According to a report by Complete College America, only 19% of full-time students end up earning their bachelor's degree on time at most public universities in the United States. Even at flagship public universities school within each state, only 36% of students graduate in four years. At community colleges, only 5% of full-time students graduate in two years.
"Hands down, our best strategy to make college more affordable and a sure way to boost graduation rates overall is to ensure that many more students graduate on time."
On Time Graduation Rates by Degree Type
Graduating "on time" means graduating from a 4-year college in four years or a 2-year college in two years. But what do the statistics say about students who actually achieve these graduation rates? According to data, on time graduation rates are the following:
- 1- TO 2-YEAR CERTIFICATE: 15.9% On Time
- 4-YEAR BACHELOR’S Degree (NON-FLAGSHIP): 19% On Time
- 4-YEAR BACHELOR’S (FLAGSHIP/VERY HIGH RESEARCH): 36% On Time
- 2-YEAR ASSOCIATE: 5% On Time
Not Graduating on Time Will Cost You Big Money
According to Complete College America, you'll be paying an extra $15,933 more for every extra year at a public two-year college and $22,826 for every extra year at a public four-year college. In other words, 4 years of college is significantly less expensive than five or six. Likewise, earning your bachelor's degree in 3 years will cost you significantly less than four years. This is why a growing number of students are using online classes and enrolling in competency-based degree programs in order to reduce the number of years it takes to earn their degree (in 2 to 3 years versus 4) and/or ensure that they graduate time. The group emphasizes, "Hands down, our best strategy to make college more affordable and a sure way to boost graduation rates overall is to ensure that many more students graduate on time." Want to try an online class at StraighterLine? Take two free lessons on us today! (No credit card required)