I frequently get asked, how many units should a freshman take? There’s no right or wrong answer because we all have different limits, but I’ll answer this question from personal experiences and hopefully it can guide your decision on how many units you should take your first year of college.
But wait... what is a college unit?
When I was a senior in high school, I had no idea what a college unit was and what this meant, so friends you’re not alone! Basically a college unit is the value assigned to each class. In other words, it’s a way to measure the intensity of and time alloted to a class. For instance, let’s say your English class is 3 units, but your Spanish class is a 4-unit class, you should expect your Spanish class to be a little more intense and require a bit more of your time. This is not to scare you whatsoever, but I think it’s nice to at least have an idea on how time-intensive the course will be based on the number of units.
Now that you have an idea of what a college unit is, let’s dive into the reason why you clicked on this blog, how many units should I register for? Should I opt to be a part-time or full-time student?
This is not always the “easy road” because, at the end of the day, you’re going to be taking the same amount of classes, but over a longer period of time. If you’re considering being a part-time student, you’re going to be taking less than 12 units, which in most cases could equal 1-3 classes. Many students find being a part-time student is more convenient for their schedules since they may have other responsibilities such as a full-time job, a family or social commitment. With this being said, take some time to think about your responsibilities, future goals, ideals and time commitment to determine whether or not this is the road you want to take your first year. In addition to that, the amount of units you take can significantly change your financial aid.
In order to be considered a full-time student, you need to be enrolled in at least 12 units at Biola which is usually around 4 classes. However, if you’re taking 18 units you’ll be paying the same price for tuition. Why? Well, this is due to the flat-rate tuition Biola offers, which means that despite the number of units you’re taking you’ll be charged the same tuition rate. The only exception is if you’re a part-time student then the cost will be less.
As tempting as it sounds to take a full load (18 units), I would recommend that you start off by taking anything between 14-16 units for your first semester of college. Your first year of college is all about transitioning and new beginnings, so you want to allow yourself enough time to experience this new season of your life. I took 16 units my first semester of college, and I’m glad I did because I was able to get a sense of the intensity of each class, while being able to work, get involved in clubs, and have fun with my friends. Additionally, your major could play a huge role on how many units you need to take each semester. Ultimately, you might want to consult your academic advisor to see what would work best for you.
After you get your first semester under your belt, you can reconsider the number of units you want to take during your second semester of college. But remember, it’s all about finding THE RIGHT BALANCE!
I pray that this blog was helpful for you guys, and that somehow you feel more prepared to take on this new chapter of your life.
Until next time,