Not graduating college on time might cost parents and students more than you'd think.
Students in a four-year program who take six years to graduate can expect to lose as much as $300,000, according to a new study from NerdWallet.com using National Association of Colleges and Employers data. That's not just extra tuition and mounting student loan interest, it's also the lost value of retirement savings and wages from two extra years out of the workforce.
Most students, who refer to those additional years as "victory laps," typically aren't thinking of the long-term impact of their decision, said Nonso Maduka of NerdWallet.
"We have a tendency to think of the near term," he said. "Education is good. ... One or two more years doesn't seem like much in terms of time, but the cost is real."
Unfortunately, it's a cost plenty of families face.
"For a four-year institution, most of the students are not graduating in four years," Jeffrey Selingo, author of "There Is Life After College," told CNBC.com earlier this year.