowledge about the kinds of courses that go into your degree.