Will Your Child Finish College in Four Years?
When planning for college costs, a common assumption is that your child will obtain a bachelor’s degree in four years. But how realistic is that assumption?
According to the Department of Education, less than one-third of college students graduate in four years, with 60% of students taking six years to graduate. Taking an additional year or two to complete college can add substantially to the overall cost. There are several reasons why students take so long to graduate:
- Many students find that they need to work to help finance the cost of their college education. That could mean that they either take time off from college to work or they take a smaller course load while working.
- A substantial number of students switch colleges. One college may not transfer courses from another college, which prolongs the time needed to complete a degree. The National Center for Education Statistics found that 59% of students attended more than one college.
- Many students change majors, which typically involves additional coursework. The National Research Center for College and University Admissions estimates that over half of students switch majors at least once.
What can a parent do to help shorten the amount of time the child spends obtaining a college degree? Actively get involved in helping the child with his/her selection of a college and a major. Since students who change colleges and majors often extend the time needed to obtain a degree, helping your child with those selections could help ensure that they make good initial selections.
Once the child is in college, the parent should also monitor the child’s progress. Find out how many courses your child needs to take to complete college in four years. If the child falls behind, perhaps a summer class or two can get him/her back on track.
Copyright © Integrated Concepts 2015. Some articles in this newsletter were prepared by Integrated Concepts, a separate, nonaffiliated business entity. This newsletter intends to offer factual and up-to-date information on the subjects discussed, but should not be regarded as a complete analysis of these subjects. The appropriate professional advisers should be consulted before implementing any options presented. No party assumes liability for any loss or damage resulting from errors or omissions or reliance on or use of this material.