Union College looks to increase retention with free last semester

Dive Summary:

  • At a Christmas party held for first-year students, Union College President Marcia Hawkins surprised the freshmen with the potentially unprecedented offer of a tuition-free final semester for those who maintained good grades and became involved in college life.
  • In order to receive the free final semester, students must participate in "Inaugural Class" events, become involved in at least one extracurricular activity, maintain full-time enrollment, perform at least 75 hours of community service and keep a GPA of 3.5 or above.
  • On average, only about 50% of the Kentucky college's freshmen return for a second year, so Hawkins' hope is that the "Inaugural Class" program will help to retain that other half of the incoming class and increase enrollment.

From the article:

Marcia Hawkins, the first-year president of Union College in Kentucky, feels a special connection with this year's freshmen, who started at Union the same time she did. So when she decided to host a Christmas party for the class, she knew she wanted to give them something really memorable. The night of the Christmas party, each student received a stocking. Each stocking contained a few pieces of candy and a miniature scroll, tied up with ribbon and imprinted with a script-like font. ...

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