University of North Alabama Encourages Timely Graduation with “Finish in Four” Initiative

FLORENCE – Officials with the University of North Alabama are hoping a new initiative will create additional pathways for student success, ensure timely graduation and reduce student debt.

UNA’s new “Finish in Four” campaign will incentivize students to graduate within four years while also increasing retention and improving graduation rates. A central component of the initiative is the University’s proposed banded tuition plan, which offers one rate for students taking 12-18 credit hours.

The Board of Trustees’ Finance, Facilities and Personnel Committee agreed with the proposal at its meeting earlier this week, and the measure will be considered by the full Board at its quarterly meeting June 13.

“We have a moral obligation to students, parents, and the community to graduate our students in four years,” said Dr. Ross Alexander, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost.

Alexander said a four-year graduation timeline will help reduce the debt burden for students and families.

“College should be a four-year commitment. If our students are here longer than four years, we want them to earn a graduate degree.”

UNA recently unveiled its Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) through which students can earn both baccalaureate and graduate degrees within five years in a variety of programs:

If Trustees approve the proposal, for the first time in a decade, UNA will be able to avoid any tuition increase this fall thanks to the banded tuition model. Under the new plan, there will be one rate based on the current cost of 15 credit hours.

UNA President Dr. Kenneth Kitts commended the Board of Trustees for its openness to ideas that can keep tuition affordable and ensure student success.

“Our board is dedicated to maintaining a fair and competitive tuition rate for current and future UNA students. I applaud their tradition of leadership on this important issue,” Kitts said.

The proposed banded tuition plan is intended for full-time undergraduates only and will not affect part-time or graduate students.

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