Wayne State University is hoping new tuition incentives will push more students to graduate in four years.
Starting next year, Wayne State will offer some full-time students a 30% tuition discount during the spring and summer semesters.
The idea is to encourage students who may need a more staggered courseload during the regular school year to keep taking classes all year.
“They’ll be able to get done faster, graduate faster, and get out into the workforce faster,” says Rob Kohrman, Wayne State’s Associate Vice President for budget, planning and analysis.
The university will roll out the incentives as a pilot program over the next two years, and use that time to tinker with aspects of the program like eligibility criteria.
“But we honestly believe this will be a success for students, and we’ll see an increase in our enrollment, and over the next several years we’ll see our students graduating earlier,” says Kohrman.
The program could be a particular boost for low-income students with federal Pell grants. The program recently changed its guidelines, and only allows students to use those grants for two semesters per school year.
“So a lot of these students would use their Pell in the fall and the winter, but then have very limited or no financial aid to take classes in the spring/summer,” says Kohrman. “This makes those courses more affordable.”
Kohrman says more than 45% of the school’s undergraduate students receive Pell grants.
Wayne State is looking at different ways to boost its four-year graduation rate, which currently stands at about 10%--one of the lowest among Michigan universities.