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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Most College Students Don't Finish in 4 Years

Some items that surprised me on in the report:

  • 60% of students change college
  • Only 10% of students who start in remediation, graduate
  • Only 19% of students finish in 4 years for a Bachelors
  • 5% of Community College students finish in 2 years
  • 50% of 2 year students need remediation

My Daughter got her Bachelors in 3 years as did one of her friends. I was on the five year plan, but Engineering where I went, usually is.

My 2 cents:

  1. Pick a major, and stick with it. Every time you change majors, you lose units and delay your graduation.
  2. Take a full load every term.
  3. Take online classes during summer, to speed up your graduation. They are often easier since they are from a 2 year college, than classes at your school.
  4. Make sure you do not miss out on classes that are only offered once a year, and are in sequence.
  5. When possible, take classes that meet more than one requirement, if possible.
  6. Go to a four college, and skip a 2 year college. The risk is too high. If you are a student who is super motivated, you can go to a 2 year college, bump up your GPA, and then transfer to a hard to get into 4 year.
  7. Select colleges with high graduation rates. The old saying, birds of a feather flock together. In other words, go to colleges with other students who are likely to graduate.
  8. Manage your workload every term, so you are not overloaded.
  9. While in high school, take classes at a 2 year college. They are often easier than AP classes and give you more credit - an AP course that takes a school year to complete, is often only worth a semester of college credit. Colleges appreciate applicants, who have already shown they can do college level work. Look into online classes.
  10. AP courses are a mixed bag on actual credit once you get to colleges. You will get the unit credit, but they often won't be counted towards required courses, but your electives.
  11. If your district offers it, complete a 2 year degree at the same time as your high school. My cousins kids did this, which was great. I wish my daughter's school had this program.

NY Times summary article:
Most College Students Don’t Earn a Degree in 4 Years, Study Finds - NY Times

The actual report:
http://completecollege.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/4-Year-Myth.pdf

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