Begins with Incoming Freshmen Fall 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University is excited to announce the University will offer a Four-Year Graduation Guarantee beginning with the traditional freshmen class entering in the fall of 2012.
“It was important for us to offer this pledge to our incoming students because our goal is for students to graduate on time,” said President Kerry D. Romesburg. “We want our students to be focused and know that they are on the right track. Oftentimes, students can get very concerned about when they can expect to graduate and this eliminates that worry and puts them on a clear path.”
The guarantee offered to prospective incoming first-year students ensures their ability to graduate in four years provided they adhere to the stipulations of the Guarantee agreement. If they are unable to graduate on time and have met the requirements of the agreement, the University will assume their tuition costs (minus any state and federal aid for which they qualify) until they do complete their degree.
One of the main reasons the new program has been created is to help lower or modify JU’s average student debt. Raising awareness of the high cost of fifth- and sixth-year attendance is another way this program will help families better plan their education.
“The demonstrable expense of delayed time to graduation in higher education is illustrated in two meaningful ways: added expense of additional year(s) of educational costs (tuition, room and board, fees, lost aid due to four-year limitations, etc.); and the opportunity cost of delayed employment and/or progression into graduate and professional school,” said Terry Whittum, vice president of enrollment management at JU.
Additional factors in the decision to begin offering the guarantee included decreasing the tendency of students to drop classes and improvement of both JU’s retention and four-year graduation rates.
“The JU Guarantee will raise the awareness of the importance of time to degree, and likely inhibit the tendency among students to drop classes for less than serious reasons. While there are often legitimate rationale as to why students abandon course sections in which they have vested time and talent, there are instances where the opposite is true,” explained Whittum.
“The combination of an institution-wide commitment to graduating our students in four years and an increased awareness of the issue and resulting motivation among our students (and their parents), will result in higher year-to-year retention and four-, five- and six-year graduation rates,” said Whittum.