Many people choose distance learning for its convenience and speed. Students online are able to work at their own pace and often finish faster than traditional students. But many search for ways to complete their degrees in even less time with all the demands of daily life. Finding new career opportunities, and having more time to do what you want, having a degree sooner may mean making a larger salary. Check out these tips to earning your degree quickly in case speed is what you’re looking for.  Plan your work. Work your plan. Most students take at least one class that they don’t need for graduation. Taking unrelated to your major field of study classes can be an excellent way to expand your horizons. But avoid taking classes that aren’t required for graduation in case you are looking for speed. Check (and double-check) your required classes and put together a personalized study plan. Staying in contact with your academic advisor each semester can help you stick to your plan and stay on track.  Insist on transfer equivalencies. Don’t let work you’ve done at other colleges go to waste; ask your current college to give you transfer equivalencies.

Ways to get your degree faster

Check to see if any of the classes you have already completed could be counted to fill another graduation requirement even after your college has decided what classes to give you credit for. Your school will probably have an office that reviews transfer credit petitions on a weekly basis. Ask for that department’s policies on transfer credits and put together a petition. Include a thorough explanation of the class you have completed and why it should be counted as an equivalency.  Chances are you’ll get the credits in case you include course descriptions from your previous and current schools’ course handbooks as evidence. You can earn instant credits and reduce your schedule by proving your knowledge through testing. Many colleges offer students the opportunity to take the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams in various subject matters for college credit. Schools often offer their own exams in subjects such as foreign language in addition to this. Testing fees can be pricy, but are almost always significantly lower than tuition for the courses they replace. Skip the minor. Not all schools require students to declare a minor and, truth be told, most people won’t make too much of a mention of their minor during the life of their career. Dropping all minor classes could save you an entire semester (or more) of work. So consider eliminating these classes from your plan of action unless your minor is critical to your field of study or would bring you foreseeable benefits. You may be able to get credit for your life experience depending on your school. Some schools will give students limited credit based on the presentation of a portfolio that proves specific knowledge and skills. Possible sources of life experience include: previous jobs, volunteerism, leadership activities, community participation, accomplishments, etc.