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Getting more out of four

Most undergraduates at The University of Texas at Austin expect to finish college in four years. But only about half of them do. The others need additional semesters to earn their degrees, incurring more debt and delaying their future.

Four-year graduation rates are a problem faced by many public colleges and universities. President Bill Powers and The University of Texas at Austin want to do better. 

The goal: Raise four-year-graduation rate to 70 percent by 2016.

It’s ambitious, but faculty members and students believe it’s doable. It begins with emphasizing academics at freshman orientation and helping new students adjust to university culture. It continues with improved advising, ensuring students are on track to complete their degrees on time.

The result: Everybody benefits.

A higher four-year graduation rate means a faster return on the investment of students, parents and taxpayers. It frees up space and resources for incoming students. It equals less debt and greater opportunity for graduates entering the workforce or pursuing advanced degrees. And it means UT Austin’s newest leaders will be contributing to the world that much sooner.


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