can’t graduate in 6 years?

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As a proud alumnus of Western who earned a BS degree after a *mere* 7 years, I was amused at the recent opinion piece apparently stating that I am among the majority of WKU students these days in the extended length of my stay at Western.(see: Athletes make the cut, why can’t the rest of us?)

I always felt like an incredible slacker, myself, watching people constantly graduating all around me while I continued to trudge up and down the Hill and get wierd looks from my professors that seemed to say “Are you STILL here? what’s wrong with you?”. But I was putting myself through school, with loans and grants and multiple jobs, sometimes only taking 9–12 hours of classes, and I did take a year off from school to work and establish in-state residency so I could save on tuition.

I guess my admonition here is before you start making rules about how long students can take to get their degrees, please at least consider the plight of the non-traditional student, who for whatever reason might take a few more semesters (or years) than normal to finish up that BA or BS degree. Putting more “pressure” and more restrictions on a student like me might have resulted in my having to drop out altogether and not getting a degree at all. Not everyone can do 18-21 hours a semester or has the option of not having to work for a living outside of school.


Randy Kinkel

class of ’87

Phoenix, AZ