Well, the day finally came that I registered for my last semester here at UWL. I have to say that it is definitely pretty exciting but also scary to know that my time here is almost up. I will say that I am not going to miss all of the craziness that comes with registering and creating a schedule for the next semester. However, after four years of being here, I do have some advice on how to make the most out of your time (and money!) while you are here.
My first piece of advice to you all is about the number of credits you should take in a semester. When you pay your tuition, you are paying to be enrolled for somewhere between 12-18 credits. Therefore, I advise you all to take as many credits as you can handle. Throughout most of my time here, I typically took somewhere between 12-15 credits. In doing so, I’ve been able to stay on track and am able to graduate in four years this upcoming May. I am happy to say that I am going to be able to graduate on time; however, if I had taken more 16-18 credit semesters I might have been able to finish school in 3-3 ½ years instead of the full four. Saving some money on tuition would have been nice!
It is important to keep in mind that taking 12-15 credit semesters is what I could handle while I was in school. I am someone who has always been very busy because I put myself through school and pay for all of my living expenses. Therefore, I’ve consistently held two jobs throughout my time as a full time student. Because I’ve always had to work, I think that taking any more than 15 credits would have been too much for me to handle. However, because I work so much, I’ve found it helpful to pick up the slack during other times of the year. For example, I was fortunate to be able to stay on track by taking courses over winter breaks and summer. If you are going to be up here working and paying for living expenses already, I think it is helpful to consider maybe taking a class. This way you’re still able to make money, but you’re also helping yourself stay on track with school. Again, this is just the system that I found to work best for myself and my needs.
That being said, if you don’t have to work or aren’t working a lot, I think it is great to consider maybe adding a class or two to your schedule. Getting done faster means less in tuition, and in most cases it is less money in loans that you will have to pay back. Personally, I think this sounds like a win-win! It’s just important to recognize that you have to figure out what works best for you.
Good luck with the rest of the semester and happy savings!