5 Tips and 20 Schools To Help You Graduate in Four Years

A shocking 45% of students take 5 years to graduate from college and the average time to complete a four year degree is now 4.7 years. Consider these strategies to graduate on time and the schools that will help you on your way.

The number of students taking five years to complete their Bachelor's degree is on the rise. 45% of students now take 5 years to graduate and Time Magazine notes that, as of 2008, both public and private schools are only graduating 37% of full-time students in four years. The average full-time student takes 4.7 years to get a 4 year degree according to Complete College America. So what can you do to make sure you graduate in time? Work hard, be prepared and follow the 6 tips below courtesy of Newsweek:

  1. Take AP and college classes in high school. Taking AP or college classes before you get to school can help you test out of some prerequisites and put you as much as a semester ahead before you even set foot on campus.
  2. Pick a major and stick with it. Changing your major in your junior or senior year makes it very difficult for most students to finish within four years. Switching majors, especially in the humanities, often makes very little difference in the working world.
  3. Make friends and COMMUNICATE with your advisor. Plan and coordinate with your advisor frequently to make sure that you're still on track to graduate on time.
  4. Take advantage of your summers. If you fall behind or need to make up a required course, summer is the ideal time to do it. Internships and study abroad opportunities often count for college credit, so if you're planning on taking advantage of them make them count as much as possible!
  5. Think before you transfer. It's not uncommon for credits not to make the transfer from campus to campus with your mini-fridge and laptop. If you're thinking of transferring, make sure that most of your credits will transfer with you.
  6. Apply to one of these schools:

These schools all offer 4 year degree guarantees:

California State Polytechnic University

California State University -- Fullerton

College of St. Scholastica

Green Mountain College

Juniata College

Mercer University

Randolph-Macon College

University of Colorado -- Boulder

University of Nebraska

University of the Pacific

Read this caveat about 4-year degree guarantees before signing up because unfortunately, many of these programs involve many stipulations and requirements.

These schools have the highest 4 year graduation rates:

Williams College

Yale University

University of Notre Dame

Princeton University

Carleton College

Davidson College

Pomona College

Bowdoin College

U.S. Naval Academy

Duke University

Find the right school for you with Noodle! Use our college search to find one that fits your needs, interests and personality.