College enhances Oswego Guarantee with 4-year graduation incentive

The pioneering Oswego Guarantee now promises students who graduate in four years a $300 return on their investment, SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley announced.

Starting with the December 2013 graduating class, students who enrolled at SUNY Oswego as freshmen in the fall 2010, or subsequent fall, semester and graduate no later than May of their fourth consecutive year, and meet all other requirements of the Oswego Guarantee, will receive the $300 Oswego Graduation Return on Investment (Oswego Graduation ROI).

Oswego Guarantee certificate“We are enhancing the Guarantee we introduced over a decade ago to remind students of the value and financial benefits of earning their baccalaureate degree in four years or less,” Stanley said. “Four years of college can seem like a long time to a new freshman, but four years can quickly pass by without leading to a degree if students are not actively engaged in tracking their degree progress and making decisions that make it possible for them to earn a degree in four years.”

Kristi Eck, the president’s interim chief of staff, said the new Oswego Graduation ROI could provide a jump-start on job-hunting expenses or graduate school applications and help SUNY Oswego graduates transition from college into the next phase of their adult lives.

“It’s really an incentive and a gift,” Eck said. “The message behind earning the Graduation ROI is, ‘You’ve recognized the value of earning your baccalaureate degree within four years; you’ve planned wisely with your academic adviser to create a four-year degree completion roadmap; and you’ve achieved your goal of graduating on time. Now, you have a $300 gift that we hope will help you accomplish more goals in the future.”

Unique approach

The Graduation ROI supplements the original Oswego Guarantee commitments: necessary classes will be available to complete a baccalaureate degree in four consecutive years or the college will enroll the student in the course or courses tuition-free; the college will continue to make small classes available to encourage discussion and interaction between students and faculty; and Oswego pledges to hold each student’s cost for room and meal plans constant for four consecutive years.

“Through the $300 Graduation ROI, we are emphasizing to students and their families that graduating in four years means real savings for them and, through careful planning and regular communication with SUNY Oswego faculty and staff, students can develop a roadmap that will make it possible to reach this goal without sacrificing the overall college experience, which may include an internship, study abroad and extracurricular pursuits,” Eck said.

“For many years, the Oswego Guarantee has helped students and families manage costs and be confident that students are educated in a rigorous academic environment with the ability to complete their degree in four years. Now, the Oswego Guarantee goes one step further to remind students and their families of the full economic benefit and cost savings of earning a degree in four years or less,” said Mark Humbert, director of financial aid at SUNY Oswego.  “In fact, when all costs of attending college are considered, the full economic benefit of graduating in four years has the potential to significantly exceed the $300 Graduation ROI because students will no longer need to spend money on tuition, books, fees and other related college expenses.”

Mutual responsibility

“The path toward earning the Graduation ROI is a partnership between our college’s faculty and staff and our students,” Eck said. “This great, dedicated team is committed to helping our students on their journey toward graduation; however, students need to take initiative and responsibility as well in order to achieve the goal of graduating in four years.”

The college encourages incoming students, from day one, to start working with faculty and staff on a roadmap to graduation in four academic years or less, she said. “We want to keep college a valuable, cost-effective investment for our students. Therefore, we must continue to have frequent degree-completion planning conversations with our students throughout their years at SUNY Oswego, starting with first-year student advising and continuing through senior year planning.”

To assist with advising, this year the college launched Degree Works, a software tool to help students, their advisers, and other key faculty and administrators easily focus on progress toward degree and develop academic plans that lead to a degree.

Additionally, the college, through its innovative First-Year Experience and Sophomore Success programs, works with students early in their careers to enroll in needed classes, set mandatory meetings with advisers and move steadily toward declaring a major en route to a four-year degree.

For more information on the Oswego Guarantee and the Graduation ROI, visit www.oswego.edu/guarantee.

(Posted: Nov 20, 2013)

Tags: return on investment, oswego guarantee, graduation roi, graduation incentive