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Apr 24, 2014 07:18 AM EDT

Baltimore Students to Receive Free Tuition in Final Semester upon Completion of Degree in 4 Years

Baltimore Students to Receive Free Tuition in Final Semester upon Completion of Degrees in Four Years.
(Photo : Baltimore) Baltimore Students to Receive Free Tuition in Final Semester upon Completion of Degrees in Four Years.

In an attempt to ease the financial burden of students and motivate them to finish their degree in four years with good grades, University of Baltimore has announced a "Finish4Free" initiative.

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The program offers free tuition in the final semester for students who graduate in four years, maintain a 2.0 GPA and earn 120 credits in four years or eight semesters. It is currently applicable for incoming freshman for fall 2014 and not for current or transfer students.

"The University of Baltimore has always been about student success," UB President Robert Bogomolny said in a statement, "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."

In-state tuition for full-time students in the fall 2014 semester is $3,086 while it is $8,275 for out-of-state tuition.

Eighteen-year-old Becker Alrub of Glen Arm, Md., has been accepted into the class of 2018. "It solidified the fact that I'm going to go there," said Alrub."If I get a free semester, that's a big deal to me. This definitely motivated me more, not just to finish, but do well. If I'm doing well, why wouldn't I finish in four years?", USA Today reports.

According to National Center for Education Statistics, 59 percent of students in 2005 completed their degree in six years. The six-year graduation rates were observed at public schools (57 percent) and at private schools (65 percent).

Bogomolny said that even if 10 percent of freshmen compete in Finish4Free initiative, the school loses at least $100,000 in tuition revenue.

"Those of us in higher education are about helping students develop and do the best they can with their lives in the world," Bogomolny said. "If that takes a little more hand holding, we should do that, because in the long run, everybody benefits, including the university."

Other colleges and universities have also introduced similar programs to inspire students to finish their degree in four years including Temple University in Philadelphia ("Fly in 4" program), New York, University at Buffalo ("Finish in 4") and Union College in Barbourville, Ky., among others.

© 2014 University Daily News, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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