Northwest Missourian Opinion

Dear Editor,

Getting out of college, most students are faced with a pile of debt that seems to be never-ending. One way to cut down on the cost of college, get out of college fast and into the working field sooner, is to finish college in just a few short years. How do you do that? Year-round schooling. Not only does this help students finish their degree faster with less debt, it helps students retain knowledge as well as utilize the school facilities to keep them in good working shape throughout the summer months.

Multiple colleges throughout the U.S. have already gone to a year-round calendar and have seen improvement in students as well as keeping their buildings well kept. Year-round schooling has more breaks throughout their semesters, according to the California Department of Education, which will help eliminate the stress of schoolwork and allow time for students to work throughout the semester. The schedule will allow for regular holiday breaks as well as little ones. This also allows teachers to get grades in and plan for future lectures. The great thing with these breaks is the vacation time can be used differently and more creatively.  

Colleges such as Carrington College and Purdue College have already provided a program for year-round education. University of Purdue’s has increased by 40 percent since 2012, and first year students starting during the summer has increased by 700 percent since 2015. This helps the graduation rates increase while helping students accelerate their time for degree completion. Credits taken by students have increased by 47 percent since 2012. First-year student retention rate has increased by almost 80 percent for students when they attend the year-round program according to the Department of Computer Science.

University of Mary has year-round schooling that has a focus on the growing problems in higher education: rising costs, extended time to completion and growing student loan debt. This school shows that you can receive your bachelor’s degree in two and a half years and a master’s in four. While attending a normally-scheduled college, you receive a bachelor’s in four years and an extra one and a half to two years to get your master’s on top of that.

Cutting down on years in school will cut down on the debt costs that you will have to pay afterwards because the cost would be cut down, spreading through three semesters instead of two, as well as you would only be in school two years instead of four. This allows students to jump into their field of study faster, giving them the opportunity to start paying off debts faster because students would only have six semesters to pay off instead of eight semesters. University of Mary also offers many school jobs for students that want to work but also attend class. University of Mary reduces the cost for room by 1/3 as well as offer many scholarships that follow students into the summer. Once you graduate you will enter the workforce sooner, meaning you’ll have a jump into society faster than other students.

Another point that many don’t think about is the use of the facilities during the summer months. When summer rolls around, the facilities are not in use. This puts stress on the maintenance crew who keep the buildings in good shape for when August rolls around for the students to be back in school to use them. Having students in the building year-round utilizes these facilities effectively. California Department of Education states that using the facilities keeps them in good shape. This allows students to learn in environments that are up to date as well in good working shape.

One obvious reason why year-round schooling is a great option to think about is the benefit of retaining information. According to Oxford Learning, students can lose up to 2.6 months of information during summer break. Teachers take a few weeks each semester to grab students  attention and reteach subjects again.

According to Carrington College, it’s easier to stay in the groove than to take three months off. This also helps students prepare for their careers by showing that they won’t be able to take three months off from their job during the summer. Not only will students retain knowledge but they will also excel at their studies and further their information intake. Attending a school with year-round schooling allows that knowledge to stay intact without suffering through trying to relearn subjects or facts. According to The Century Foundation, it did a study that showed year round education with more frequent, smaller breaks had a positive effect on students.

Sincerely,

Brooke Wehrbein

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