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The Complete Guide to Accelerated College Programs

written by: Christopher Kochan•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 3/19/2011

Many people often wonder how to complete an accelerated college program, in order to save money on tuition for a four-year degree or to begin working as soon as possible. Here is the complete guide to accelerated college programs explaining the several different ways to graduate college early.

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    Why Consider an Accelerated Degree?

    Many people want to enter into an accelerated college program, having their own personal desires to graduate college early. Some typical personal desires include wanting to enter the workforce faster or to appear more competitive to possible employers.

    Although there can be many personal advantages to completing college faster, there are not many cost advantages to entering into an accelerated college program. Unfortunately, there can often be many more disadvantages to an accelerated college program, than advantages; especially if one does not have enough self-motivation to take on the more difficult semesters.

    The total cost for an accelerated college program is not cheaper than a regular college program, as it tends to add up to the same amount as regular tuition costs. Although an accelerated student is completing all of their college credits in a shorter amount of time, it is usually the extra fees to take online college courses to fit more credits into a semester or requires students to take summer and winter credits; which can ultimately costs more than regular tuition.

    In the following sections, the associate and bachelor's degree accelerated programs are explained. Each program contains an explanation on how to enter the specific college program, with more details on the advantages and costs of each program to graduate college early.

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    Accelerated Associate Degree Programs

    graduation A regular associate degree, such as an auto college major, is usually obtained from a technical college and takes an average of two years to complete. Many students have been able to complete an accelerated degree program in as little as one year. This is done by stacking many more courses per semester, and it usually requires the student to be full-time in order for them to concentrate on all courses.

    The cost of an accelerated associate degree program is roughly the same cost as completing the associate degree in two years or longer, since courses at technical colleges are usually priced on an amount per-class basis. Although the cost is the same, the biggest disadvantage is taking double the amount of courses than fellow classmates; which can often get stressful and result in lower grades. One must be dedicated and very self-motivated in order to successfully graduate college early with an accelerated diploma.

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    Accelerated Bachelor's Degree Programs

    The average bachelor's degree takes four years to complete; however, some students are able to finish their bachelor's degree at a university in only three years. How is this possible? It's just like obtaining an associate's degree in an accelerated college program.

    In order to get a bachelor's degree in less than four years, one must take the maximum amount of credits per semester or even more; however, many colleges require the approval from the academic advisor to take over the maximum allowed per semester. Also, it is usually required to take several courses in the summer and winter semesters. The total cost for obtaining an accelerated bachelor's degree tends to be more expensive for the student; since taking the extra summer and winter semesters causes them to spend more money, in less time.

    The largest benefit received from completing an accelerated college program is displaying the accomplishment on your resume. In order to be competitive in the job market, one must diversify their resume and show good qualities one can give to a company. By showing a completed accelerated college program, one is able to show they are determined, devoted, goal setting and motivated to study good in college and get work done.

    Overall, accelerated college programs tend to cost the same as a regular college program, if not more. There can be many advantages and disadvantages to graduating college early; however, it can easily give a person more competitive advantage over other job applicants; since this accomplishment displays many quality personal values when used in a resume.

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    Information: The author, Christopher Kochan, has attended two Universities and has worked closely with advisors to use an accelerated diploma in college and to also discover the possibilities of entering into an accelerated college degree program.