It is possible to obtain an associate degree in only one year, although it does involve careful planning and diligent preparation. By taking a heavier course load than the typical freshman, some students can complete all of the course work necessary to be awarded an associate degree in one year.
Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana offers a program that allows select students to complete their associate degree in one year. The program is called ASAP, and as of 2015 it is available at nine different campuses throughout Indiana, with plans to expand in the future.
Another option is to test out of some course work by taking AP, or advanced placement courses, or the CLEP exam. Both options allow high school students to obtain college credit before beginning college, and this can reduce the time necessary to complete a degree.