A Bachelor’s Degree in Four Years, Really

When discussing the concept of colleges offering a bachelor’s degree in a mere three years back in December the College Guide pointed out, admittedly sort of snarkily, that the average college student actually graduates in something more like six years. Only 37 percent of students finish in four years. That can get expensive.

Well one school in Maine sees this as a problem and has taken steps to correct it. According to an article the Waterville, Maine Morning Sentinel:

Graduate in four years or the university will pay for your remaining course work.

That’s the deal University of Maine at Farmington officials announced Wednesday for incoming freshmen who sign on for a new guaranteed-graduation program.

The “Farmington in Four” guarantee was developed both for students who want to avoid the cost of additional years of college in difficult economic times and those who don’t want to delay entering the job market or graduate school.

Students at the University of Maine at Farmington, a 2,349-student public university in southeastern Maine, now have a guarantee that they can graduate in four years. If not, the school will pay the cost beyond four years.

It won’t necessarily be any easier for students. Farmington students who want to take advantage of the guarantee have to choose an academic major by May 1 of their freshmen year. According to the article, the student is also required “to follow a set of guidelines including completing 32 credit hours a year that can include course work during winter, May and summer terms.”

About 60 percent of students at the school currently complete their degrees in four years.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer