New bill aims to help CSU students graduate sooner

NORTHRIDGE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- For many students, getting a four-year college degree is taking a lot longer than four years, but a new proposal aimed at Cal State University students is looking to change that.

Last May, 8,100 undergraduate students graduated from Cal State Northridge, but the problem is, for the vast majority, it took more than five years to complete their studies.

Students said the closer they get to graduation, the harder it is to get key classes.

"Hopefully, ideally four years, that was my plan, but it didn't work out that way," said Kathryn Richards, a psychology major at Cal State Northridge.

California State Universities lag in timely graduations is about 25 percent lower than colleges in the rest of the nation, according to Sen. Steve Glazer.

Glazer added that the chances of graduating at Cal State Los Angeles in four years is 6 percent. For Cal State Dominguez Hills, it's 5 percent, and it's 15 percent for CSU Long Beach.

For over half the students at Cal State Northridge, it takes six years to finish school.

Glazer's bill offers incentives. If a student commits to taking 15 units per semester and passes the classes, that student's tuition would freeze at the amount paid as a freshman. The student would get priority registration and academic advising.

CSU said it is committed to improving the numbers, and it is making headway.

For the system statewide, completion rates are at a 10-year high. The average time to a degree is 4.7 years.

CSU is juggling demands, too, with professors threatening to strike and a shrinking budget.

As the clock is ticking, a CSU spokesperson told Eyewitness News they want to take a closer look at the bill and want to see a cost analysis.
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