From my experience, I have seen that there are plenty of ways to shorten your path to a degree. However, it all depends on your current situation. As a result, there is not really one universal path as a result. But, there are plenty of examples to use in regards to shortening ones path to getting a college degree. Perhaps this is one of the biggest flaws of the college and university system is that it takes too long. Outside of college, anything can and will happen. Because of these changes, you might be enticed to shorten your path to a college degree.
Again, the best path to shortening the time to get your college degree depends on your current situation.
In this example, say that you are still in high school and are trying to get an early start for college. No matter what school you are applying to, you will be taking general education courses for the first semester and possible for another few semesters as well. In this respect, you want to get those classes out of the way.
At a high school level, you want to take your AP (advance placement) classes. These classes are one step above your honors classes. Afterwards, you want to take the AP exams. AP classes are designed to prepare for college courses. Depending on how you score in the AP exams, you will be rewarded college credits that can be used.
Examples would be: AP English Literature, AP German, AP Spanish, AP French, AP Calculus, AP Anatomy, AP Biology, and AP History.
In a nutshell, if you are still in high school, you will want to take as many AP courses as possible. However, it is going to take a lot of time and work on your part. You can use this path if you are still in high school.
Why take courses to learn stuff that you already know? In this respect, you can always take the CLEP exams. However, taking the CLEP exams is a financial gamble because you have to pay for them. Each CLEP exam is about $65-75. There is the exam fee plus the administration free to factor in. Take this route only if you feel confident in what you already know.
Depending on how well you score, you will be rewarded those credits. However, taking one CLEP exam in lieu of a course and passing it is beneficial because it will save you time and money. Depending on where you go, courses can get very pricey. On top of that, you have to go to class for a number of months. Plus, you have to factor in homework assignments, study time, exams, and so forth. For science courses, you also have to attend labs. Labs can last from two to four hours.
Before going that route, make sure you do your research first. In this respect, research on what credits you need and the CLEP exams available at the time.
This is if you are in the military. Yes, the colleges and universities do cater to the military. If you are in the military and attending college at the same time, take advantage of all of the programs available. Also, take advantage of the opportunity to convert your service time into college credits.
This is similar to example three. In this respect, you can turn your job experience into college credits as well.
There is the option of using correspondence courses which comes in handy for career training. In this respect, you can get additional education without having to commit time for the classes. This example also includes taking online courses as a result.
There are several paths to get your degree as soon as possible. However, you will need to do your research first. You want to find a path that fits your situation. Asides from the issues of time and money, there are other reasons you want to get a quick path to a college degree.
Just because you have something lined up, it does not mean you will get your degree on time by going the traditional and conventional route. One example would be that the class you need may be unavailable because it is full, the professor left, or the courses are unavailable. These tend to be the major factors that tend to hinder people from getting their degrees on time. Also, there is also the possibility that you may have to wait several semesters before the courses are available.