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Most students don't graduate on time

Insights on how graduating late can significantly hurt students financially

Photo of Sinean Maredia
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What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Did you know graduating a year late can cost students nearly $70,000 in lost wages and school expenses. Is the four-year degree a thing of the past? Most students simply don't graduate with their degrees on time. And this is because in actuality our system of higher education costs too much, takes too long, and graduates too few. Surprisingly, only 36% of students pursing a 4-year bachelors graduate on time. Many students take longer to graduate because they run into obstacles when transferring between colleges- such as losing credits in the process- or because they make poor choices when selecting the right majors or because they can't get the courses they need on time. Spending an extra year or more can significantly increase the financial burden on students and their families. It is estimated that an additional year at a two-year college for a student would come with a price tag of $15,933 in cost of attendance (tuition and fees, room and board, books, transportation and other costs), and amount to $22,826 at a four-year college. Students also would lose out on wages they could have earned if they graduated on time. In the end, it all boils down to the question: How can we raise the percentage of students that graduate on time so they can avoid extra college-related expenses? Please see attachment for more statistical numbers Numbers were obtained from a report published by Complete College America


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Photo of Katie Zaniboni

This is so true. I'm living proof! I started off at one school, changed my major, took a semester off to work 'in my field' and figure out if I liked it - went back and transferred to a different school because by the time I figure out what I wanted, the school I was enrolled in didn't have that as a major...I added two extra years onto my bachelors degree - at least an extra 20K! this is def. a hidden cost for those entering college without a clear vision of what they want, which is hard to do when you're 18 and away from home for the first time...very interesting insight indeed. Thanks!

Photo of Sinean Maredia

Katie, thank you for supporting my arguement. Your case brings forward yet another point regarding this challenge. You jumped majors, and in the end that hurt you. Therefore, colleges should implement a system where college kids, like you, can change majors without having to add extra years or costs.

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