Graduating in 4 years can pay off big

Graduating in four years is not only achievable, but offers students a tremendous opportunity to benefit financially and have a competitive edge when entering the workforce.

With more than 50 percent of college students nationally taking an average of six years to graduate with an undergraduate degree, those students who graduate in four years can avoid additional tuition costs and get a jump-start on their professional career.

The bottom line is the sooner a student enters the professional workforce, the sooner he or she will start earning a salary.

Employers who hire new college graduates continue to expect students to achieve their degree in four years and view this as a reflection of a student’s ability to effectively plan their academic path.

It is important for students to understand that they can graduate in four years and should set this goal early in their academic career.

To help Oakland University students explore, develop and plan their path from student to professional — and graduate in four years — the Advising Resource Center and Career Services now offer the tools to guide students through this process.

The “Focus on the Finish Line” website, developed with input from students, employers, faculty and staff, can be found on the OU Career Cycle website and provides a year-by-year guide to helping students prepare for graduation and employment after college.

Graduation is the “finish line” for undergraduates and the website allows students to personally track their academic and professional progress to achieve this goal.

Navigating from student to professional requires students to commit to taking responsibility  for their own success and staying on track.

OU expects students to graduate in an expeditious manner and has developed the tools to help students achieve expectations during each year of their college experience — putting them on the path to long-term professional success.

Like any race, acquiring a college degree can have its hurdles.

Focusing on crossing the finish line can help students plan their path every step of the way and help overcome any unexpected hurdles.

After all, the finish line may be closer and easier to reach than students expect.

Students can visit the Advising Resource Center and Career Services in North Foundation Hall on campus.

Mary Beth Snyder is vice president for student affairs and enrollment management at OU. Email her at [email protected]