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Four Year Agreement Q & A

March 26, 2012

Augustana College will underscore its high four-year graduation rate in the fall of 2012 by giving incoming students a written guarantee that they'll have a diploma in four years.

The Four-Year (12 terms)
Graduation Agreement

First-year students will have until the fifth week of the spring term to sign the agreement. Through the agreement, they promise to keep up their academic work, declare their major at the end of their first year, meet regularly with advisors and meet all registration, advising and financial deadlines. In return, the college guarantees that earning a degree will take no more than four years.

However, if a student completes 12 academic terms and complies with all the terms of the agreement but is unable to graduate solely due to the unavailability of a required course(s), then the college will pay the tuition for additional required coursework.

In addition to the four-year guarantee, what differentiates the Augustana experience?

Augie Choice differentiates the Augustana experience, by guaranteeing students an opportunity for high-impact learning that will make them stand out when they start careers or go to graduate school. Through Augie Choice, students receive up to $2,000 to support their research with a professor, an internship or a study abroad experience. In the spring of 2012 - not quite three years since it started - Augie Choice has given students more than $1.1 million in support of peak learning experiences.

Why is Augustana offering a four-year graduation guarantee?

Augustana is offering this guarantee to address the priorities and concerns of today's families. The costs and value of a college education have come under greater scrutiny since the beginning of the recession in 2008. Now more than ever, families should be able to plan ahead and avoid unforeseen college costs.

Who qualifies for the guarantee?

Starting fall 2012, new first-year students enrolling in the fall will be eligible to sign the agreement. Current students and transfer students will not qualify.

Will there be a cost for students who want to sign up?

There is no cost to sign the agreement.

What is your average graduation rate? And how does that compare to others?

Based on four-year graduation rates, Augustana ranks sixth among the 51 private colleges in Illinois, with 71.1 percent of students graduating within four years. In comparison, 52.2 percent of the 22,023 students who graduated from private colleges in Illinois in 2010 graduated in four years. (Data provided by The Chronicle of Higher Education.)

What else are you doing to help families control costs?

Augustana has worked diligently to tighten budgets, increase efficiencies, limit tuition increases and support students with financial assistance.

In January 2012, Augustana announced an increase in tuition and fees of 3.75 percent — an increase smaller than most universities and colleges. Augustana also assists more than 90 percent of its students with financial assistance.

A sign of Augustana's focus on affordability is the college's growth in Pell-eligible students from 13 percent to 22 percent in the last seven years.