3. Test, test, test.

You can earn instant credits and reduce your schedule by proving your knowledge through testing. Many colleges offer students the opportunity to take the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams in various subject matters for college credit. Additionally, schools often offer their own exams in subjects such as foreign language. Testing fees can be pricy, but are almost always significantly lower than tuition for the courses they replace.

4. Skip the minor.

Not all schools require students to declare a minor and, truth be told, most people won’t make too much of a mention of their minor during the life of their career. Dropping all minor classes could save you an entire semester (or more) of work. So, unless your minor is critical to your field of study or would bring you foreseeable benefits, consider eliminating these classes from your plan of action.

5. Put together a portfolio.

Depending on your school, you may be able to get credit for your life experience. Some schools will give students limited credit based on the presentation of a portfolio that proves specific knowledge and skills. Possible sources of life experience include: previous jobs, volunteerism, leadership activities, community participation, accomplishments, etc.

6. Do double duty.

If you have to work anyway, why not get credit for it? Many schools offer students college credits for participating in an internship or work-study experience that relates to their major – even if it’s a paid job. You may be able to get your degree faster by earning credits for what you already do. Check with your school counselor to see what opportunities are available to you.