Expert guidance goes beyond scheduling and can help students save time and money.

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College students juggle a lot: class, studying, work, and home and social lives. So it can feel overwhelming to learn you should add regular academic advising sessions to your calendar. But meeting with an adviser early in your college career and on an ongoing basis can actually save you time, money and energy in the long run.

What academic advising is
An academic adviser is more than just the person who helps you figure out a schedule. Advisers help you navigate the college experience.

Academic advisers help students figure out their educational, career and personal goals and what steps to take to achieve them. An adviser will help you stay on track academically by making sure you’re taking the correct classes to complete your certificate or degree and, if needed, connect you to additional support resources like tutoring, counseling or coaching.

An adviser will help map out your journey, but you are ultimately the one who needs to steer. So come to your advising appointments ready to engage, ask questions and play an active role.

When to meet with an adviser
Most students don’t begin college knowing how to make academic decisions. Advisers can support students in learning how to gather academic information, make well-informed decisions and adjust course if needed.

Beyond first contact, it’s important to also meet with your adviser on a regular, ideally quarterly, basis. Routine check-ins ensure you’re staying on the right track, taking the classes you need to graduate on schedule and getting connected with support services as needed.

No two students are alike, and an approach to a course of study that works for one person may not be effective for another. Students are most successful when they work with their advisers each quarter to create a personalized plan.

Why advising is important
Advising ensures you have a roadmap for your college experience that maximizes your efforts. This focused approach makes it likelier you’ll earn your degree or certificate quicker, getting you into an income-earning career sooner. Students who don’t meet with an adviser take one extra quarter to complete their program, on average.

Studies show that 75 percent of students begin college without a chosen career path or major, and 50 percent to 75 percent of students will change their major at least once. A main cause of this is a lack of information — information advisers can provide.

Rather than spending several quarters taking classes to see what sparks your interest, an adviser can help you explore your options more efficiently and even introduce you to paths you didn’t know existed.

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