The study was done in cooperation with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and it found timely completion of an undergraduate degree translates into a stronger income.
THEC policy adviser David Wright told WMOT in Murfreesboro the finding was a surprise.
Wright said the best guess is that students who finish in four years are better focused and self-motivated – qualities that employers value.
The research showed students who took six or more years to complete a bachelor’s degree generally earned the same amount as students who didn’t complete degrees. That’s up to $13,000 less per year than 4-year finishers.