University of Houston adds financial incentive to graduate in 4 years

According to the Houston Chronicle, University of Houston regents have endorsed a plan to incentivize the on-time completion of a four-year degree by offering tuition discounts when certain benchmarks are met. This is a bit of a nice change following tuition hikes of 28% over the last three years for Texas institutions overall. While students will certainly take a break where they can get it, it calls into question the objective of state-subsidized institutions. The student body of a school like U of H has a higher proportion of poorer non-traditional students, those for whom private-school tuition would put a college degree out of reach. Many work while in school, as noted in the article, and may have neither the time nor money to attend full-time.

If you turn the new equation around, what kind of message does that send to non-traditional students who, relative to those who earn the discount, are effectively penalized? Also, why the emphasis on a four-year full-time degree program? I spent 2 years at a full-time private institution and 4 at U of H, while working. My educational experience at U of H was far better; mixing work and academic life opened up interests and opportunities I doubt I would have explored in a more traditional setting.

2 Comments so far

  1. a~lotus (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 11:11 pm

    yeah, i’ve heard about this even though i’m not a UH student.. i really do wonder how it affects other students who are not the typical traditional 4 year-ers.

  2. Brandon (unregistered) on May 4th, 2006 @ 8:51 am

    Thanks You

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