Local News

UNC wants students out after four years

Posted September 9, 2008 5:33 p.m. EDT
Updated September 9, 2008 9:36 p.m. EDT

— University of North Carolina officials are working to keep students on track academically to meet a year-old policy that gives students eight semesters to earn their degrees.

The policy, which applies to all members of the Class of 2011 and subsequent classes, lops one semester off the old standard at UNC. Since 1993, university officials have required school approval for any student who wanted more than nine semesters to graduate.

Last year, 58 students petitioned for a 10th semester at UNC. Administrators approved 48 requests, and the others graduated.

"There are so many students here that it's probably better to keep them going and push people to try and finish on time," junior Emily Bald said. "I think most people probably want to finish on time."

UNC spokeswoman Dee Reid said most students graduate in four years. For example, 71 percent of students who entered in 1999 graduated on time, she said.

Reid said the policy change saves students, their families and North Carolina taxpayers money and opens classroom spaces for incoming students.

Jesse Arthur, a fifth-year senior, called the eight-semester limit as "a little over the top," saying he didn't know what he wanted to major in when he came to UNC.

"I feel like (the fifth year has) been an advantage to me. It gave me more time to figure out what I want, and I feel confident in what I want to do. I'm glad I had that extra year to do that," Arthur said.