According to national statistics, the average for students graduating from college is now five years rather than four years. Objectively, we may hear that statistic and find it moderately interesting. However, when it is our college student who may take more than four years to complete his college education, we may become not only very interested, but alarmed. We may have seen this coming or we may be taken by surprise. We may understand the reasons or we may not. We may consider the reasons sensible or we may find them ridiculous. We may take the news in stride or we may be angry and upset.
If it becomes clear that your student will need more than the perceived “normal” four years to complete her college degree, you and she will probably need to have a conversation. Whether the extra time is intentional or takes you both by surprise, you’ll need to make some plans that may include some strategizing and altering of financial or other considerations. There are many factors that might cause a student to need extra time to complete a degree. Understanding some of the factors may help you to realize what has happened, or may help you and your student anticipate or prevent a delay. Here are a few factors that might affect your student’s time to completion of her degree.