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Do you know what it takes to graduate on time? 15 to Finish - Take 15 Credits per semester to finish in 4 years.

15 to Finish - Introduction

According to Complete College America, the vast majority of college students are not taking the credits needed to graduate on time, despite research showing the significant benefits of doing so. Benefits include better academic performance, higher retention rates, and the increased likelihood of completion. Through the use of advertising campaigns, advisor engagement, and new institutional policy and practice, more than 25 states and over 200 institutions are changing that. 15 to Finish, which originated at the University of Hawaii, encourages students who are able to take more credits, graduate on time, and start earning faster.*

*15 to Finish research data from Complete College America:


  • Empower students to be knowledgeable and make informed decisions about their credit load
  • Change the mindset of full-time enrollment (15 credits vs 12 credits)
  • Build awareness about the benefits of credit momentum and on-time degree completion
  • Increase the percentage of SMSU students taking at least 15 credits per semester / 30 credits per year

15 to Finish by the numbers - less than 12 credits has a 2.6% Four-year completion rate, 12-14 credits has a 20.1% Four-year completion rate, 15 plus credits has a 50.8% Four-year completion rate,

Did you know? Staying an extra year for your college education may cost more than you think! 15ToFinish is a smart way to stay on track and save money!

How can you accomplish 15 to finish? You have options! Whether you take credits in fall, spring or summer, make them add up to 30 per year to stay on track!

15 Saves money!

Extra years of college can cost you thousands, both in what you pay and what you lose from not having a job. So, taking 15 credits a semester (or 30 a year) saves you money and lets you make more later on!

15 Makes the grade!

Students who take 15 credits a semester (or 30 a year) tend to get higher GPAs. When it comes to getting better grades, taking 15 is sort of a no-brainer.

15 Keeps you on track!

Taking 15 credits a semester (or 30 a year) dramatically increases your chances of reaching graduation. And hey, isn’t that sort of what this is all about?

Do you know what it takes to graduate on time?

Want to graduate on time? Save money? Get better grades? Then you’re going to love 15. That’s the number of credits you need to take each semester to graduate on time. Sure, you can take fewer and still receive some scholarships and funding. But unless you take 15 credits a semester (or 30 a year), you’re looking at an extra year or more in order to graduate with your degree.

Working with your faculty advisor is the best path to achieve #15tofinish.

Contact your academic advisor or the Deeann Griebel Student Success Center at or call 507-537-6484.


What do students need to graduate on time?

Students want to graduate in four years. To do that, they need to take 15 credits each semester, or 30 credits a year. It saves them money and helps them earn better grades! Students can take more credits under banded tuition or fewer credits and take more time to reach graduation.

Working with your student advisees is the best way to help them achieve #15tofinish. They want to make the most of their education and their time at SMSU. You can help them reach their goals.