Private University Offers Students A ‘Buy Four Years Get Your Fifth Year Free’ Plan To Push Them To Graduate On Time

Arguably one of the toughest decisions I have ever made in my entire life was whether or not I should purposely bomb a few classes and “force” myself to have to enroll in a 5th year of college. It would have been easy enough to do. A few missed tests, a purposely poorly written paper, a slew of skipped classes and suddenly I was sitting pretty with an extra year of school that featured the easiest classes on the face of the planet that I purposely failed. Ultimately, I decided to forgo the victory lap and instead pass the classes? This decision was almost entirely made because of the price tag associated with another round of college. So I’m definitely upset that the University of Evansville didn’t get their act together like 6 years ago when I was looking at colleges.


“Starting this fall, the private University of Evansville — where the four-year completion rate was about 58 percent — officially rolls out a guarantee: Finish in four years or the fifth year is tuition free. Several other schools have initiated a similar push to get students in and out.

Rather than pay out an extra year’s tuition, the goal is to change student behavior from the start so they graduate on time, said Ben Miller, senior director of post-secondary education at the Center for American Progress. “The best-case scenario for this school is that no one ever needs to use the guarantee.””

Great rhetoric here on the part of Ben Miller. ‘Best-case scenario’ invariably translates to ‘This is what we want to happen, but will settle for less’. Just a classic case of covering their own back. You don’t come up with an idea like this without the intention of putting it into effect. “Yeah, we’re willing to allot various funds towards kids coming back for a fifth year of college, but we’re hoping they don’t.” You can’t dangle that carrot in front of their faces and not expect them to nibble on it. I don’t see how this doesn’t blow up in their faces. If you wanted to improve your four year graduation rate, make the fifth year like 6x as expensive. You’ll have kids graduating in three years just to make sure they don’t fly too close to the sun on that one.

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