By Lauren Silverman
It is that time of the year again—the annual college rite of passage. High school seniors are making their lists of places to apply. Checking out possible majors. Debating about essay topics. Choosing between private and public schools.
So listen up. I have a piece of advice.
Get over the four year-fix!
When I applied to the University of Michigan, I had no idea I would be graduating early. But here I am, three years later trying to get my degree. I’m definitely not anxious to jump into the shallow job market right now, but I don’t think staying in school another semester would better prepare me for the plunge.
I’m ready to live in the real world and even more ready to save this semester’s tuition and fees for an out-of-state student – a whopping $37,000.
While my choice wasn’t deliberate, there seems to be a growing consensus that the college experience doesn’t have to be four years long. The proportion of freshman trying to get out of college faster has been growing, according to Cornell University's Director of Institutional Research and Planning. And enrollment at community colleges has gone up in many states. Just this year, enrollment at California community colleges increased almost 5 percent. And that’s in a state with the highest number of students enrolled in community colleges.