Is your school contributing to the student debt crisis?

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The college dream of a 4-year education is becoming not so dreamy. As students are trying to cope with the tuition and cost of living moving up substantially year over year, they are forced to extend the time to graduate. Not only have wages not kept pace with tuition, but students are also taking longer to graduate.

One of the most significant contributors to the student debt crisis is the lack of on-time graduation. Only 41% of students graduate in 4 years or less. Current graduation rates are expensive for both the student and the university.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, merely 41% of first-time, full-time college students earn a bachelor’s degree in four years, and only 59% receive a bachelor’s in six years, driving up the cost of attending college significantly. Students are not only in college longer, allowing debt to mount, but they are losing wages by being in college for an additional 1 to 2 years.

The conventional way to measure graduation rates is to examine how many students complete a degree within 150 percent of the expected completion time—that is, six years for a bachelor’s degree and three years for an associate degree. Using this metric, research suggests that about only half of students enrolled at four-year colleges and universities graduate within 150 percent of the expected completion time, and the completion rate is even lower for students enrolled at two-year colleges. One way to help the student debt crisis is to help students graduate on time and allow them additional years in the workforce earning income versus compiling more debt.

DegreeSight has built an interactive online platform that allows students to track their overall progress ongoing versus a quarter by quarter update. DegreeSight designed this out of necessity after the founders had poor advising that led to unexpected delays in graduation. The goal of DegreeSight is to help students have a more accessible advising and college experience.

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