I know a LOT of 5th year college seniors “taking the victory lap” or claim “they aren’t ready for the real world yet” I am convinced that most of the undergrads today must take more than 4 years to graduate…
I’m a senior and I’m still on the four year plan. I seem to be the only one, though.
Are there more undergrads that take five or (heaven help us*) six years to graduate.
(*I understand that bad or unexpected things happen to some of us…health and medical problems, mental disorders and the like, or anything else that is a valid reason for late graduation. This isn’t directed at you, but at the undergrads, like myself who have no reason not to graduate on time but personal reasons ie. staying out late, drinking, or lack of motivation.)
On average, first-time recipients of bachelor’s degrees in 1999–2000 who had not stopped out of college for 6 months or more took about 55 months from first enrollment to degree completion. Graduates who had attended multiple institutions took longer to complete a degree. For example, those who attended only one institution averaged 51 months between postsecondary entry and completion of a bachelor’s degree, compared with 59 months for those who attended two institutions and 67 months for those who attended three or more institutions. This pattern was found among graduates of both public and private not-for-profit institutions.
The reason it takes most folks 5 years (I’ll be graduating at 5.5 this Fall, but lost .5 due to suspension) to graduate College is class availability.
For instance, my friends at Willammette (in OR) and Smith (in Mass) had no trouble graduating in 4 years so long as they didn’t fail many classes. Those were, however, private colleges.
At a public university, you have to fight with an underfunded school that has vast (state mandated) core requirements and not the space for the students. You’re basically fighting against 20k+ more students for a very limited number of spots to complete those core classes. Furthermore, pending your state, they’ll also tack on major classes for various majors.
And if that’s not bad enough, you have the deceptive classes. As an example, say you’re a Biology major.
Well, you’ll take (and get credit for) 15 hours of Biology courses. What you won’t get credit for are the extra 30 hours of labs they’ll pile on you. So while 15 hours may be simple to a History major (myself), 15 hours to a Bio major can be a full time job plus some, because they don’t give credit for those labs.
In short, the national average for college graduation is 5 years, and it’s a result mostly of the system.
If you also add on the often obligatory year of partying, it can easily stretch to 6 years. And there’s no shame in that, if you’re at a good party school.