A new report finds more than half of the students enrolled in the state's community colleges take four years to graduate, costing families millions of dollars in extra fees.
The nonprofit Campaign for College Opportunity says of the 64,000 who received associates degrees in the 2012-13 academic year, the median student took 4.1 years -- double the traditional two year commitment.
Executive Director Michele Siqueiros says insufficient course offerings, work obligations and the need for some students to complete their remedial courses all contribute to the lengthy times to get a degree.
The study also looked at students who earned a bachelor's from a Cal State campus.
The median student in that system took 4.7 years to reach the goal.
The report says colleges need to make it easier for students to get through basic courses faster and that campus counselors need to do a better job of encouraging full course loads.
The community college system has already streamlined transfers and increased financial aid awareness.
Cal State officials say they are hiring more faculty and redesigning some courses.