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My 12 Year Journey to Graduation Part 1: Why it Took So Long to Graduate

I am graduating in a mere thirteen days. After twelve years, it is time for my journey at IUPUI to come to a close. College hasn’t always been easy and I would know— I’ve been a senior since 2012. I am now just finishing my English degree which was delayed primarily due to financial aid issues and finding a job with full time hours. I started my college career as a double major at IUPUI in 2009. At the beginning of my journey at IUPUI, I pursued two Bachelor degrees. One was English concentrating in Creative Writing at the IU School of Liberal Arts and the other was in Computer Graphics concentrating in Technical and Spacial Animation at the Purdue School of Engineering & Technology. Choosing two majors brought their own difficulties that I did not anticipate.

The Reasons it took 12 years to Graduate:

  1. I was a double major. One of my degrees was with IU and the other was with Purdue. Almost none of my classes overlapped. My required credit total: 240 credit hours

  2. I was unaware that if I took more than 1.5 times the required credit hours for one bachelors degree without graduating, then I would lose financial aid. One degree = 120 credit hours times 1.5 = 180 credit hours

  3. I only made about $400 per month in 2013 while classes were $1000-$2000 each. Half time (to get the discounted rate) was 6 credits =$2000. I simply didn’t make enough money to support myself and take classes until 2017 and even then I could only afford one class per semester until I found a supportive partner.

  4. I could not get a co-signer for private student loans.

  5. In 2013, I went through a phase of debilitating depression.

Once I was able to finance classes with personal loans and save money, I was able to graduate. Even when I wasn’t able to afford classes, I was still always working on projects which is where we will head in part 2.

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