Choosing a college that’s right for you means asking yourself big questions. Whether you can graduate in four years shouldn’t be one of them.
Looking to pair her fascination with numbers and her longtime passion for dance, Lauren Vejvoda ’20 calculated correctly that Carthage is the perfect place to do it.
Most states, including Wisconsin and Illinois, require students to accumulate 150 credits before taking the certified public accountant exam. Carthage has one of the few accounting programs that are set up for students to finish in four years.
With graduation day just starting to appear on the horizon, Lauren already has a job waiting for her in fall 2020. Impressed by her work as a summer intern at its Chicago office, accounting firm BKD has assured her a full-time audit associate position.
At Carthage, staying on track doesn’t mean confining yourself to your room. Besides academics, Lauren has taken part in Carthage dance productions as a performer and choreographer, traveled to Costa Rica on a J-Term study tour, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, and held an internship each summer.
Stories like hers are common at Carthage, where more than 90 percent of our graduates finish in four years. Compare that to 78 percent at small private colleges in general and 56 percent at regional public universities.
• • •
Besides avoiding a fifth or even sixth year of tuition, there’s another financial bonus to graduating on time: a head start in the job market.
Nick Mulvey ’02, the College’s vice president for enrollment, reminds college searchers and their parents to keep that in mind when they’re comparing value.
“You’re off and earning long before other college graduates reach the starting line,” he said.
Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it.
That starts with the first-year advisors. Advisors work closely with new students to pick courses for the first three semesters before handing off to major-specific faculty advisors. Advisors work with students to map out a plan that leaves them room to explore different disciplines and stretch their minds in multiple directions, said Carrie Espinosa, director of the Center for Student Success. At the same time, they can begin to fulfill requirements for general education and their major, once they’ve chosen it.
Of course, not even the most meticulous planner can foresee every scheduling conflict. That’s when students turn to the Office of the Registrar.
“One of the benefits of a smaller school is the personal attention we’re able to give each student,” said Carthage registrar Brigid Patterson. “We realize there are many ways to reach the same goal, and we’ll work with them individually to make sure they do it in a four-year time frame.”
So, unless you’re committed to the 12-year plan, it’s a safe bet that, at Carthage, you’ll be cleared for takeoff right on schedule. The runway to everywhere awaits.