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California Universities Say, ‘Get Done in Four Years or Pay Penalties’

Fifth year seniors could face additional fees
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The new message to seniors in the California State University system could soon be, “Get in, get out, or pay up!”A new policy being considered in the California State University program would add additional fees (fines!) to students who linger for a fifth year.   This is one of three proposed fees, that according to the website World On Campus, would generate enough money to allow up to an additional 18,000 new students to enroll.

The fifth year senior fines are similar to policies adopted at schools in Wyoming, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Wisconsin.  But in California studies show an estimated 52% of students don’t graduate in four years, many because budget cuts have made it hard for them to get the classes they need for their major.   Studies show many students take courses they don’t need to fill out their required number just so they can keep their financial aid!

Other students point to having to switch majors.  One student had to change to computer science after being rejected by one of the Cal-State nursing programs.  Others report having to change as far in as their junior year because their major was “eliminated” due to budget cuts.

No word as to whether such policies will venture their way to WSU or UW, but as a college grad who utilized the fifth-year senior program at Whitworth, I believe as long as a student is not deliberately delaying their graduation, they should be allowed to finish without the additional punishment of fees.  Even back in 1986, college was expensive enough without additional money at the end of the road.

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