1) Saving some money: One semester I needed 13 books. These books generally run from $50 – $200. So I could have easily been spending over a grand for these. Ya, no thank you. To avoid this, I checked the school library. The library became my bank accounts best friend. Either in the current edition or a slightly older one, I managed to get all 13 books. Most college kids don’t have a lot of extra cash piled around, so I really loved discovering this. Even if they don’t have the book on the shelf, ask the librarian/look on their computer database, and see if you can get it ordered in. I did this a few times as well. Over a few years, this at least saved me a couple grand, not to mention the awesome feeling of walking around with free books. Well, their free if you minus the thousands in tuition.
2) Scheduling: Take interim/condensed courses. I found this out when I was a sophomore. I took one class that was half a semester. Oh and your advisers won’t tell you about these classes, just look them up in the course catalog. Anyways, when I finished the class half way through, I got this boost of energy to finish my other classes. Normally, students are run down by the end of the semester. The problem with that is most of the grade depends on the last week of class. I don’t know why this gives you a boost, but it works.
However, the best condensed courses are week long courses. Brutal, I know. I didn’t know if I was going to survive my first one, but I did. And I discovered, though boring, they are way easier than semester long courses. The professors have to cut their content/assignments/tests in half if not more. There is way less material, and you are given way more slack by the (also tired) professor. When they say 8am – 5pm, that’s typically not the case either. Most of the condensed one’s I took would end around noon, even if they were supposed to go all day.
The professors who braved it out the whole day, had us watch movies, or work on projects. They just can’t talk that long. The absolute best part is finishing 3 credits in a week. You could take 8 of these classes over two months of summer, and finish a years worth of credits. They’ll have them over spring break and winter break too. I found this to be one way that the school passed through it’s ‘favorite’ students. The classes would be full of the schools athletes, politicians, and kids from prestigious groups/clubs.
3) Exceptions: I said I’d talk about this in my last post, so it’s partly explained there. Anyways, there are tons of reasons that students need exceptions. You might need A class before you can take B class. But, taking them in this order will put you behind. Or, you might need 21 credits (when you add in those extra interim courses), and your only allowed to take 18. Or a specific course isn’t available,(could just be for a semester), and you want/need to take it now. Or… From financials, to scheduling, to registration, the school can make exceptions for anything. You just have to tell them what you want done. Example: I’ve heard a million and one professors say if you miss a test, you’ll get a zero and there are absolutely no exceptions. Test day comes, and someone always misses. I never saw an instance where the professor didn’t let the student retake the test. By the time I was a senior, professors would say ‘this is how it’s done, end of story’, and no one really believed them.
Side note: it won’t help a student if they just start lying. You have to have a valid reason (as simple as, ‘I want to graduate earlier), and then they look at the rules more like guidelines.
Good Luck out there