March 18, 2014
Contact: University Relations
The University of Baltimore announces Finish4Free, an incentive that provides free tuition in the final semester for students who are on track to graduate in four years. Launching with first-time freshmen who enter in fall 2014, the initiative directly addresses two of the most pressing issues facing higher education today: time to degree and student debt.
"The University of Baltimore has always been about student success," said UB President Robert Bogomolny, "and for our population, that means being aware of cost, both in terms of money and time. As the cost of public higher education is increasingly being shifted to students and their families, we have a responsibility to do whatever we can to keep a UB education affordable."
To qualify for the Finish4Free program, students must enroll full time throughout their undergraduate coursework, maintain satisfactory academic standing and be on track to graduate within eight semesters (four years). Students are also required to apply for and accept any grant aid for which they qualify (federal and state aid) and are responsible for student fees. The Finish4Free offer is worth approximately $3,300 to in-state students and $9,000 to out-of-state students. Graduating in four years will save in-state students nearly $17,000 and out-of-state students $47,000 compared to six-year graduation costs.
Improving college-completion rates is "an economic and moral imperative," according to a report issued by the National Commission on Higher Education in 2013. Increasingly, students are forced to drop out of school to work full time or to reduce the number of courses they take for multiple reasons, many of which are related to cost. The result has been decreased graduation rates and increased student debt. Delaying their careers or abandoning their pursuit of jobs that require a college degree also negatively impact students’ lifetime earning potential.
"Finish4Free is just one of a number of major initiatives we've launched this year to provide current and future students with additional support," Bogomolny said. "We've also enhanced scholarships for transfer, part-time and graduate students, and we're strengthening all areas of our academic support services. There's no one-size-fits-all answer to student debt and graduation rates. That's why we're collaborating on multiple fronts to enhance student success at UB. We believe this new initiative can help motivate and incentivize a segment of our student population."
UB students are encouraged to contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission to determine their eligibility.
Check out media coverage about Finish4Free in The Baltimore Sun, the Baltimore Business Journal, The Daily Record (log in to view the Daily Record article), The Chronicle of Higher Education, WJZ-TV, WBFF Fox 45 and WYPR's Maryland Morning.
The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.