Sycamore Graduation Guarantee announced

By: Dave Taylor, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
May 23, 2012

Indiana State University has announced a four-year graduation guarantee for students enrolling this fall and beyond.

The guarantee assures eligible students they will be able to complete a bachelor's degree within four years. If not, they will be able to take remaining courses tuition free. University officials said the guarantee is part of Indiana State's ongoing commitment to keeping college affordable for students and will also help ensure a quicker launch for their careers.

"Graduating within four years is the best way to keep the cost of attending college under control," Indiana State President Dan Bradley said. "The Sycamore Graduation Guarantee outlines the responsibilities of students and of the university that are necessary to achieve this goal. Improving student success is our top priority in the university's strategic plan and will contribute heavily to the state and national goals of increasing the percentage of adults with four-year degrees."

To take advantage of the guarantee, students must sign a contract during their freshman year. If they meet their commitments under the contract and find themselves unable to graduate in four years, the university will cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees for any remaining required courses.

John Beacon, vice president for enrollment management, marketing and communications, noted that the financial rewards of on-time graduation go beyond the savings in tuition and other college expenses.

"Four-year graduates will be able to enter the workforce earlier than many college graduates," Beacon said. "Savings from on-time graduation and earnings realized from working sooner can be worth $48,000 in the first year. Participating in the Sycamore Graduation Guarantee can make that happen."

The guarantee applies to all programs of 128 semester hours or less. Student requirements under the terms of the guarantee include, but are not limited to:

• Meet with an advisor to develop an appropriate course plan
• Declare and be admitted to a major by the start of the sophomore year
• Complete 30 to 32 semester hours each year and meet all degree requirements
• Monitor his or her progress and notify advisors if unable to register for a required course
• Apply for graduation by October 1 of their senior year.

The university's responsibilities under the Sycamore Graduation Guarantee include:

• Provide access to quality advising throughout a student's time at Indiana State
• Provide tools that enable students to monitor progress toward degree completion
• Substitute a different course or independent study, when appropriate• Pay tuition and mandatory fees for any additional required courses if course substitution is not an option.

Bradley said the university will work with students who fall behind schedule due to extenuating circumstances, such as financial constraints or a change of majors.

"Indiana State University is committed to doing its part to ensure student success," he said. "In conjunction with this guarantee, the university will provide students with annual assessments of whether they are on track to graduate in four years and, if not, what steps they can take to get back on track."

More information about the Sycamore Graduation Guarantee is available at www.indstate.edu/stayontrack.

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-zVTZJrc/0/L/i-zVTZJrc-L.jpg - Indiana State University is offering incoming students the Sycamore Graduation Guarantee, which assures participating students they will be able to complete a bachelor's degree in four years.

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu