What is “15 to Finish”?
Have you ever calculated how many years it will take you to graduate? Do you know how many units are required for your degree? Do you hope to graduate in 4 years? Most undergraduate students will finish in 5, and at Cal State L.A. 41% of students will graduate within 6 years (https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-university-search/california-state-university-los-angeles). There are many reasons for this, but one of them is because many are unaware they should complete a minimum of 15 units every quarter, or semester, to graduate on time. If you are completing 12 units (or 3 courses) every quarter, you are considered a full-time student, but this is not the minimum amount of units necessary to graduate in 4 years. (See figure below).
More Money (Did you know?)
It is more cost effective to graduate in 4 years. Students who complete a minimum of 15 units every term (excluding summer) are not only more likely to graduate on time, but save nearly $16,000 when they do.
In addition, a year saved from enrolling in 15 units per term, allows graduates to enter the job market earlier! The average salary for a bachelor’s degree holder straight out of college is approximately $45,000. Added together, that’s $61,000 saved and earned if you graduate in 4 years. (See figure below).
|Cost of Attendance and Registration (12 Units Vs. 15 Units)|
|Rooom, Board, and Transportation||Total Cost of Tuition, Fees, Books and Supplies for 12 Units Over 5 Years + Living||Total Cost of Tuition, Fees, Books and Supplies for 15 Units Over 4 Years + Living||$ Saved by Registering for 15 Units Over 4 Years + Living||Avg. Salary for Bachelor's Degree Holders Straight Out of College||Total Savings and Earnings if Registered for 15 Units|
|Commuting from Home||$78,290||$62,632||$15,658||$45,478||$61,136|
|Living in Campus Housing||$115,150||$92,120||$23,030||$45,478||$68,508|
|Living Away from Home/Off-Campus||$116,305||$93,044||$23,261||$45,478|
How to Start
Did you know that students who complete their English and Math courses early are more likely to graduate on time? Enroll in these courses as soon as possible, and meet with an academic advisor when you have questions. For a list of advisement centers on campus, click here.
(15 to Finish: Part of the Hawai’i Graduation Initiative)
Is 15 units a quarter or a semester simply too many? Try summer school. It’s a great way to stay on track!