How much outside class study time is recommended for every hour of class time for college freshmen?

Getting into the swing of things as a college freshman can be a little tricky, especially if the student is living on a campus away from home. All sorts of new experiences (and diversions) await. Putting together a clear idea of study time commitment is a wise move — before you pack your bags.

Here's a guideline to what freshman can expect throughout their college years: Each unit of credit requires 2 to 3 hours of outside classwork per week. So, a student carrying 15 credit hours should plan to spend 30 to 45 hours each week studying beyond the classroom.

If you tally study time and class time, a typical student invests from 45 to 60 hours in academic work each week. Add a part-time job to that load (not to mention any hint of a social life), and you see a theme: time management.

Of course, study time doesn't translate just to test preparation. Toss reading and homework assignments into the mix. A weekly schedule might work out something like this: A course counts as 4 credit hours. Reading assigned text could take 2 to 3 hours; completing homework might occupy another 3 to 6 hours. Reviewing material for an exam may well consume 3 more hours. Total: 8 to 12 hours a week for one class.

No way around the fact that budgeting your time in college is as critical as keeping your bank account afloat. It's an investment that starts paying off with your first round of grades!