Archive for December 4th, 2014

December 4, 2014

Failure to graduate on time adds thousands of dollars to college costs

by Grace

Most College Students Don’t Earn a Degree in 4 Years, Study Finds

Is this really news to most people?

The vast majority of students at American public colleges do not graduate on time, according to a new report from Complete College America, a nonprofit group based in Indianapolis.

“Students and parents know that time is money,” said the report, called “Four-Year Myth.” “The reality is that our system of higher education costs too much, takes too long and graduates too few.”

At most public universities, only 19 percent of full-time students earn a bachelor’s degree in four years, the report found. Even at state flagship universities — selective, research-intensive institutions — only 36 percent of full-time students complete their bachelor’s degree on time.

Every extra year costs thousands of dollars.

… “it is costing students and their parents billions of extra dollars — $15,933 more in cost of attendance for every extra year of a public two-year college and $22,826 for every extra year at a public four-year college,” the report said. “Hands down, our best strategy to make college more affordable and a sure way to boost graduation rates over all is to ensure that many more students graduate on time.”

Students who require remediation, transfers between colleges, and too many course choices are blamed for failure to graduate on time.

Each year, the report said, 1.7 million students begin college in remediation, including a majority of community college students — but only one in 10 remedial students ever graduate.

Also, 60 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients change colleges, with almost half of them losing some of their credits when they transfer.

Too much choice in college catalogs contributes to the problem, the report said, often overwhelming 18-year-olds “with an enormous cafeteria of possibilities in the college curriculum” and too few counselors to help them chart their course.

Here are some more “Common reasons for failing to graduate college in four years”.

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Tamar Lewin, “Most College Students Don’t Earn a Degree in 4 Years, Study Finds”, New York Times, Dec. 1, 2014.

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