There’s nothing like free money to motivate you to hit the books — at least, that’s what the University of Baltimore hopes.
To encourage incoming undergraduate freshmen to graduate within four years, the university is promising to pay their final semester’s tuition, which likely would be about $3,300 for in-state students and $9,000 for out-of-state students.
Officials hope Finish4Free will help the university boost its four-year graduation rate, which has remained low since the university resumed undergraduate education in 2007 after years as a professional graduate school.
Just 18 percent of freshmen in the 2007 class graduated within four years, slightly below the national average of 19.8 percent at schools with similar academic profiles. After six years, 36 percent of the 2007 cohort had graduated.
The other primary goal of the program is to reduce the financial pressures on students, particularly because many of the university’s students are older — the average undergraduate is 28 years old — or are struggling to hold down jobs while taking classes.