Fifteen to Finish Finish in Four
Dear students of Harriot College of Arts and Sciences,
A college degree is the best investment you will ever
make in your life, adding significantly to both your annual income and your
lifetime earnings. Having a college degree also decreases tremendously the
likelihood that you will be unemployed.
Your university experience was designed to be completed
in four years. Some students may have excellent reasons for pursuing double
majors, certificates, or other qualifications that slow down their progress.
Other students may experience financial challenges or family obligations that
prevent them from graduating in the normal timeframe. However, it has long been
determined in higher education that four years of full-time attendance would
provide sufficient time for students to gain both a general education and a
deep specialty in one or two areas.
We advocate that students participate in student abroad,
field schools, internships, and other forms of experiential learning, and a
well-designed trajectory should accommodate these enriching experiences within
that four-year timeframe. In fact, ample evidence indicates that students who
participate in these activities graduate at a higher rate, in a shorter time,
and with greater academic success.
If you aspire to go to graduate school, your application
will be viewed more favorably if you finished your degree in time. Employers
will see you as a goal-oriented person who stays on task.
Finishing your degree in time means that you can begin
earning a salary earlier in life, and you will save money on tuition and fees.
Clearly students who take 5 years (10 semesters x 12 credits per semester) will
have to pay 25% more than students who finish in four years (8 semesters x 15
credits per semester). These increased costs lead to greater indebtedness.
The simplest way to reduce your own indebtedness is to
complete your degree in a timely fashion since each additional semester costs
you both in terms of student loan debt and lost wages. Almost half the students
in the College of Arts and Sciences do not take the 15 credit hours each
semester that would be necessary to complete their degrees on time.
What can you do to graduate in time and lower your costs?
in your future success by finishing in four years.
Below is a list of estimated expenses for an ECU full-time student living on campus during the 2016-2017 academic year. Full-time is considered 12-18 credit hours and the cost is the same regardless of the number of credit hours. Students will get the most value for their money by taking more than 12 hours per semester.
All costs are subject to change pending legislative approval.
Taking an extra year to graduate can mean an additional $17,000-$33,000 of expenses. Not spending $17,000 at the age of 23 is the same as saving it until retirement. Even at the modest rate of interest (5%), that savings equates to more than $130,000 by retirement age!
See Financial Resources on the right of this website for tools to assist in planning.
Center for Counseling & Student Development
Four Year Plans
Pirate Academic Success Center
Speech Communication Center
University Writing Center
CFNC Tools and Calculators
ECU Net Price Calculator
Institute for College Access & Success
Office of University Scholarships