As college students attend their courses, there’s a very good chance that they never realize just how many days of classes there actually are in the semester. The college year can at times feel much shorter than the average high school year, but at other times, it seems to drag on endlessly. Despite the large amount of tuition college students pay, the school year is very short, leaving some to wonder if a longer year and therefore faster graduation time would better serve students.
College students have off a little more than three months during the summer and more than a month during Christmas Break.
This is not even counting the numerous holidays during the semester. In the Fall 2008 Semester there were only 65 weekday classes and there are 64 weekday classes during the current Spring 2009 Semester. These numbers, compared to the 10 months of classes college students had when they were in high school, are drastically different. With the high cost of tuition students are forced to pay for their college educations, it seems that they are not getting what they are paying for.
According to the St. John’s Web site, the “Undergraduate Tuition Academic Year” for 2008-2009 shows that the average amount of tuition students were required to pay, without any financial aid, was $28,000. A single room on campus is at most $4,800 per semester, which adds up to $9,600 per year. With the expensive tuition students are paying to go to college, there should be more than just 65 days of classes in a semester. Yes, one of the great things about being in college is that the school year is shorter than it was in high school. This allows for students to have jobs during the school year, and time to catch up on their schoolwork, but there are some downsides to having such a smaller number of classes.
It is not easy to connect with students when you spend less than three months with them. Also, some students only have classes once or twice a week, so in reality they are spending thousands of dollars in tuition payments for classes that will meet less than 20 times in one semester.
The number of days off in one school year does not even include the amount of times a professor may cancel class. In some cases, a student can have many cancelled classes in one semester, cutting down the number of classroom meetings.
The average American works every weekday, with very few vacations, and most jobs require a person to have worked a number of years with the company before they can get weekends off. The large amount of spare time college students have may lead to a shock upon entering the workforce where the work hours may be more demanding. For this reason, after graduation it may be an adjustment for college students to get into the normal routine of the American workforce after the limited amount of time spent in the classroom.
College is a time for students to find out what their interests are and to try and see what fields of study will best help them to find a job that involves these interests.
With the amount of time and money college students invest into their educations, shouldn’t they be attending more classes, taking less vacations, and therefore earning their degrees faster?