Raysha Duncan, Financial Aid Administrator & Purdue Alumna
Know What You Need to Take
Some of us just don’t like math, but chances are you’ll be required to take at least one math class before you graduate. Therefore, it’s a good idea to figure out what specific courses you need to take and get this plan out of the way early so you can move forward in your academic plan for the rest of your time at Purdue.
Know What You Want to Take
A lot of the time you get a choice in which of a handful of classes you can take to satisfy a general course requirement. If you’re in this boat where you get to choose a required class from a list of options, research your choice and figure out what you would be interested in taking before you meet with your advisor. It will make your meeting go much more smoothly if you have an idea of where your interests might lead you, and if you’re having a tough time deciding between two or more classes your adviser may be able to point you towards which one would be more beneficial/fun for you.
Determine When You Want/Need to Graduate
Would you like to graduate in 4 years and think that’s feasible? Strategize your semesters according to this plan! If you need to graduate in 2017, then figure out what exactly you need to do in order to get there. If that means 18 credit hour semesters for the next two years and you’re not sure you want to take that on, figure out what you can do to either make that load more manageable (such as summer classes) or if you are able to push your graduation by a year.
The myPurduePlan is a helpful tool in determining what you need to do to graduate by a specific date. All students who started after Fall 2011 have access to this tool through their myPurdue accounts and should utilize it when determining the classes they still need to take in order to graduate and their potential date of graduation. This is also a helpful tool if things do not go according to the first or second plan, as it can assist in rerouting your path to graduation successfully!
Be Prepared to Talk with Financial Aid
This is important if after your adviser meeting you realize you either need to take summer courses or you won’t be graduating on time, and are dependent on financial aid to cover costs. There are some forms of financial aid that run out at the end of the traditional four years and if you have one of those awards, you’ll definitely need to meet with financial aid about your options for continuing into a fifth year. Another thing you should talk with a financial aid counselor about is if you’ve decided to go the distance and take a Study Abroad trip! These are fun and great experience, but can get expensive, so you’ll want to see what aid you’re eligible for while on this trip.
What tips do you have for making the most of your academic advisor meeting? Let us know in the comments below!