New Report Reveals The Odds Of Getting A College Degree On Time - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

New Report Reveals The Odds Of Getting A College Degree On Time Exceedingly Low

Wichita Falls, TX - The winter graduation season is here for college students, but if your child did not graduate in four years its not uncommon.

For most college students the goal going into college is to get in and get out, four years and be done, but a new report shows students across the country and here in Texoma are taking a little bit longer to finish.

Newschannel 6 reached out to school officials at Midwestern State University and spoke to students on campus about this trend.

A new report released by Complete College America, a non-profit that works with states to improve graduation rates at public colleges and universities revealed only 19-percent of full-time students manage to earn their bachelor's degree on time.

Ciera Phillips, a sophomore Psychology major at MSU knows first hand. "I have a lot of friends that actually work also,” said Phillips. “So between school and work its really stressful and some of them do take a semester off," said Phillips.

On average nearly 20-percent of full-time students manage to earn their bachelor's degree on time. That number is even worse for full-time community college students. Only five-percent finish in two years.

Lindsay Knochowicz, a student-athlete, at MSU said balancing the two is tough. She's attending college on an athletic scholarship, but said she could not imagine having a job and paying for school.

"I think it's harder because they're trying to pay for the education while getting an education," said Knochowicz.

According to the report five factors explain why students are taking longer to finish: aimless course selection, courses not being available, students do not take full loads, students switch undergraduate schools or have to take remedial-courses prior to regular course work.

Knochowicz on course to graduate in 2016 and Phillips in 2017 gives this advice to future college students.

"Stay on top of your work and try to figure out maybe what you are really are passionate about before you start your education," said Knochowicz.

"If you come in undecided. I feel like it will be a lot less stress,” said Phillips. “Taking your basics and a few other classes and finding out what you like and declaring later.”

We reached out to school officials at midwestern state university about this report and they told us they encourage their students to take fifteen semester credit hours per semester. However, students are only required to take twelve to be considered full-time and maintain financial aid, but if students want to meet their goal and graduate on time fifteen per semester is the magic number.

The report also says delays in getting a college degree are costing United States families billions in additional college expenses. An extra year of community college cost about $16,000 and $23,000 for a bachelor's degree.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6
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