I’m currently on a year hiatus from university, a job opportunity came up that I couldn’t pass up. Typically school started for me roughly around the first week of September, no one really attends that first week though because people are still choosing their courses. The school year is roughly 7 or 8 months depending on how exam scheduling goes, and we have a winter break of three weeks in between. I typically scheduled my weeks that I would have Fridays off, and I attempted to set it up that I had the bulk of my classes in the morning so I would usually get out before 2 pm. It was a nice little system which allowed me to still work full time and not accumulate debt.
This is the way things are set up in Nova Scotia, Canada. I suspect most Universities have some scheduling tricks you can pull to minimize the actual time you spend at school. The biggest influence on me were Profs and class sizes, if I was in a class of 40 + people where the Prof just regurgitated what was in the text well I just read the text at home and never went to class. Classes which were smaller and had more discussion you couldn’t miss simply because those discussions would make it on to exam questions. My second year of university was planned so well that I actually only had to go to classes for tests and exams. It was a magical experience which ruined me for the years to follow.