One of the hot new things on some college campuses is the offer to graduate in 3 rather than 4 years. I hate to be cynical but this makes me laugh as utterly ridiculous.
Yes, I understand the theory that students who have AP credits and who take extra credits during their 3 years in college will be able to graduate early. For some students this may work and it may save them some money. But this option has always been available to most of these students.
But let’s face reality here. I have discussed this before but most students don’t graduate from college in 4 years. In fact, far fewer than 50% do so. According to a new website that tracks college completion rates, less than 24% of incoming freshman completed college in 4 years from the college they started at.
Let’s look at the 4 colleges that were mentioned in the article.
Grace College 4 year graduation rate 54.8%
Baldwin- Wallace College 4 year graduation rate 53%
Leslie University 4 year graduation rate 38%
St. John’s University(NY) 4 year graduation rate 36.4%
Please, do me a favor and go to this website and pull up some colleges in the state where you live to see how they do. In Minnesota, where I live, 30.6% of students at public 4 year colleges graduated in 4 years. At the private colleges in the state the average 4 year graduation rate was 60.8%, twice the rate of the public colleges, but still nothing to write home about. Only three colleges had 4 year graduation rates greater than 80%.
We need to be making sure that students graduate from a 4 year college in 4 years. Colleges should not be playing this game of telling people they can graduate in 3 years when the reality is that they can’t even get their students to graduate in 4 years.
Is that really too much to ask?