Local College Pushes 15 to Finish

Published 08/01 2014 08:09PM

Updated 08/01 2014 08:21PM

Seven in ten Hoosier students do not complete a bachelor's degree on time, which is why the state of Indiana is launching a campaign to boost college graduation rates.
They hope to encourage Hoosier students to take at least fifteen hours a semester to graduate in four years.

It seems as though Indiana State Unviersity students are already ahead of the curve when it comes to a fifteen hour semester workload.

Only three in ten Hoosier students complete a bachelor's degree on time. Part of the reason could be taking less than fifteen credit hours. At ISU, that's not the case.

Joshua powers, ISU Associate Vice President for Student Success says most of their students are already encouraged to graduate on time, "Most of our students do take 15 hours a semester so they are on track to graduate in approximately 4 years."

ISU junior Levi Griffin takes seventeen hours, that's because he is apart of the Air Force ROTC, but he always aims for five classes a semester.

Griffin says the Air Force ROTC didn't slow him down, "I got into Air Force ROTC which kind of unevens things for the 15 total, but usually you'd go with 15 or above just so you can graduate on time. 4 years is typically how long it should take."

Powers says the few that do take less than fifteen hours may do so because they work on top of going to school, "The ability to manage a full, typically 5 courseload while they're working, maybe they have to commute a long distance to school or those sorts of things. Those would be real good reasons why a student might choose to go something less than 15 hours."

Another reason some students take less hours is because they withdraw from a course during the semester, "Where they might fall behind would be a decision to drop a class for whatever number of reasons, and then they're more limited in options to take a class the second half of a semester," Powers said.

Griffin says having a backup plan is a good idea, "If you do take 15, have a backup plan in case it doesn't pan out. If one class is too hard for you to take, just rotate it out and see if you can get another class in there to keep at 15."

For many students, including Griffin, graduating on time is very important, "Getting out of here in 4 years would definitely save you a lot of money."

Most bachelor degree programs are one hundred and twenty credit hours. Mathematically, taking thirty hours a year would keep students on track to complete that degree in four years.

The state provides more statistics and information on the fifteen to Indiana initiative.

Other helpful tips on graduating on time can be found on the 15 to Finish website.

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