Home > College Students > Prepare > Need to Do > Prepare to graduate on-time

Prepare to graduate on-time

Less than a third of Indiana students seeking a bachelor’s (four-year) degree graduate on time. As a result, earning a college degree is taking Hoosiers too long, costing them too much, and leading far too many to pile up debt with no degree. Everyone has a part to play in increasing college completion, but ultimately it’s up to students to take responsibility for their higher education.

How should you prepare to graduate college on time?

Stick with a major.

If you change your college major (the main subject you study), you may have to stay in school longer. Make sure you’ve made the right choice by seeing if your career choice matches your interests and skills. If you’re not sure about your major, take general courses that will count towards most degrees. You should also take courses in the majors you think you like to see which one is a good fit.

Commit to 15 to Finish.

To graduate on time, most college students need to take at least 15 credit hours per semester. Make the “15 to Finish” commitment now so you won’t have to pay later for “taking it easy” now. Some degree programs require even more credit hours. So talk to your advisor to make sure you’re taking the right number of courses each semester to graduate on time.

Read about more ways to finish faster and save yourself time and money.

Create a college completion plan.

Every year, students who think they are on track to graduate in the spring are surprised to find out that they haven’t completed a required course for their degree. Don’t get stuck graduating late. Make a completion plan now! 


Don’t put yourself back a semester or more by earning poor grades. Find out whether you need to earn certain grades in courses that count towards your major. Don’t let your GPA drop below your college’s minimum or the minimum for any scholarships you may have. Remember: your grade in many college courses is often based on only a couple of papers or exams, so it pays to stay on top of your studies.

If you are struggling in school, there is help available. Ask your advisor or professors about tutoring, academic success centers and other resources. Remember: Help is usually there if you need it, but it’s up to you to ask for it.