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Student body presidents pushing for on-time graduation

Education-bubble_rgbHATTIESBURG — With only 48 percent of students graduating in four years, the student body presidents of Mississippi’s eight public universities have decided to encourage their fellow students to know their plan and graduate on time.

The Student Body Presidents’ Council launched the Finish in 4 campaign at a Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning meeting held recently in Hattiesburg and will carry the message to their respective campuses during the upcoming advising period when students select their classes for the spring semester and during the spring semester as they plan for summer and fall semester classes.

“We’ve seen some of our friends wait too late in their college career to make a plan so they could graduate in four years,” said Brett Harris, SGA president at Mississippi State University and chair of the Student Body Presidents’ Council. “We want to encourage students to develop a plan early so they can finish in four years and move to the next level of their careers.”

Using the mantra “Know Your Plan,” the student body presidents encourage students to speak with their academic advisers to make certain they understand the number of hours required to earn a degree in their major and to take enough hours each semester to earn a degree in four years. Taking a maximum of 12 credit hours each semester equates to at least five years before earning a bachelor’s degree. If a student takes an average of 15.5 credit hours each semester, the time to a degree is reduced to four years.

Aubrey Patterson, president of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, said, “It will not only help students save money by graduating sooner, it will also help our state by preparing students to enter the workforce sooner.”

On average, each added year costs the student approximately $11,000 in tuition plus room and board. In addition, the chances of graduating decline significantly after four years.

Finish in 4 brochures are being distributed to students in Freshmen Experience courses through academic advisers. The Finish in 4 message will be promoted through social media and campus organizations. The message is simple: Know your plan, graduate on time and save money.

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