More College Students Taking Longer to Graduate

group of graduates

group of graduates

Recent data shows that it now takes the average college student six years to get a bachelor’s degree and not four. As a matter of fact, the National Center for Education Statistics now only about 39 percent of full-time students who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree actually accomplish it within four years (not including time that some student’s might take off). In addition, though, the US Department of Education advises that only 60 percent of first-time, full-time undergraduates are able to graduate after six years.

So, what’s happening? Why are college students taking longer to graduate (if at all)?

Well, for one, College Coach director of educational counseling, Ian Fishers suggests, “Many students are thrown because they go from a very structured environment in high school to enormous freedom in college.” The former college admission counselor for Reed College in Portland, Oregon also goes on to say, “Students can really struggle to navigate that.”

Now, some of these numbers are normal. There will always be a percentage of students who change their majors or transfer schools, resulting in the need to extend by a quarter or a year, etc. Other students can delay in taking classes they need to graduate because the competition is too high.

Of course, if you extend your studies past your four-year goal you will still need to pay for it and that means, for many students, taking out even more student loans. And with college already costing far more than most people can afford the financial burden may just be too much to bear.

For example, the average cost of tuition and fees at a public university is just shy of $10,000. That is nearly double the average cost of tuition and fees at a public university just ten years ago. For private colleges, the number has jumped from $21,000 to $33,000.

As such, then, it is exceedingly important for high-school graduates (and high school seniors) looking at a college education to look not only at costs but also at graduation rates. Graduation rates tend to be higher at private colleges, of course.

If you are concerned about this, you can also look to get your required classes done as early as possible. Always take a full load, at least during the first two years, to ensure that you complete as many required classes as possible, as quickly as possible.

[graphiq id=”2td4vd1cBEh” title=”Percent of Population with a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher in The United States” width=”600″ height=”617″ url=”httpss://” link=”” link_text=”FindTheHome | Graphiq” ]

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