Summary of Key Points regarding Student Credit Loads
March 31, 2006
· The average load taken by a UM undergraduate on the Mountain Campus during the Spring 2006 semester is 13.1 Student Credit Hours. The normal load for an undergraduate at virtually all public universities is considered to be 15 hours per semester.
· A student who completes 15 hours per semester will graduate a full year earlier then one who only takes 12 hours per semester and will save over $16,000.
· Students who take full loads progress better and are more likely to persist to graduation.
· Students who take less than 30 hours per year are twice as likely to leave without graduating.
· Contrary to common perceptions, most of the students who leave are in good academic standing and they generally do not enroll elsewhere, thereby failing to earn their college degree.
· This is a tragedy, both on the individual and State level, since
Ø College graduates earn, on average, around a million dollars more in their lifetime than those who do not hold a college degree.
Ø Jobs not requiring a college degree are disappearing due to rapid changes in technology and markets, as well as outsourcing and off-shoring related to globalization.
Ø According to Tom Mortenson of the Pell Institute, those without a college degree will, on average, lose purchasing power net of inflation every year of their career and will never catch up.
Ø In addition to higher salaries, private economic benefits of a college degree also include, employment, higher savings levels, improved working conditions, and personal/professional mobility.
Ø Private social benefits of a college degree include improved health/life expectancy, improved quality of life for offspring, better consumer decision-making, increased personal status, and more hobbies/leisure activities.
Ø Public economic benefits include increased tax revenues, greater productivity, increased consumption, increased workforce flexibility, and decreased reliance on government financial support.
Ø Public social benefits include reduced crime rates, increased charitable giving/community service, an increased quality of civic life, social cohesions/appreciation of diversity, and improved ability to adapt to and use technology.
· We want students to make informed decisions and to succeed.
· The Financial Aid Office can assist students in determining the optimal mix of financial aid and earnings to provide a student with the best academic and financial return on their investment.