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How long do you think it takes most college students to get a bachelor’s degree?

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Photo of Linda McCoy

“Five to six years. It’s a four-year degree, but they have to figure out what they are really interested in and what they want to major in. It’s a changing world, so they have to be able to adapt.”

Photo of Michael Schlotterbeck

“Five years. It’s because there are more general education requirements. Some of them seem unnecessary; but if the state wants us to have a well-rounded education, I guess we have to put up with it.”

Photo of Kari Wolverton

“I’d say an average of five years. I think it’s because people come into college not knowing what they want to do.”

Photo of Chad Lela

“About four and a half years. I did engineering in five, and I was off for a semester. Most people do it in four or five.”

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Calliope877 10 years, 5 months ago

"4th_grade_education (Anonymous) says:

4 years. Hence the term, "four-year-degree."

Anything more and you are pathetic."

Your comment truly does show that you have a 4th grade education.

trinity 10 years, 5 months ago

well nertz to you, 4th grade; as a non-traditional student, with 3 kidlets at home to boot, i had to take a semester off-plus, transferred from a small private college to KU-so my 4 year took me 5. i'm about as far from pathetic as you can get. now, if i'd have stayed on public assistance&worked menial jobs? that would have been pathetic. you're just mean.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 5 months ago

In defense of the OTS question person/people, I think the idea behind a question like this is to compare perception with reality. When considered in that light, it's a reasonable question.

Oh, and I prefer chocolate-dipped ferrets.

mom_of_three 10 years, 5 months ago

It will take me about 7 years, as I only take one or two classes a semester, and have two years of community college already. My eldest will probably graduate college before I will. If I could afford it, I would go full time, but I can't. Most students take 4 years, and few take 5.

CindiCat 10 years, 5 months ago're funnie...that was a good one.

IMO it depends on what your major is. Took my son 5 years because it WAS a 5 year program. My middle daughter, took her 5 years as well....switched schools. My youngest daughter, will probably take 5 years as she is a double major.

Crossfire 10 years, 5 months ago

I was married but I'm a bachelor again. Life is good. I think I'll go back to school now.

Jaminrawk 10 years, 5 months ago

Five years. I wasn't even mad about the extra year. I loved college.

4th_Grade_Education is probably just mad because no one talked to him at any level of school. Plus, anyone who feels the need to post on the LJ-World at 4:03 a.m. to call people who had to work or changed their majors during college, "pathetic" is really the pathetic one.

RonBurgandy 10 years, 5 months ago

Without earning credits in high school and/or taking a full summer load, it is very difficult to finish a traditional bachelor's degree in four years. I was able to b/c I had those things. Almost wished it had taken me longer since it would have delayed my entrance into the "real" world.

P.S. The "real" world sucks.

Write2Know 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm with Ron on this one. College was hard work, but it was also a lot of fun. Having now been in the "real" world for over 10 years, I kind of wish I had taken 5 years to finish college instead of 4.

OnlyTheOne 10 years, 5 months ago

2 Years at JCCC 2 Years at KU One degree and a start on a Masters. Hell yes I worked my butt off.

gontek 10 years, 5 months ago

I flunked out a few times, changed my major , then did engineering and dedicated myself to higher education and graduated in a total of 7 years, with 2 of those part time school and full time career. Most of the 4 year graduaters I knew took 18-21 hrs/semester and had limited social activities.

Graduating college in 4 years is like leaving a party at 7:00 in the evening.

Laura Watkins 10 years, 5 months ago

i was pressured into the four year track by my parents and now i have a degree in something i don't like. if i had felt like it was okay to take a semester or two and actually think about what i was doing, i'd probably be doing something i love. instead i am working at ku (in a good job but not what i want to do for the rest of my life) and trying to sort out my interests without the help of an advisor.

trinity 10 years, 5 months ago

i agree blue, that made me smile! :)

and i appreciate all who weighed in on the issue; at 5-ish in the morning, i got more than a little peeved at the insinuation that anybody who takes longer than 4 years to get a degree is a loser.

sourpuss 10 years, 5 months ago

This is a really stupid question. What does it matter how long I think someone needs to take to get a degree? What is the point of that? Why not just ask me what I think the speed of light is, or what I think the population of Tanzinia is? This is a fact, go look it up. We have statistics on how long it takes people to graduate. Don't ask people what their opinion of some fact is. Moronic.

dminear60 10 years, 5 months ago

4th_grade_education: Call me pathetic but it took me 5 years and I am damn proud of it! While I was in school, I worked 25 hours a week, raised my children and earned a GPA of 3.90. Take it from someone who has been there; if the idea is to learn rather than to just get a degee, it is much better to take your time and benefit from your classes than it is to sail through and learn little.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 5 months ago

Woohoo! New question:

What do you think is the speed of light divided by the population of Tanzania?

TheHeartlessBureaucrat 10 years, 5 months ago

Well...if you can effectively educate yourself in 4 years and earn the degree, that's great. What's important to me is not the speed of the education but the content of what's in the graduate's brain. 4 years or 8, the degree is earned.


mom_of_three 10 years, 5 months ago

Some of it depends on what discipline you study. If you want a Business major, then it might take a semester longer, because you have certain requirements, etc.
You are considered a full time student if you take 12 credit hours, but I don't think you can graduate in 4 years only taking that many a semester. You have to take more.

dminear60 10 years, 5 months ago

I agree, new question.
How about which came first, the chicken or the egg?

MyName 10 years, 5 months ago

Errr.... how about "Q: What do you get when you feed a troll?"

Haiku_Cuckoo 10 years, 5 months ago

Your comment truly does show that you have a 4th grade education.

But hey, he/she got that education in only four years!

Haiku_Cuckoo 10 years, 5 months ago

How long does it take? That depends. Are mom and dad paying for my education or am I working two jobs to pay for it myself?

bugmenot 10 years, 5 months ago

I studied abroad for a long time, leaving me to complete my degree in 5 years. Sorry that somehow makes me pathetic; I wouldn't trade my experience for anything. It's changed my life in every way imaginable.

countrygirl 10 years, 5 months ago

6 years, but with a 13 year break in there. I went back and finished up while working full time and going to school half time plus taking care of my family. I turned in one take home test with spaghetti sauce on the margin--thank goodness for an understanding instructor from JCCC. It's tough, and I take my hat off to anyone who manages to finish at all while juggling work and family.

lucky_guy 10 years, 5 months ago

A bunch of the problem is with KU. Advising is nonexistent as mentioned above. Not enough classes offered in the core areas. Lot of classes that don't mean anything or don't count towards anything. Lots of students having to wait for a class to come available to finish. Tripiling the tution over the last 4 years didn't help.

auturgy 10 years, 5 months ago

Double Major (with an added emphasis), Minor: 4 years. And good planning. In every sense of the word.

H_Lecter 10 years, 5 months ago

I think that with the addition of roundabouts and other speed impairing devices, it will slow most students to 5-6 years.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 5 months ago this that trick question where you answer, "who's buried in Grant's Tomb"? Anyway, as soon as I graduate, I'll let you know.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 5 months ago

"What do you think is the speed of light divided by the population of Tanzania?"

Answer: The Los Angeles Rams.

Ceallach 10 years, 5 months ago

"What do you think is the speed of light divided by the population of Tanzania?"

Answer: the time it took for M Vick's "colleagues" to roll over on him.

He pleaded guilty, what do you think, guys? Will he play pro ball again?

sgtwolverine 10 years, 5 months ago

Ceal, honestly, I really don't care one little bit. Vick never managed to become a great quarterback; in my mind, the NFL will miss him only because he drew a few more eyes to TV broadcasts. I'm not sure the game of football itself will miss Vick. Not like it would have missed Tarkenton or Cunningham in their primes.

Ceallach 10 years, 5 months ago

sgt, I know very little about today's football leagues/teams. Since my husband died I've had very little exposure to the game (couldn't think of a more delicate way to say it). Seemed a little too _itchy to say -- I don't have to watch it any more. Although that is true :)

sgtwolverine 10 years, 5 months ago

Ceal, I'm actually much more of a college football fan; I just pay attention to the NFL because I'm a football fan. And because maybe one day the Lions might actually win a few games.

R_I, I knew someone would come through for me, and I knew there was a good chance it would be you. Thanks.

Crispian Paul 10 years, 5 months ago

4th_grade_education (Anonymous) says:

4 years. Hence the term, "four-year-degree."

Anything more and you are pathetic.

Yeah, I have a pathetic friend who took ten years to complete school between being in an abusive relationship and having to move across country to get away from him, changing majors, having nearly a year of credit not accepted by KU, working full time, etc. That pathetic girl. She should have just not gone to college. Pathetic.

purplesage 10 years, 5 months ago

A 4 year graduate must have hit the roundabout on W. Clinton Parkway.

Remember some bachelor's degrees are 5 year propositions now.

sourpuss 10 years, 5 months ago

I think it is 42. That's my belief, and I am sticking with it.

George_Braziller 10 years, 5 months ago

"4th_grade_education (Anonymous) says: 4 years. Hence the term, "four-year-degree." Anything more and you are pathetic."

Yeah, I must be "pathetic" because it took me five years to graduate from KU. Maybe it was because I worked 1/2-3/4 time and carried a full load during the school year, worked full time during the summer and spring break, and managed to graduate with a degree and NOT have a single school loan to pay back.

Woo Hoo!! Let's all celebrate those of us who are considered "pathetic" by a guy who's bragging about having a "4th_grade_education ".

sourpuss 10 years, 5 months ago

Since the nature of this question ticked me off so much, I am going to contribute the following questions the LJW is free to use in the future for their On the Street column (and yes, they are supposed to be inane):

What is your prefered ratio of "beanie" to "weenie"? What is your favorite shade of blue? Plain or chocolate dipped biscotti (any flavor)? Are you a cat person or a ferret person? Necklace or earrings? Do you have an obscene tattoo? Why not? Would you ever consider painting your house purple? How fast can you type? Gloves or mittens? If you could be any grit of sandpaper, which would you be? Do you consider yourself to be an elephant person? How far would you go to get a raise? Have you ever cut the breaks on someone's car? Why not? What is your favorite breath mint? Cashews or peanuts?

and finally

If you could ask any question "On the Street" what would it be?

sunflower_sue 10 years, 5 months ago

The speed of light divided by the population of Tanzania equals the verticality of Mary Lou Retton.

George_Braziller 10 years, 5 months ago

I know that "4th grade education" is a troll but when "powershopper" calls me "pathetic" for working my skinny behind off to pay my own way through school and exited without debt and not being proud of it why shouldn't I shout?

Guess your logic is that if someone calls me a #@$%#^@ on any topic then I should just give a constipated Stepford Wife smile and not even respond. Sorry honey, ain't gonna' happen.

powershopper (Anonymous) says: How pathetic is it that everybody fell right into 4th grade education's trap? It is like letting Phred Phelps bother you:pathetic:.

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