25 Oct

Why Students Spend 6 Years on “4-Year” Degree

Too many students take 6 years to finish a 4-year degree!

Remember the days when earning a B.A. or B.S. really took just four years? Well it seems that-for some students-those days are fading into memory.

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, less than 35% of today’s college students graduate in four years. There are a few reasons for this unfortunate (and expensive!) trend:

  1. Difficulty Getting Into Required Classes
    At larger colleges, it is often difficult for students to complete the classes required for them to graduate. Classes fill up quickly because there are so many students and too few instances of the course, forcing some students to wait up to an entire school year before they can get in.
  2. Indecision
    Many students enter college uncertain of which field to study, or if they even like their school of choice. Changing majors (sometimes multiple times!) and transferring schools can add years (and thousands of dollars) onto the cost of a college education.
  3. Poor Time Management
    With all the newness of their away-from-home independence, some students fall into the trap of letting their social life overtake their academic life. Without a healthy balance between work and play, some students end up failing classes-and retaking costs time and money.
  4. Finances
    Some students struggle to afford paying their share of college fees. This can mean taking fewer classes to allow more time for work, or even taking time off from school to save.

Most of these can be avoided with careful planning! I regularly work with students who are unsure about their major preference and career goals-we even have an online tool to help them figure that out.

Another tip: Taking and passing Advanced Placement (AP) tests in high school can help students earn college credits which may allow them to even begin college with sophomore status.

All the best,
Deborah Fox

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One Response to “Why Students Spend 6 Years on “4-Year” Degree”

  1. 1
    Pay for College Blog » Blog Archive » Trouble in Paradise: 1/3 of All College Students Transfer Schools Says:

    […] back in 2007 we found out that an increasing number of students were spending 5 or 6 years in undergraduate college programs just to earn a Bachelor’s degree, which was once considered a “4-year […]

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