Graduation plans? Hold on there, sister
My young friend and former student "Delia" is getting hosed by the university. She's a senior with several impressive majors and makes excellent grades. She did a semester abroad last year and came into her penultimate semester of college thinking she was on track for grad-jee-ation.
Then she started getting her chain jerked by various advisers. One said, sure, you're all set, with enough credits and upper level hours to get that sheepskin next spring. Then another adviser says bah humbug to that and tells Delia that she's a whopping 21 hours short of her upper level credits. That's more than another full semester of college to deal with--and tens of thousands of dollars that dear Delia would have to come up with between now and mid-2007.
Of course, it's all just another load of booshwa from a school that tries to squeeze as many dollars out of its undergrads as it can. Delia is no dummy. She plotted her college career with diligence, getting all the core courses out of the way early and ripping through those majors with relative ease. She's worked like a little demon at off-campus and on-campus jobs and lived on next to nothing while her well-off classmates jazzed past her in their new cars on their way home to condos their parents bought for them.
So what's the deal? Well, back when I worked at the uni on the hill, I heard many stories like this. Seniors would get midway into what they thought was their final year of college and be told that, oh no, more hours were needed or that there were NEW requirements in place that they would have to adhere to before they could get outta the joint.
Regularly, the department secretary would inform juniors and seniors that because of the limitations on class size, they would have to stick around another year or TWO to get their upper levels done. There just weren't any more seats in those last few courses (which was never actually true), so they'd have to take them next year.
This is all ridiculous, of course. But I learned early on that nothing is more important than the retention of the paying customer. So what if scholarships run out and loans have reached six figures? Delia was told by her advisers that she could "transfer to another school to graduate" if she was unhappy with having to do more time.
Transfer? During her senior year?
I want to hear your stories about this ugly trend. Are colleges really hurting for money this badly? Do they really need to penalize good students for getting through in a mere four years?
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