The place inbetween: Getting in and moving on from the college years

Lakeidra Chavis/ Editor-in-Chief

April 22, 2014


In less than three weeks, hundreds of UAF students will take the stage and earn their diplomas. And just like that, their college years will be over.

For some, the transition from college to real world will be expected, and they will be prepared. For others, the transition will be much more jarred and hesitant.

For traditional students, college is that weird place between high school and the real world: it’s the place in between.

UAF is unique in the fact that the average time to take people to graduate, seven years, is above the national average. So is the age of the average student.

This, with a combination of other factors like academic advising and financial need, makes the ability to graduate harder and harder. So does the incentive.

In college, you can choose your own schedule, validate taking crazy cool classes in an effort to broaden your horizon, and to an extent, stay in school longer so you’ll learn more.

But nothing beats real world experience, like actually graduating and entering it.

And believe it or not, there are perhaps more pros to doing this than cons.

By graduating in four years, or as soon as possible, you save thousands of dollars.

UAF students graduate with approximately $29,000 of student loan debt, according to the Project on Student Debt. Looking at the same data, about half of University of Alaska students have taken out loans to support themselves through college.

But there are advantages to finishing school that don’t necessarily have to do with monetary value.

The faster you are out of school and accept the fact that your college days are over, the more quickly you are able to gain real-life experience that will propel you in the workforce.

But this isn’t to put a damper on those who take longer to graduate. The point I’m trying to make is that it’s better sooner, rather than later.

No one wants to be stuck in college for the rest of their life because there’s a big huge world out there, with better, more diverse and challenging opportunities.

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