As an aspiring Application Developer in my final two semesters ( associates degree.) I have urged other classmates to go the distance and purchase a webhost and start working on it as to not loose your edge and in my opinion the projects we have to do for a grade are sometimes, for lack of a better phrase, dummed down, so that students can get them completed. I have built myself a site as well as adding interesting projects to my site from different studies that I learn on my own. Just getting the code up on the host is a learning experience in itself.. Also I urge my classmates to decide on a project and start working on it.. and look at all of the great Meetup groups around the area and get in on the free teaching, get in on the networking, get in and see for yourself what people expect from you.. If you do not expect anything from yourself.. you will get no where.. My brother is making over 150K a year and does not even have a degree!!! He never took one CIST class he taught himself.. He has had such jobs as Lead app architect for National Geographic and the Library of congress.
With this im saying.. put in the time for your school.. but put in more time for yourself.. find what is fun for you and what you love to do and run with that.. when someone sees your passion for what you do .. I promise you will not have a problem convincing them to give you a break