Taking the fourth-year option

cfc48ffa6ee095ef052e2b63f6eab708

Are you facing the reality of having to stick around college for an extra year? Rest assured — at some schools, you won’t have to pay for it.

It’s called the four-year degree guarantee, and it could be your golden ticket if graduating on time isn’t realistic for you. The concept is becoming increasingly popular as a marketing tool at private colleges. At a time when students are graduating with an average of $8,337 to $12,701 in debt, the four-year degree guarantee is an attractive feature to parents and students alike.

Here’s how it works: Once the agreement is signed by the incoming freshman, the school accepts responsibility for the financial burden of the additional years it might take the student to complete the degree. If classes needed to graduate are unavailable or the student gets poor advice from advisers, the school agrees to pick up the tab.  

However, students have to hold up their end up the deal, too. They must stay on top of their academics and prove that they have met regularly with their advisers. So if that super-senior status is a result of skipping too many classes or deciding to change your major halfway through your junior year, you’re probably on the hook for your own tuition.

“College is one of the most significant investments a family will make,” said Janet Stocks, associate academic dean for Baldwin-Wallace. “An incoming freshman probably doesn’t anticipate having to stay more than four years at a university. But it happens quite frequently to the dismay of both the student and his [or] her parents.”

Baldwin-Wallace College outside Cleveland, Ohio, is one of about 15 colleges that offer the guarantee, according to the New York Times.

Would the four-year degree guarantee be incentive enough for you to attend a particular college?

Follow Cassandra Garrison on Twitter @CassieatMetro.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

MLB

Jets 2014 regular season schedule

The Jets will play three prime-time games — against the Bears, Patriots and Dolphins — as well as a CBS national game in Week 2 at Green Bay.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."