Know Your Numbers
Most majors require at least 120 credits to graduate; in the Zicklin School, the BBA degree requires at least 124 credits. To graduate in four years, plan to take 30 credits or more per academic year. Everyone's graduation numbers will be different, depending on whether you take summer or winter classes. Some examples are:
Full-time, in-state students pay the same amount for 15 (or even 18) credits per semester as they do for 12. By taking 15 credits per semester starting in your freshman year, you will save more than $6,000 in tuition over the course of four years, let alone additional expenses for books, supplies, and transportation.
Qualify for the New York State Excelsior Scholarship
New York State's Excelsior Scholarship offers a tuition-free college education to those who qualify and are determined to graduate on time. If you plan to apply for or maintain the Excelsior Scholarship, you must take 30 degree-applicable credits per academic year. If you are an entering sophomore, you must have completed 30 credits towards your degree as a freshman. If you are an entering junior, you must have completed at least 60 credits in the previous two years. Recipients of this award must also meet family income requirements and file the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) along with the TAP application.
Strengthen Your Core
Make sure you know all the courses required for your major, and focus on taking the core requirements first. Research shows that taking math, English, and other requirements early increases the odds of graduating on time. Meet with an academic advisor at least once per year to ensure you are taking the courses you need and additional ones that interest you and support your long-term goals.
Enjoy the ROI!
Graduate on time and graduate with less debt. Knowing your numbers, you can reduce or eliminate your debt burden by qualifying for the Excelsior Scholarship or earning 3-6 credits free per semester by taking at least 15 credits. You will also start your career ahead of your peers and begin earning an income that can lead to financial security. College graduates earn on average $23,000 more per year than those without a college degree. Meanwhile, an extra year of college can cost about $40,000 in tuition, fees, supplies, transportation, and lost wages.