If you want to cut college costs and limit student loan debt, then the old adage is true — "time is money."
The sticker price for a four-year college degree can easily tip into six figures; for the 2015-16 academic year, the College Board estimated the cost to attend at almost $44,000 for a private nonprofit institution and about $20,000 for a public one, including tuition, fees and room and board.
But many students don't graduate on time, a trend that pushes up the price of that degree.
"For a four-year institution, most of the students are not graduating in four years," said Jeffrey Selingo, author of "There Is Life After College."
Among students who started at a four-year private nonprofit college in 2007 (the latest data available), just 52.8 percent graduated within four years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. At public four-year colleges, 33.5 percent got their four-year degree on time, and at for-profit four-year colleges, 22.5 percent did.
By the six-year mark, 59.4 percent of students had graduated, including 65.3 percent of those attending a private nonprofit college, 57.7 percent of those at a public college and 31.9 percent of those at a for-profit college.