At the end of this semester next week, 102 students will complete bachelor’s degrees, 10 students will finish associate degrees and 15 students will earn graduate degrees, allowing them to graduate in December.
Many December graduates are completing their degrees early, although some are finishing late. Graduating early can help students cut down on tuition costs, although it means missing out on a semester of opportunities on campus and for some students paying back loans earlier.
According to Sandy Chest, a staff member in the registrar’s office, students who graduate in December are welcome to return to BJU to participate in the May graduation ceremony, an opportunity about 75% of December graduates take advantage of.
For graduates who are not able to pick up their diplomas in person, the University mails diplomas conferred in December during the first week of January.
Sidney Seiber, a journalism and mass communication major who is graduating this December, chose to graduate early so she could marry her fiancée, who finished college last May.
“I am so excited,” she said. “There’s no hurrah or anything [for December graduates], which I kind of like.”
In order to graduate early, Seiber took CLEP tests to earn college credit before her freshman year and took a few courses online over the summer.
Josiah Odio, a history major, is graduating late this December because he switched his major during his freshman year. Odio believes graduating in December gives students an advantage when searching for jobs because they are competing against fewer people. “[I] can start my next phase of life … earlier than others,” he said.