What’s it all about?

15 to Finish is a campaign to encourage Kentucky college students to graduate on time by completing at least 15 credits a semester, or 30 a year.

Why is it important?

  • Saves money, since taking 15 credits is the same cost as taking 12 credits at most of Kentucky’s state universities. That’s 3 credits for FREE!
  • Avoids the cost of extra semesters
  • Maximizes KEES money: KEES money only lasts eight semesters, or within five years of high school graduation.
  • Helps get them out into the workforce sooner.
  • Increases the likelihood for good grades and college completion.

How can I help?

Emphasize college requires more responsibility than high school.

College isn’t just four more years of high school. Instead, the student is suddenly in charge of making key decisions about coursework and commitment to study. Encourage selection of a major as soon as possible and to work with an advisor when registering for classes. Research shows that those students with undecided majors take less than 15 credits a semester, and often do not graduate on time.

Also prepare your student for managing their time efficiently. Research shows that poor time management directly impacts student success. Discuss ways to manage academic and personal time, as well as ways of documenting deadlines and setting reminders so that an assignment isn’t forgotten, or a special lab class overlooked.

Explore ways for your student to earn college credit in high school.

If your student is still in high school, investigate opportunities with the guidance counselor to earn college credit in high school, whether it’s AP, early/middle college, dual credit or dual enrollment. There are lots of opportunities to earn general education credit before enrollment in college!

Push for quick completion of those gen ed courses.

Even though your student may be excited about taking courses related to a degree major, encourage knocking out as many gen ed courses as possible during the first two years of college. Students who take 15 credits per semester and complete courses like English and math early are more likely to graduate on time.

Monitor your student’s progress.

Many institutions require permission of the student before allowing a parent to access academic information. Discuss with your student the possibility, so you can monitor academic progress and be a part of the solution when a problem arises that might prevent graduating on time.

Be a good listener.

Low course loads or poor academic performance could be caused by emotional problems, rather than course difficulty. Be patient and supportive during times of insecurity, homesickness, anger or disappointment. Also, don’t forget that every campus has a student support office that will be happy to help!

Suggest alternative terms.

If your student is having trouble keeping up or doesn’t pass a class, suggest summer courses or online alternatives that are self-paced. There are lots of ways to earn college credit outside the traditional term or classroom setting!

Know the resources available.

Retain new-student materials or bookmark webpages about tutoring services, advising offices or study skills services that might help your student when a problem arises.

Don’t forbid working, but do suggest fewer hours.

If it’s possible, discuss the possibility of cutting back on working fewer hours to allow for larger course loads and on-time graduation. Also, discuss the option of an on-campus job while taking 15 credits. The schedule may be more flexible and the commute time will be shorter than if working off campus.

Most bachelor’s degrees are 120 credits:

And most associate degrees are 60:

A student has to take at least 30 credits a year to graduate on time!




Sponsored by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

15 to Finish Kentucky is based off 15 to Finish, a campaign of the University of Hawai’i's Graduation Initiative.