Admissions Essays
Blog  |  About Us  |  Help Center  |  
Admission Essay & Personal Statement Development Services
Admissions Essays Blog
Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
What Happened to the Four-Year College Degree?
Did you know that just around forty-one percent of students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities will graduate in four-years? The other fifty-nine percent of students take a full six years to earn their undergraduate degrees. In an era where college tuition and costs of living are skyrocketing, this is a really big deal.

A 2016-2017 survey conducted by the College Board found that the average annual cost of tuition and fees was $34,740 at private universities, $9,970 for in-state residents at public universities, and $25,620 for non-resident tuition at public universities. While instructive, these averages may mean little for students living in urban centers or states with higher costs of living. Annual tuition at the University of California, for example, is over $13,000. At the University of Pittsburgh, the annual tuition (for 2015-2016) was more than $18,000.

Taking an extra two years to finish college comes at a steep cost, both financially and in terms of time investment. That's two fewer years in the job market. Adding tens of thousands of dollars to your student loan debt means you could be paying loans off for decades.

So why is it taking students longer to finish degrees? Finance is a huge one. The cost of college these days means that more students have to work. They are more likely to take fewer units over a longer period of time. In other cases, students aren't actually aware of the number of units necessary for graduation, or elect to change majors mid-way. Many community college units don't transfer to "four-year" universities, requiring students to take longer to graduate (with surplus units, to boot).

At most colleges, 15 units per term is the magic number for a four-year finish. An awareness campaign called "15 to finish" was introduced by the University of Hawaii in 2012 and has become a new standard in several other states since. While universities are the ones who benefit from the six-year degree, they also have reputations to consider. Funneling students quickly through college and into the workforce does wonders for a university's post-graduate placement rate.

Whether the four-year degree becomes a thing of the past is a trend that remains to be seen, but for now, its outlook is a little bleak.


posted by at

Previous Posts
Admission Essay  |  Personal Statement  |  Letter of Recommendation  |  Scholarship Essay
© Admissions Essays, Inc. 2013. All Rights Reserved. Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Site Map