We've all had that late night panic session that makes you contemplate your future life decisions. Those worries about graduating on time or even graduating at all. It is becoming more and more common nowadays for students to take longer than four years to graduate. Why is this?
Attending a four-year university is really stressful and anxiety filled when it comes to graduating on time. According to a New York Times article, only 19% of students graduate within the four year time period at most public schools. In addition, only 50 out of 580 public four-year universities graduate their students on time.
I noticed this as a trend while taking to some upperclassmen on campus, it got me thinking. Why does it take so much longer than four years? Multiple scenarios came to mind such as, students not knowing what major they want to pursue, failing a class or two, taking a leave of absence, etc. The universities make it seem like it 'normal' or even 'easy' to graduate on time if you just follow their path.
I was always under the impression when going to a four-year university, that if you took a solid amount of credits each semester or quarter and didn't fail classes you could graduate on time fairly easily. Soon I realized this was very wrong. I came into college with thirty credits from high school and I'm still behind and scheduled to graduate late.
I don't know about many other universities but, Western Washington University has General University Requirements (GUR's) which are essentially specific classes every student has to complete before graduation. They're supposed to give students structure and allow them to be well rounded. In theory, GUR's are very helpful and can lead a student to study a topic they never knew about. I really like the idea behind the university required classes however, they should not have to be the reason for graduating late.
Students chose to attend college and it is very expensive. I don't believe that it is right to require certain classes that may not be interesting or have anything to do with students majors.
I do believe all students should be well rounded in their education but not at the expensive of graduating a year or more late.