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Starting college in the winter/spring...? - February 17th 2015, 08:15 PM

Hello all,

Basically, I can finish at my current college a semester early if I go full time this summer (12 credit hours), then finish in the fall. The only problem is I would have to use most of the college money I have left before needing a loan, because financial aid doesn't cover for the summer if you've already done full time in both the fall and winter of this year (which I did). So I was wondering if there was any real benefit to finishing up here a semester early then starting in the middle of the school year at a different college, or if I'm better off working two jobs in the summer and finishing/graduating at the "normal" time (end of winter/spring semester)? I'm willing to pay out of pocket for summer school, but I wasn't sure if even starting at a new college mid-year is even a good idea... or if I should still finish early and work all the way until I start at the new college in the fall.

I'm not sure if it's usually harder to start in the winter or not. I'll have a two hour commute minimum for one of my colleges of choice. Everywhere else I'd probably have to find a housing option. Is it harder to get classes in the middle of the year that I would need, do non-transfer students usually get higher registration priority, is it hard to find housing options mid-year as well, etc.? I do have an appointment with an advisor, but it's only for about 15 minutes. I just wanted a little insight before I go, so anything would be helpful.
   
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Re: Starting college in the winter/spring...? - February 17th 2015, 08:52 PM

The first thing I will address is the safety issue, if you live somewhere with snow/winter weather and you're driving that far, it might be better to wait just because of that or go somewhere with housing options. As far as registration priority and the ins and outs of class offerings, the advisor is your best option there. It depends what classes you need, a lot of times there are prereqs offered in the fall for classes offered in the spring, so starting in January would mean having to wait to take some classes, but it depends entirely on the school, the set up, and course requirements.

In terms of registration priority, the schools I've gone to base that on how many credit hours you have (transfer or non-transfer) rather than transfer status. So a transfer student transferring x number of hours would get registration priority over an incoming freshman with 0 hours. They also use the number of hours you've earned (transfer or not) to determine your class standing, but the number of hours is usually more important. Again, advisor would be your best option here.

My college does offer a campus housing application for new students who start in the spring semester, but I've never used it, so I don't know how it works. They probably only charge you for 1 semester where normally the contract runs the full year and you would get a room from someone who dropped out or graduated. I would look at the Residence Services web page for the school and/or shoot someone an email and ask to be sure. If you're looking for off-campus arrangement it might be trickier. Also, some schools have age limits or campus residency requirements so watch out for those.

So, would it be easier to start in a fall semester, probably, but it really depends and how much stress is finishing early going to cause (financial or otherwise?). Use the appointment with the advisor to discuss the specifics of what courses will transfer, the ins and outs of registration and course offerings, and then weigh the pros and cons for the rest of it and see what you come up with. Good luck!


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Re: Starting college in the winter/spring...? - February 27th 2015, 01:22 AM

Depending on where you live, summer may actually fall under the next year tuition.
   
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Re: Starting college in the winter/spring...? - March 4th 2015, 01:04 PM

Lelola, I already checked. Unfortunately, it's definitely separate as far as tuition and financial aid goes.

Katie, thanks for all of the input. My meeting with the advisor actually went terribly. She tried telling me I could not choose what degree I earn... I was like... what the heck? I pointed out on the website where it said that my degree is offered in either a B.S., a B.A., or through a B.B.A. She told me "I'm reading it wrong" and that they don't even have that program. I work with someone who is in that program. So I know that is false. I'm going to have to probably take an actual trip to the college to meet with someone that can help me sort things out a little better.
Safety is definitely a concern for me. I live in an unpredictable snowglobe as far as weather goes, haha. That actually made me consider a dual-enroll, like taking some online classes at the college I'm at now and commuting to the other while the weather is good (like in the summer/fall). I'm not sure. This process just seems so overwhelming to me.
   
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Re: Starting college in the winter/spring...? - March 4th 2015, 07:07 PM

I'm sorry your advising appointment was not helpful, I would definitely take a trip there or call and ask to speak with someone about it (and let them know that you had a bad experience). Make sure transferring there is a viable option, which it sounds like it is, before you dual-enroll. getting that sorted out if you aren't going to end up there wouldn't make a whole lot of sense.

Good luck


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