The "Freshman 15" is typically a warning to incoming college students about weight gain, yet the term could also serve as an aspiration — at least when it comes to course load.
College students who take fewer than 15 credits per semester during their freshman year are less likely to graduate within four years (i.e., on time), according to a new analysis from college consulting firm EAB. Its data shows 44 percent percent of incoming college students register for 12 to 14 credits.
EAB analyzed records of nearly 1.3 million full-time college freshmen at 137 institutions, for the period of summer 2011 through spring 2016.
The problem is simple math. Although 12 credits is typically the minimum required to attain full-time status and be eligible for financial aid, it's not enough to meet graduation requirements for a bachelor degree within four years, said Ed Venit, senior director of strategic research for EAB.