College Degrees Taking Longer, Study Finds


Published 02/19 2014 07:32PM

Updated 02/20 2014 09:12AM

The days of the traditional two- and four-year degrees could be coming to an end in the Hoosier state.

A report released this week found that most college students at Indiana colleges are not finishing their degrees on time.

WFFT took a look at the numbers and breaks down what it means for the local job market.

It could affect the local economy, the job market, and even the student's wallet.

All those extra fees and tuition, plus lost wages- it all could mean big bucks if it means extending school.

Ashley Siders and Emma Frericks are freshman at the University of Saint Francis.

They are both on track in their degree program, but some of their friends aren't.

"Um yea, a few of my friends are actually a couple of semesters behind. One girl i know is going to be three semesters behind, and she's a junior this year,” Siders says.

"Yea, a lot of my friends are graduating a semester late, or two,” Frericks says.

A report released this week by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education says just three students in ten complete their four-year degree in four years, and it's worse for two-year programs.

And extra years, with tuition, and potential lost wages can cost up to $50,000 a year.

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast Chancellor Jerrilee Mosier says the report isn't shocking.

"Many of our students they are working, they have families, they're taking credits as they can. And so if you look at all the comparison to a six-year time frame, our completion rate jumps to 45.8 percent,” Mosier says.

Mosier says as the skills gap widens, more students are staying in school to learn how to do more jobs.

Fort Wayne Urban League Director of Staffing Greg Walker says it's making it hard for college graduates to find work.

"Looking for very skilled positions and those are a little hard to find. And you're just trying to match people up with the right opportunities,” Walker says.

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