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Campaign encouraging students to graduate on time calls for '15 to Finish'

Feb. 11, 2014

Most students enter college thinking they’ll graduate on time. Nationwide, on average, students who start college full-time take nearly five years to earn a four-year degree and almost four years to earn a two-year degree. This means more time and also more money. Besides the tuition fees, not finishing on time also costs more in books, supplies and housing expenses, not to mention lost income.  

15 to finish

IUPUI and all IU campuses are participating in the statewide “15 to Finish” campaign, sponsored by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. “15 to Finish” encourages Indiana college students to complete 15 credits per semester to graduate on time. The campaign is timed just right, with IUPUI’s strategic plan, Our Commitment to Indiana and Beyond, focusing on student success among its top priorities, including initiatives for undergraduate student learning and success and enrollment management. 

“Students who earn 15 credits or more per semester are likely to finish college on time, earn better grades, and stay more connected to campus,” said Kathy Johnson, dean of University College and IUPUI associate vice chancellor for undergraduate education. “It’s also important to begin taking English and math courses right away in the first year of college, as we know that students who defer these courses often are not prepared for the sophomore year, and will likely struggle when taking them later on – particularly courses in mathematics."

The message is catching students’ attention. At IUPUI, first-time full-time students entering Fall 2013 were encouraged to enroll in 15 credits or more in their first semester. Fifty-one percent of these students attempted 15 credits or more, up from 28 percent in fall 2012. This trend is holding, as 55 percent of first-year students were registered for at least 15 credits this spring.

Incoming students and their families will learn about the importance of completing 15 credits each semester during orientation, and IUPUI’s website will sport a "15 to Finish" link, reminding all students of this proven way to save money and improve their success.

Students who do not complete at least 30 credits during the fall and spring semesters are being encouraged to use the summer to either catch up or get ahead of that goal. IUPUI will offer a 25 percent summer tuition discount for the third consecutive year to Indiana residents (nonresident undergraduates receive an equivalent dollar reduction in their tuition that is equal in value to the 25 percent discount that in-state students receive). Students can save almost $1,000 by enrolling in summer classes, across both online and traditional formats.

IUPUI summer courses not only serve our own students, but also enroll a significant number of students who are returning home for the summer and elect to enroll in one of our courses before return to their home campus for the fall. The summer discount also will apply to these students.

“15 to Finish” is a registered trademark of the University of Hawaii System and is being used with permission by Complete College America.

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