Preliminary Results for SQE’s Survey on Obstacles to Graduating Released!

We have surveyed almost 2,400 CSU students statewide, asking them directly for the reasons why they’re struggling to graduate. The Chancellor, by contrast, has surveyed zero students.

You can view the full document here or click on the thumbnail below:

Our findings clearly show that CSU students want to graduate. They don’t need higher tuition as an incentive to graduate; they just can’t get classes they need. Students say they will need more than four years to graduate because they can’t get classes and because of their personal economic situation, not because they are taking too many classes and prefer to stay in school longer.

70% of respondents have had to delay their planned graduation date and half of the students who took the survey said the delay is because they can’t get classes they need.

Chancellor Reed has is all it wrong: higher fees will not cause students to graduate faster. Almost two-thirds of respondents say the proposed fees would have caused them to delay their graduation even more.

The survey shows CSU students who take extra units do so in order to graduate on time and get courses the need — not to extend their time in college. This fee would discourage students who take heavier course loads in a session with the goal of graduating faster. The chancellor claims that these fees would provide “equitable and efficient paths to graduation” but this fee clearly does the opposite of that by limiting the paths available to students.

Respondents include students from all 23 campuses. Like the CSU student population as a whole, survey respondents are overwhelmingly working students, with 14% working full-time while attending college. Most already have student loans and about half depend on financial aid grants. Many are first-generation college students and more than a third have transferred to the CSU from another college or university.

Students aren’t gaming the system. Students are struggling to graduate. And we need to give them more help to graduate, not tear them down. Our demand is help, not punishment.