Students take extra year to cram more credits in

With graduation caps strapped to their heads and diplomas in hand, many students are preparing to take the graduation walk – a year late.The additional, fifth year, also nicknamed the “victory lap,” isn’t uncommon anymore.

Fifty-one percent of college students graduate from baccalaureate institutions within five years of initial enrollment, according to the American College Testing’s Web site.

Although more students are currently taking an extra year to graduate, the ACT Web site said the graduation rate has remained the same.

TCU remains consistent with the ACT statistics.

In 2002, according to the TCU Web site, 1,452 freshmen enrolled at TCU. Four years later, there were 1,506 bachelor’s degrees given out during May 2006 graduation.

Walker Turney, a senior communication studies major, is required to have 124 hours to graduate in his program. To be able to graduate in four years, he would need to enroll in at least 15 hours minimum each semester.

Turney chose to enroll in 12 hours each semester during his freshman and sophomore years. Since an average of more than 15 hours a semester is necessary to graduate in four years, he will be a semester late.

“I’ll be done in December, along with the rest of my buddies,” Turney said. “It doesn’t bother me.”

Although some students have no problem staying an extra semester, some cannot afford to.