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5 Ways to Beat the Odds As a Part-Time Student

Recently, the nonprofit group Complete College America compiled and analyzed information concerning students from more than 30 states. The data revealed that only one out of every four part-time students successfully completes his or her college education. Education Insider considers five ways to beat these odds.

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By Erin Tigro

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Step 1: Make a Plan

If you're a part-time student, the likelihood that you'll actually end up earning a degree is slim. In fact, the Complete College America report entitled Time is the Enemy indicated that less than a quarter of bachelor's degree-seeking part-timers finish within eight years. One way to avoid becoming a negative statistic is to strategize. Create an outline for what you want to accomplish while you're in school. Decide on a deadline for completion. At the end of a semester, revisit your plan. If you find yourself falling behind, begin to make changes that can help you reach your goal within your target time.

Step 2: Use Resources at Your Disposal

Each semester, as well as in between semesters if you feel it necessary, make it a point to meet with the professionals whose responsibility it is to help you through your educational journey. Counselors, advisors and professors can make sure that you are taking the right courses for your major. They may also be able to answer additional questions you may have. If you're having trouble understanding a particular subject, on-campus tutoring labs and Web-based forums could provide you with additional assistance.

Step 3: Test Out of General Education Courses

More than 30 CLEP (College Level Examination Program) exams are available to individuals wishing to demonstrate competency through testing. The Study.com Academy has begun offering 100% free online videos and interactive content designed to prep students for these tests. For less than $100 per CLEP exam, part-timers can save money and time and gain essential knowledge needed to earn their degree.

Step 4: Take More Convenient Courses

More and more college students are working commuters. They are often bogged down with everyday challenges and may have financial or familial responsibilities that limit their availability. One way to ease the college learning experience is to take advantage of flexible scheduling. Many schools offer online or hybrid courses. Other options include taking evening or weekend classes.

Step 5: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Remember that if you remain focused and committed, eventually your graduation day will come. Make friends with other part-time or non-traditional students and encourage each other. Continually remind yourself of all the benefits and advancement potential you'll have the chance to gain after earning a degree.

Get some more information about some of the top reasons students drop out of college.

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