DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) - The average college freshman takes more than five and a half years to graduate. That has a growing number of schools trying to entice students to enroll by guaranteeing they'll finish in four years, or the extra tuition is free.
The four year graduation guarantee is nothing new for students at St. Norbert College.
"It's been in place for a long time, before it started to be the trend," said Bridget O'Connor, Vice President of Enrollment and Communication at SNC.
According to O'Connor, the goal is to get students in and out in four years or less, or the extra tuition is free.
"If a student has followed the recommendations of taking those courses and has worked through and has been unable to pick up a class that they're required to for a major," she explained. "We'll pick up the tuition for them to ensure they can finish without an additional expense for them."
Unlike guarantee programs at other schools, students at St. Norbert don't need to declare a major until their fourth semester and there is no set number of courses students need to take each year.
School leaders say the success rate is so high because of access to academic advisors who help students plan their schedules.
"They said basically, if you stick to what you need to do, they'll give you the classes you need to take and you should get out in four years," Freshman Cody Schober explained.
Senior Jessica Kasten will graduate with a degree in psychology in May.
"They really cross all your T's and dot your I's to make sure you're doing everything you should be," said Kasten. "The class sizes are really small and everyone is accommodating to make sure you finish on time."
To ensure small class sizes and easy access to required courses, the school has set a yearly cap on enrollment.
"That allows us to have the right student to faculty ratio," added O'Connor. "It allows for those classes to be available and it allows us to help ensure the students are graduating, in fact, in four years."
Local 5 also checked in with UW-Green Bay. While the school doesn't offer a "guarantee" that students will graduate in four years or less, leaders said advisors do work diligently to make sure students are on the right track.