Posts Tagged ‘undergraduate degree’

Friday College Town Hall

Categories: Majors & Minors


In Friday College Town Hall, we post a question about college, and you leave an answer in the comment field. Today’s question:

Between 30-40% of incoming college freshmen are undecided on a major when they enter college. It’s also estimated that between 75-80% of students change their majors during their college careers.

Is it good to be open minded about your studies or does jumping around majors hurt you in the process?

Leave your answer in the comments below or tweet at  @Cappex to chime in (we’ll post your answer below)!

Who Are America’s Undergraduates?

Categories: College Life

diplomabiggerIn the midst of all that hype of how you’re going to get into college and pay for it, one very important question gets lost: Who is actually going to college?

Although pop culture spins it a certain way, most students are not focusing all their attention on trying to get into the most selective private colleges in the nation with hopes of becoming the next president of the United States, CEO of some conglomerate that secretly owns everything, or just desperate to live up their wealthy family’s noble legacy and tradition. The vast majority of students just want a college education to help them make a better living than statistics tell them they’d have otherwise.

The Chronicle recently published an article explaining that most college students are actually attending community colleges and public four-year colleges and that a huge portion of those students attend school part-time–a fact that is often overlooked. That’s definitely a tidbit that’s left out of the popular American conception of the “college experience.” In fact, the American “college experience” of Greek Life, football games, partying is not what the actual college experience is for everybody. Students that come from families with smaller annual incomes are not as likely to go to a four-year selective college that offers that kind of “typical” college culture.

To help us grasp what the undergraduate landscape is accurately like, The Chronicle crunched numbers from 2007-8 in two data sets from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Here are some of the trends they found:

  • 39.4% of undergraduates attend community college
  • 37.5% of undergraduates attend public 4-year institution
  • 16.5% of undergraduates attend private nonprofits
  • 6.6% of undergraduates attend for-profits
  • 25.1% of undergraduates annual income of parents and/or independents is less than $20,000
  • 2.1% of undergraduates annual income of parents and/or independents is more than $200,000

Here is the breakdown of colleges attended by students from families earning less than $40,000:

Public 2-year – 50.0%
Public 4-year – 6.8%
Other public 4-year- 15.9%
Nonprofit research-extensive and liberal arts colleges – 1.6%
Other private, nonprofit 4-year – 7.0%
Private for-profit – 15.3%
Others – 3.4%

Do these numbers surprise you? What’s the college experience you want or have had?

4 Ways to Graduate College in 4 Years or Less

Categories: College Life

diplomabiggerHave you met Slow Joe? He’s that friendly guy on campus who says “hi” to everybody and who you see at every party but never at the library. Oh, and according to legend, he’s been in school since ’96.

College is great. But the debt you’ll accumulate paying for all those years of fun without getting your degree is not worth it–unless you’re an heir or heiress to a billion dollar oil company.

Graduating in 4 years or less is most definitely possible, and here some tips to make sure you can do it:

1. Decide on a major
A lot of schools, guidance counselors and older friends will tell you that you should take your sweet time choosing a major. The truth is, while it might take some time to realize what it is you really want to study, the earlier you figure it out, the sooner you can you complete the courses you’ll need to graduate. The later you decide on the major, the less time you have to complete those courses by graduation.

Check out our article about why you should declare a major now.

2. Wean off of the party scene
Chances are, the more you party, the less time you’ll be studying. It’s a simple law of science–I’m pretty sure Einstein discovered that relationship. The party scene at school can be fun, especially since it’s your first real taste of independence. But once you’ve had your taste, get back to the books. Partying can take a huge toll on the work you’re able to complete and classes you’ll be able to pass.

3. Sit down with an advisor
Once you decide your major, make an appointment with an advisor to help you plan out each of your semesters. A college advisor will help you make sure all of your requirements will be covered by the time you want to graduate. Stick to the plan, you’ll be sure to graduate on time or earlier.

4. Study abroad wisely
Studying abroad is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the world. If this is something you want to do, make sure 100% that all of the abroad program credits transfer to your school. One of the ways to makes sure of this is to go with a program that your school recommends or is partnered with. Again, meeting with an advisor can help you find the right program that will work towards your major.

Do you have any other words of wisdom for graduating in 4 years or less? Comment and share!