Why Does It Take So Long To Complete College?

A new study suggests that the growth in the length of time needed to earn bachelor’s degrees – six years or longer – is indeed real and cause for concern. But the study finds that the shift to longer time-to-degree rates is not uniform across colleges, but is concentrated among students who enroll at less competitive four-year public institutions and at community colleges. Further, the analysis finds likely links between longer time-to-degree rates and resources, both of institutions and of students.  For many years broad access colleges have been cut by states, and offer fewer and larger classes, along with inadequate student services to help students complete college.

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