A 4 year Bachelor’s degree is required for a well-paying job nowadays, and completing the degree in half the time, namely 2 years, will help you to start earning a good salary much sooner.
For Liberal Arts or Business degrees, complete your 4 year bachelors degree in 2 years by testing out via standardized exams such as CLEP, DSST, UExcel, TECEP and COSC. For other science and technology degrees, combine testing out with online college-level courses, MOOCs and evaluation of work experience.
Community college graduates who have already completed 2 years of college would require another 2 years to complete their bachelors degree as a transfer student. But its much more beneficial to complete the entire bachelors degree within a total period of 2 years, without the additional 2 years of an associate degree.
4 Year Degree in 2 Years
Credits transfer of your previous college credits is the fastest way to earn college credits for your newly enrolled degree. Apart from that, credits by examination is another quick way to earn college credits, especially in topics that you already have prior knowledge of or things you can easily learn.
Among all standardized exams, CLEP and DSST are the most affordable. CLEP or DSST exams cost about $80 per test and with text books or practice tests could be another $20 to $50 for a total of about $130.
The site BAIn4Weeks.com by Lawrie Miller goes into how she completed her bachelors degree in a matter of few weeks simply by testing out with standardized exams.
SAYLOR ACADEMY’S ONLINE COURSES
Saylor Academy offers self-paced online courses free of charge to all students. These courses carry college credits via ACE accreditation and there is an online proctored test at the end of each course for a small fee of about $25. This is yet another great way to earn college credits quickly and for very little in cost.
OTHER MOOC COURSES
MOOCs are a great way to gather relevant industry skills and many of these courses are conducted by leading universities. As long as the courses are part of a degree curriculum at the university, they are eligible for credits by transfer. edX and FutureLearn are MOOCs that have accredited college-level courses.
For other MOOC courses from Coursera or Udacity, a special evaluation called portfolio evaluation will be required for college credits.
When I was enrolled in my Bachelors degree from Excelsior college, I had many years of work experience in computer software. Since my degree was in a similar field namely Computer Information Systems, by a special portfolio evaluation of my work experience, I was awarded many college credits in computer software topics.
There was also a per-credit fee for this evaluation. The portfolio/ prior-learning assessment is generally conducted only by select degree completion colleges such as Excelsior college. Also, any credits earned via portfolio assessment is simply noted as a Pass in the transcript and no score or grades are given.
So if you are planning to improves your overall GPA or average scores, just score multiple A’s in your other tests and standardized exams.
3 Tips To Speed Up College
a) Avoid Duplicate Credits
Many students end up taking multiple college courses with duplicate course curriculum, thereby wasting time and money unnecessarily. Some students are simply confused whereas others receive bad advice or guidance and this causes them to take many unwanted courses.
I’ve also spoken with students about college courses they took that met NONE of their degree requirements. So before starting any new course, please list out in a worksheet all your previous college courses alongside the degree requirements they satisfy.
Keep this credit worksheet updated and refer to it before starting any new college courses. Also refer to this worksheet before starting any new training or work in a similar field.
b) Faster CLEP/ DSST Exams
InstantCert is a sure way to pass the CLEP exams quickly. It features a series of practice exams and flashcards that address most of the topics of each CLEP exam. Many students have reported that they passed their CLEP and DSST using InstantCert.
If you are looking for good scores in CLEP and DSST, be sure to take more practice exams from Princeton Review. Also refer to some of the textbook references from the official CLEP and DSST guides.
c) Choose Fastest Degree And Major
If your objective is to simply get a 4 year degree in any field in 2 years, then choose a degree and major such as a BA or Liberal Arts degree which has the simplest course requirements for quickly completing your degree.
Alternately, if liberal arts is not your thing, just choose the easiest field/ major that clearly aligns with your experience and interests. Make sure there are no lab or project requirements for that degree major that could potentially delay your graduation.
With Associate Degree
If you already have an associate degree, you can enroll in a 4 year college by transferring the credits from the associate degree. Then you will only need about 60 more credits to complete a bachelors degree for a total of about 120 US college credits.
To speed up things up more, while you are studying in community college for your associate degree, prepare in parallel for CLEP and DSST exams. Then by the time you complete your associate degree, you could easily have all the 120 credits completed.
After this, all you need to do is to enroll in a degree completion college and then be awarded you final Bachelors degree upon their evaluation and credits transfer.
The degree forum is a public forum hosted by Instant Cert. There is a huge community of degree completion students who frequently visit this forum.
To stay on target for your Bachelors degree in 2 years, keeping in regular touch with this forum will be to your advantage. In the forum, many students discuss their CLEP/DSST test preparation strategies, test scores and so on.
There are also many questions answered about individual colleges and there is a private section of this forum specifically for subscribers of Instant Cert.
Avoid Excessive Credits
By far, the fastest way to complete a Bachelors degree in 2 years is if you plan your college studies in advance such that you take only one course or exam for each of the course credit requirements.
After enrolling into a 4 year degree completion college, you should setup an appointment with your college student counselor to chart out a degree plan for your remaining courses or credit requirements.
In my experience, I have found the college student counselors to be quite helpful and they will readily answer all your questions. But it is still up to you to drive the whole process and to stay alert and motivated, and to ensure that you ask them all the right questions about which courses or exams to take to meet the degree requirements.
Be sure to ask your student counselor about which low-cost online courses or CLEP exams can meet the degree requirements. Colleges also have their own online courses but the college’s online courses tend to be at least 5 or 10 times or more expensive than a regular MOOC course or CLEP exam.
By carefully discussing with the student advisor about multiple alternative ways to earn the credits to meet each degree requirement, you can ensure that you do not end up taking multiple courses that result in duplicate credits for the same credit requirement.
This is very important as this simple approach can save you months of time and a lot of money which you can more effectively use to complete the rest of your degree requirements quickly.