Kansas College Students Taking 6 Years To Graduate

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)_ Recent reports say more than half of Kansas college students are taking 6 years to graduate.

According to the website CollegeCompletion.Chronicle.com, more and more students are taking longer to complete college which has created a burden on a lot of parents who are paying tuition.

Washburn University Junior Alexa Westover is majoring in Criminal Justice, a four-year program, however she says it may take her closer to 6 years to complete.

"Usually it takes longer because maybe sometimes you don't pass all of your classes during the semester. That was my problem because I wasn't doing that well my first year here," said Alexa.

And Alexa is not alone. Recent reports say 41% of Washburn University students will take 6 years to graduate while only around 18% graduate in 4 years. At University of Kansas and K-State, around 60% of students are taking 6 years to graduate.

Alan Bearman is Washburn University's Dean of Student Success and he says, "ideally every student would graduate in 4 years. The reality is depending on where they start determines on how long it takes. Students work a lot or students have family responsibilities and those things slow down the student."

Valley Center High School student Andrea Williams hopes to attend Washburn University in the future. She has taken college credit hours to avoid spending extra years at college and spending more money.

"I think money would be a big issue. It's really hard in today's economy," said Andrea Williams.

"I don't know many parents who can afford to pay for their child's education, even in 4 years! So must of us do depend on scholarships," said Amy Williams, Andrea's mother.

And Bearman says Washburn University has found a way to tackle this issue.

"Washburn has a set of programs that is set to meet students. We can sit down and map out a plan for them that would get them done in the most timely fashion," said Alan Bearman.

"To me, I think to myself, at least I am getting it done," said Alexa.

Bearman also says they have implemented new tutoring programs that offer help to 600 students per month so they can finish college in a shorter time. Recent reports say on average it would cost about $60,000 for 6 years at Washburn Univeristy and around $75,000 at K-State and around $86,000 at KU for 6 years.