How long is your child going to be an undergraduate?

May 18, 2009

How long do you want your kid to be in college earning a 4-year degree?

Maricopa County -- Sal & J.D. ‘the college guys' have been asking parents for the last three plus years in the free workshops entitled How to not go broke paying for college, "how many years does it take to get a four year degree?"

Families are shocked to find out that on average it takes 6 years to get an undergraduate degree at a state school. Well, those cannons have blasted that ship, way way out of the water. This information can be easily found by searching the graduation statistics at any college.

The San Jose Mercury newspaper reported that San Jose State University has 1500 students who are working on their third year (or longer) as a college senior. Okay lets do the math. 3+3 is six plus one more to graduate, hey that is seven years.

1,500 students have been college seniors for at least three years. And some of these seniors really like it: 35 have been enrolled for at least 10 years, and 2 have been enrolled for 15 years.

At $18,124 per year (that is for in-state cost of attendance at ASU) times 7 years, that a whopping $126,000. You might as well buy the kid a brand new Porsche 911. I won't even add up the costs for going to college for 10 or 15 years it might give us a heart attack.

Parents have asked why it takes so long to graduate. One of a few reasons is because kids enter college and jump from major to major. Each time majors are changed the starting line is moved forward. Finding yourself in college is expensive. Having good assessment tools, resources and help to direct and guide your child, can reduce the graduation timeline.

J.D. Wyczalek (why-zall-ick) the founder of AZ College Consulting, LLC and Sal Allen help parents understand college financial planning, present ideas to shorten the graduation timeline and conduct free workshops. Click here for dates and locations.

With proper planning your child can graduate in 4 years (selecting the right college is only one piece of the puzzle.) So, how long do you want your child spend earning a 4 year degree?

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