In the U.S. it’s not just tuition fee hikes that are driving up the price tag of earning a college degree. Across the nation, budget cuts are compelling universities and colleges to lay off professors and cancel some classes, thereby making it more difficult for teenagers to get into the courses required to earn their degree. All these lead to more time spent in college.
The whole concept may sound amenable to alumni, but to most students extra time in college only means more expenses. To address the issue, students are crashing different classes, with the hope of finding space that could move them closer to finally earning a degree. In some cases, wait-listed students have to take turns standing outside classrooms – closest to the door so they can listen to the lecture and not fall far behind in case they get lucky to get in.
Policymakers have long been urging public colleges to be more efficient in moving students through, however, experts say that any current progress is jeopardized by unprecedented budget cuts that have resulted into cropped course offerings.
Some students struggle to land spots in core entry-level classes such as math and composition since the part-time professors who usually handle those subjects are the first ones to be dropped in tough times. There are students who are locked out of cramped core courses in their majors by upperclassmen. On the other hand, upperclassmen face a tougher ordeal – the upper-level classes they need have been hacked completely because they may not be popular enough.
Furthermore, a study of batch 1999-2000 graduates found that on average, it normally takes students 4.5 years to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Roughly two-thirds of conventional-age college students who managed to finish got through within five years.
Around the nation, the cost-cutting has resulted into the usual begging and pleading with instructors to make more space for additional students. However, some experts believe that money is not the only issue, some say that colleges tend to focus on illustrious but virtually unnecessary graduate programs while sacrificing the undergraduate basics. There are others who push instructors to teach essential courses in lieu of their own interests while students have to simply settle for early-morning slots. Students claim that under the current set up, they appear to have no other choice.