Report Says Four-Year Degrees Are a 'Myth'

December 2, 2014

A new policy report from Complete College America pushes for a return to "on-time" graduation. The nonprofit group said commonly used graduation rates of 150 percent of on-time program length (six years for bachelor's degrees and three for associates) are "unacceptable, especially when we consider that students and their families are trying desperately to control the skyrocketing costs of higher education."

Complete College America, which receives a substantial amount of funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, found that only 5 percent of full-time students at community colleges graduate in two years. The extra year costs an average of $15,933 in tuition, room and board, books and other expenses. Likewise, only 50 of the nation's roughly 580 public four-year institutions report that at least half of their first-time, full-time students graduate on time.

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