Most EWU students don’t graduate within four years

Finish college in four years? Think again

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Most EWU students don’t graduate within four years

The Easterner

The Easterner

The Easterner

By Anthony Carroll, Contributor

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Over half of first-time EWU students are not graduating in four years. According to the 2017-2018 graduation rates posted by EWU, 52 percent of students graduate in six years and just 25 percent of students graduate in four years.

This is not happening solely at EWU, however. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 60 percent of students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution in fall 2010 completed that degree within six years; the six-year graduation rate was 6 percent higher for females than for males.

Reasons for these numbers vary and are dependent on the situations of individual students.

“We’ve got to stop making assumptions that students are coming in here and they’re college ready,” said EWU academic adviser Melanie Thomas. “For as long as I have worked at Eastern, that has been our population of students.”

College is an educational environment, but it is also a place where many students can transition into adulthood. College, after all, is a vastly different environment than what most 18-year-old students have been used to.

“Jumping over to university was a big change,” said freshman Juan Vasquez. “I’ve had a few friends that already had to drop out with plans of coming back because they could not afford it currently.”

He also said that these are friends who were receiving financial aid, but their award packages were not covering the full costs of attendance.

We’ve got to stop making assumptions that students are coming in here and they’re college ready.”

— Melanie Thomas, Academic adviser

The financial aspect cannot be ignored when analyzing reasons students are not graduating on time. Tiffany Brown, a transfer student at EWU who has been in college for five years, three at EWU, said since she started her college career, she has worked full-time while going to school. She said at one point she worked two jobs. Brown said that due to the intense workload she decided to take a few quarters off, and enroll part time.

While college is an environment for academia, the social experiences must be addressed as well. It is clear that drinking under the age of 21 is illegal, but that doesn’t mean all underage people don’t drink.

“A lot of my students have no idea what a serving size is,” Thomas said with regards to heavy drinking.

Partying, illness, family issues, relationship problems and tragedy can all be contributing factors that delay student graduation. Life, itself, can be rough at times, and it is important for students to know where they can go to seek counsel.

It is imperative that students know about the resources available to them and how to access those resources.  Events are occasionally held to help students navigate these resources.

College can be a time for students to become more independent. Some students come into college ahead of the curve, but for others, this may be their first time on their own. Due to a variety of circumstances, students have to maintain their focus in order to graduate in four years. Valuable time and money are spent on the extra time it takes students to graduate.

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