According to a press release from Central Michigan University, more than 3,100 students will receive degrees in McGuirk Arena and Plachta Auditorium from May 5-7. Graduating students take their last days at CMU to reflect on the times they have spent and memories they have shared with fellow Chippewas.
According to the Office of Institutional Research (OIR), only 65.5% of students have stayed all four years and received their prospective degree since their entrance to CMU in Fall 2013. Graduating senior Becky DalSanto weighs in on the topic.
“I think that the percentage is not higher because it takes students longer to receive their degree. Some have a five-year plan or longer,” DalSanto says.
While this could be the case, there are many other factors that come to focus involving this data. Students may have decided to transfer or drop out of school altogether, making the student enrollment decrease as a whole. Graduating senior Sophie Ryal thinks this could be the case.
“I know a lot of people who dropped after our freshman year at Central. Some of them were due to family issues at home, but most were because they just decided college wasn’t right for them,” Ryal says.
The number of total degrees has increased since May 2013, with a total of 2,986. So, only 65.6% of students stayed at CMU for four years and graduated with their class, yet more degrees are now handed out.
The main reason for this can be found in the data provided by the OIR with an increase of transfer students and students receiving their advanced degrees at CMU. DalSanto understands this data.
“The number of total degrees this year could be at an all-time high because this is the first year that a class is graduating from the College of Medicine (CMed) at CMU,” DalSanto says. The CMed ceremony will take place on May 7.
Graduating senior Colleen Dluzynski is shocked to hear about the retention statistics.
“I think it’s important to understand that it is getting harder and harder to obtain a degree in four years. Fortunately, I was able to, but I know of some friends that have a semester or two left simply because their program didn’t allow them to get a degree that quickly,” Dluzynski says.
As tough as it is to say goodbye to CMU, DalSanto, Ryal and Dluzynski all express how ready they are to move on to the next chapter of their lives. The word “bittersweet” was used often by all three to describe their upcoming departure.
“Coming to Central was a great experience for me. I met a lot of new friends that will last a lifetime. With that said, I cannot wait to see what the next part of my life has in store for me,” Ryal says.
DalSanto adds, “I will miss my friends and memories, but I am definitely ready to catch up on the sleep I have lost over the past four years.”