Graduating in four years has a huge payoff

When most students and their parents think about paying for college, they think in terms of scholarships, grants and loans. And they should. But another huge factor to consider is how long you will take to graduate.

Most of us expect to graduate in four years
but the unfortunate truth is that it takes many students five or six … or ten years to finish up. Often it’s for good reasons, like job considerations, personal issues, the stress of attending college or frequently changing majors.

Obviously, going to college for six years is two years more expensive than finishing in four, right? Well, not exactly. You have to also consider the lost wages of staying in school those two extra years. In addition to the extra tuition, fees, books and other expenses of college, you also lose two years of full-time income.

If a job in your field pays $50,000 and you take six years to graduate, those two extra years will cost you a cool hundred grand of lost income on top of tuition and other expenses!

In fact, four years at an expensive college can be more affordable than six years at a cheap one even if the expensive college costs twice as much. How? It’s the opportunity cost of not working those two extra years. Even if six years of tuition at Big Cheap U adds up to less out-of-pocket cost than four years at Elite U, those two extra years of big-kid income after graduation from EU more than make up the difference.

Some schools, like Bellarmine University, are keenly aware of how important it is to graduate in four years. So they make it a guarantee. They can make that claim because they have dedicated advisers to help you stay on track and you will never be shut out of a class you need to graduate.

The bottom line: Graduating in four years can have a huge payoff. Guaranteed.

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