More colleges and universities are now offering incoming freshmen a four-year graduation guarantee: As long as students keep up with academic work and meet with their advisers, they are guaranteed to receive an undergraduate degree in four years—or their school will pick up any costs for additional tuition or course work that may be needed.
Expanding the Commitment
While the “on-time graduation” commitments have been largely embraced by students and parents, one criticism has been that they might prevent some students from switching majors or studying abroad. The latest campus to offer such a guarantee, the University of Evansville in Indiana, includes a study-abroad commitment and available travel grant. Offered to students enrolling in 2016, the recently announced UE Guarantee means UE will join about a dozen or more other colleges and universities across the country offering such a commitment.
The trend was initially launched in the early 1990s by University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, which remained the sole campus offering such a commitment for most of that decade. More schools began offering a four-year graduation guarantee just in the last few years. Four-year graduation guarantees are now offered by Juniata College in Pennsylvania, Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio, Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, and a handful of other schools, nationwide.
The UE Guarantee
In its new four-year commitment, UE also guarantees students access to study abroad, along with a $1000 travel grant available to any student unable to study abroad by the start of their senior year. “Understanding other countries and cultures is imperative for success in today’s global marketplace,” said Wes Milner, UE’s executive director of international programs.
In addition to guaranteeing that students will graduate in four years, or the fifth year will be paid for by the university, the assurances outlined in the UE Guarantee include a guarantee that students: will receive a scholarship; will have access to at least one internship and lifetime access to career support services from the university; and they will have the chance to study abroad, with UE offering a $1,000 travel grant to students who are unable to study abroad by the beginning of their senior year.
“The UE Guarantee is a natural product of what we already do,” said UE President Thomas A. Kazee. “It’s a promise to our students that we will make the resource commitments necessary to continue providing the opportunities, talented faculty, and academic experiences that will lead to their success while at UE and after graduation.” For more information on the UE Guarantee, visit www.evansville.edu/guarantee