Fifth-year tuition guaranteed for some

February 11th, 2010

Fifth-Year Funding scholarships will provide free tuition for some John Carroll University students who do not meet graduation requirements after the traditional four years.

The funding is being marketed to prospective freshmen students who would begin their education at JCU next fall. These students would be the first class eligible for the scholarships, which provide full tuition coverage to qualifying students until their degree is complete.

Brian Williams, vice president for enrollment, said that a committee of faculty and staff would review applications from students requesting funding.

“Understand that JCU has the seventh best four-year graduation rate in Ohio, and in fact, our four-year graduation rate is better than the six-year graduation rate at many Ohio universities,” said Williams. “Our pledge to ensure families pay for four years and not more is a strong marketing and financial planning message for families.”

According to a University admissions document, 64 percent of students who enrolled at JCU in 2002 graduated within four years. Comparatively, Ohio State University reports a 42.3 percent four-year graduation rate for students who began in the same year.

Associate Director of Financial Aid Claudia Wenzel said that the financing of a fifth year at JCU is to accommodate circumstances beyond students’ control, such as setbacks due to medical or health issues, studying abroad, a change in major, or the addition of a minor or concentration.

“On an individual basis, we will work with students to see what created a barrier in their four-year plan,” said Wenzel.

Information about the funding is available to prospective students on JCU’s Success Web site,

Similar marketing tools have been used by other universities. Virginia Wesleyan College began offering The Four-Year Graduation Guarantee to incoming freshman last fall. Students at VWC must meet several criteria for coverage under this plan, including applying for coverage, averaging 15 credits per semester and meeting with their academic advisor each semester.

Though Fifth Year Funding is not available to current students, other financial aid options are available for students who require a fifth year at JCU.
Williams said, “Our current aid process tries to help students that don’t graduate on time and need additional funding. While the funding of the new program will be different, current students that will be at JCU for a fifth year should be in touch with our financial aid staff for help in renewing JCU funds and pursuing other opportunities.”