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ERIC Number: ED558792
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 86
Abstractor: ERIC
Four-Year Myth: Make College More Affordable. Restore the Promise of Graduating on Time
Complete College America
In American higher education, it has become the accepted standard to measure graduation rates at four-year colleges on a six-year time frame. Evaluations of two-year community colleges are now based on three-year graduation rates. Metrics like these are unacceptable, especially when we consider that students and their families are trying desperately to control the skyrocketing costs of higher education. As lifetime savings are depleted and financial aid packages run out, the extra time on campus means even more debt, and for far too many students, additional semesters do not result in a degree or credential. Four years in college is a lot less expensive than five or six. An associate degree is much cheaper in two years than three or four. Hands down, the 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. First, let's focus on the right numbers: on-time graduation rates. Second, the realization that students need a direct route to graduation. This report looks at the following: (1) Where the nations stands; (2) Where the nation needs to be; (3) The causes; (4) The costs; (5) The paradox of choice and college success (Barry Schwartz); (6) The solution; (7) Using structure to boost college completion (James Rosenbaum); and (8) Additional considerations. Profiles for each state are included at the end of the report.
Complete College America. 1250 H Street NW Suite 850, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-349-4148; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Complete College America
Identifiers - Location: United States
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A