A committee appointed by the Iowa Board of Regents will study how to improve “on time” graduation rates at the state universities. Regents President Bruce Rastetter says, financially, it only makes sense to increase the chances for undergraduates to complete their work in four years. “One of the single largest costs of an education and debt increases is not graduating on time,” Rastetter says.
The committee will study national trends for encouraging on time graduation and Rastetter says a boost in state appropriations will be needed to fund the effort. “How can we make sure the universities have the resources, but also incentivize to make sure those kids graduate on time…if they choose to want to do that?”
Rastetter says recommendations may include beefing up counseling for freshmen, and adding sections of core courses required for graduation. “I think it’s making sure you have enough counselors early on that give the right advice on course offerings and making sure you have those core courses available so kids can take them and they don’t have to push them into the next year,” Rastetter says.
The Regents schools already have four-year graduation plans in place. At the University of Iowa, for example, a spokesman says they are close to their goal of having 52-percent of undergraduates finish in four years.