Why you need to graduate on time

It’s not just money that you’ll be saving.

Everyone knows that although it may be expensive, working towards a college degree will be beneficial for you in the long run. However, not many people understand the benefits of graduating on time (or even early). The four years you spend in school are crucial because it can alter the next ten years of your life. The amount of years it takes for you to graduate can affect your salary, your finances, and even your habits. Here are 3 reasons why you should stay on track.

1. You save a lot of money.

When staying in school longer, it is most likely that your tuition and expenses will continue to increase with every year added on. If you’re borrowing student loans, your interest will continue to rise as the years progress.

The table below, provided by the University of Texas at San Antonio, shows that the longer a student stays in college, the higher the student’s debt will rise.

Image from University of Texas at San Antonio

2. You have a head start on your career, giving you an opportunity to earn more money.

The chart below is taken from Montclair State University’s website. It shows an example of 4 students who share the same major, financial aid package, job, and salary after college. However, they are on different graduation tracks and one student ends up almost $75,000 ahead of another.

Image from Montclair State University

As stated from the source: “Alisha takes the ‘standard’ 15 credits a semester and graduates in 4 years. Brad takes a 12 credit full-time course load and takes 5 years to graduate. Lee takes a year off in the middle of school to be the assistant manager at the deli she works at & changes her major. She takes 5 years to graduate over a 6 year time frame. José takes a 16 credit course load but also adds 2 summer courses and 1 winter course per academic year, so he graduates in 3 years. Each student has $7,000 out of pocket expense per year enrolled (plus an annual tuition increase of 5%), after financial aid. The cost for a 3 credit summer and winter course is $1,000. The entry level salary for their profession is $30,000 (with an annual increase of 2%) but it takes them 6 months after graduation to find a “real job.” In the meantime, they all work at the local deli during those 6 months at $10 an hour.”

As you can see, José, after six years is almost $75,000 “ahead” of Lee, in terms of finances, plus has a 2 ½ year head start in his chosen profession. Because he graduated earlier, José was able to spend less money for school and earn more money for starting his career earlier.

3. You are most likely to live a healthier lifestyle.

According to College Board 2013 Education Pays Report, those who receive their degrees on time are most likely to exercise more, smoke less, and practice positive mental habits compared to an average person. These healthy habits not only result into a longer lifespan but also improve the quality of your mind.

If you’re a student thinking about your future, be sure to do the best you can and stay on track!

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