I was just having this conversation about this very topic and thought it was important enough to include "Finish in Four" as part of my 140-character tweet about advice on paying for college. So, how does the NY Times Freakonomics blog answer the question "Why Does College Take So Long These Days?"
Here is the summary from their working paper, bold type is mine ($5 to purchase here)
I am wondering if the "declines of collegiate resources in the less-selective public sector" translates into "I couldn't get the courses I needed to graduate in four years." From the Sacramento Bee, January 31, 2010:
In Alpine Hall, a group of dejected seniors stood in the hallway after being booted from a writing class they must take if they are to graduate in May. It was full, they weren't on the waiting list, and the professor didn't let any extra students in."
Any other explanations out there from readers?