Pros vs. Cons: Early Graduation

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Pros vs. Cons: Early Graduation

This blog was written by Jackie, our campus ambassador from Wisconsin!

About a week ago, I went to the advising meetings for both my Spanish and Journalism majors. However dreaded these meetings are for me, I had to figure out what classes to take next semester and if I could still graduate on time (meaning four years). What I didn’t expect to find out was my ETG (expected time of graduation) was next December - making my college career 3.5 years old.

This news caught me by surprise - I didn’t know whether graduating early would be a good or bad idea for me, so I decided to weigh the pros and cons. Feel free to use these to help guide your thought if you are also struggling with this decision or want to look into early graduation as an option!


  • Extra time to search for jobs - employers don’t just hire in May/June after everyone graduates. If they need an employee, they’ll hire - whether that be in December, September or April.
  • Save tons of money. A semester’s worth of in-state tuition at my school, the University of Wisconsin - Madison, is about $5,000, and for those of you that have to pay out-of-state or private school tuition, it’s much higher.
  • A little “edge” - graduating early shows employers that you worked hard throughout school to get it all done more quickly than everyone else. If you had a job, were involved in clubs AND earned a good GPA, that shows that you’re an even harder worker.


  • “Missing out” on an entire semester of college. People have told me “you only get to go to college once - make the most of it.”
  • Early arrival into the “real world.” A few words to scare you: mortgage. APR. Lawn mower.
  • Social life changes, due to an earlier graduation than most of your friends. You’ll have a job, while they’re still stressing about midterms and what to wear to their friend’s Halloween party. It may seem as though you’re at different points in your lives - and you are - but hopefully your friendship won’t change because of it.

After weighing out the pros and cons as they apply to me, I decided to go ahead and graduate a semester early. I may feel alone for a little while, but everything I’ve been doing in college has led up to this - building my future in a career I love.