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Should You Graduate Early?

The decision to graduate from college early is a big one; after all, graduation is essentially the beginning of fully independent adulthood. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before adjusting your “Days Until Graduation” countdown.

1. Is it feasible? 

Before you set your heart on an early graduation date, make sure it’s doable. While overloading once or twice and taking summer courses can help speed you toward a degree, it might not be viable if you did not come to college a few credits ahead. Be mindful of the extra work you might have to take on and of all the requirements you must complete when making your decision. 

2. Do you have a post-grad plan? 

You don’t necessarily need to have a job lined up (though it wouldn’t hurt!), but if an early graduation is impending, you should at least have a few general ideas of your options. Think especially about where you would like to live after graduation and how you plan to make money, or if you’d like to attend grad school right away; if you have no idea what you want to do, you might want to consider sticking around for now and getting your head on straight. 

3. Is it financially wise? 

It seems like the answer to this one is obvious; graduating early means less tuition to pay! Generally, graduating early is a very cost-effective option. However overloading courses and taking summer classes can really add up, and it can be tough to pay for so many courses at once. Make sure you and whoever may be helping you finance your college education are ready to temporarily pay more tuition to save later. 

4. Does your family support it? 

Though ultimately when you graduate is your decision, consulting your family might not be a bad idea. After all, they know you better than anyone and will really be able to give their honest opinion about whether you are taking on too much or if they feel it’s a great idea. You will definitely want to include your parents in the conversation if they’re helping fund your education. 

5. Are you ready? 

Really, it all boils down to whether or not you are ready to graduate; emotionally, mentally and financially. If you feel that your time as an undergrad is growing less rewarding and that you’re ready to take on the next phase of your life, you probably are.

Ashley is a senior Writing, Literature, and Publishing major at Emerson College. She will graduate in December 2016. She loves playing with clothes and make-up, traveling, and drinking way too much coffee. Friends and family, cute animals, (especially her own), and dessert make her happy. 
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