MILLERSVILLE UNIVERSITY, Pa. -- Even though today is the beginning of the journey for college freshman at Millersville University, the university is already thinking about the end.
The school is focused on graduation day and how to get students there in just four years instead of six.
Screams and honks welcome students and their families at Millersville University Thursday morning.
"There is so much I like about Millersville; honestly, I have gotten really involved my last four years on campus," said Kait Parks, a senior.
Parks is set to graduate on time next spring. How she did it?
"Honestly, just keeping up with your studies but also having that work-study-play balance. I work on campus. I study a lot, but I am still able to have fun with my friends," explained Parks.
Just 41 percent of first-time full year students graduate with a Bachelor's in four years, according to the National Center For Education Statistics.
"The sooner the graduate the greater the chance they will not owe money when they graduate," explained Dr. Daniel Wubah, the president of Millersville University.
Dr. Wubah understands just how expensive college can be.
As president, he is hoping to improve Millersville's 4 year graduation rate, which is currently at 36.2 percent above the national average but not where he believes it should be.
"To me, for four years, that's still low. I'd like us to move gradually up, towards let's say 40 then go up to 40 and 45," he added.
To do that, he says the university is putting more of a focus on advising students, reducing fees, and having more faculty utilize free textbooks online.
"Once we are able to decrease the costs, we believe that is when we are able to have them take more credits per semester and graduate on time," explained Wubah.
He says the university has a lot of part-time students who can't afford credits but hopes that will change with the reductions in costs.
When students graduate on time, it costs them less in the long run, and it benefits the institution by improving its reputation.
Everybody wins then.