At last Tuesday’s Student Feedback Forum, I addressed a very important topic relating to degree completion. I noted several facts that I feel you as a student need to know. Only 34% of NSU students are completing their baccalaureate degrees in six years. There are many reasons for this unfortunate trend. However, it is important that the university provide solutions that enhance student retention and degree completion.
Last December, the NSU Board of Visitors approved a new tuition pricing structure, designed to encourage full-time students to take a minimum of 15 credit hours per semester. Consequently, starting with the Fall 2013 semester, a flat rate tuition will be available to NSU students. This tuition pricing structure will allow students to take up to 18 credit hours for the price of 15 credit hours. It is the administration’s hope that this initiative will encourage full-time students to take a minimum of 15 credit hours in order to graduate in four to six years. This new tuition pricing initiative is being referred to as “15 to Finish.”
As your president, I am urging all full-time students to take a minimum of 15 credit hours in order to complete your baccalaureate degrees in four to six years. Our data for NSU indicate that students who do not complete their degrees in six years are highly unlikely to complete their degrees. The average debt load for graduating NSU students is $17,000. It is not reasonable for NSU students to incur such debt and have no degree to show for their efforts. I hope and trust in the weeks and months ahead that you will give serious consideration to completing your baccalaureate degrees with intentionality. Recent reports indicate that students with baccalaureate degrees will earn two times more in their life times as compared with individuals who do not possess a baccalaureate degree. It is my hope that you will complete your degree expeditiously and strategically. And, we need you to become productive citizens, professionals and leaders of today and tomorrow. Good luck to each of you.