Two Years After State Aid Requirement, More College Students On Track To 4-year Graduation

Mar 31, 2016

Credit John Walker / https://www.flickr.com/photos/whatcouldgowrong/4608963722

A state program that covers up to 100-percent of college tuition is seeing more students ready to graduate in four years. State officials credit the rise to a 2013 law requiring students complete a certain number of credits each year -- or lose their aid.

Commissioner of Higher Education Teresa Lubbers says there’s only so much state financial aid money available.

“You always have limited state dollars, so you want to spread those as broadly as you can to benefit the largest number of students,” Lubbers says.

To make the most of this, a now two-year-old law requires that students who get aid through the program take an average five classes a semester or lose that money.

Lubbers says students who follow this formula will graduate in four years.

After that, as far as state aid goes, she says, “You’re on your own. I always say it’s a little bit of tough love, but at the end of the day, it’s love.”

Lubbers says the number of students with full state financial aid on track to graduate in four years has jumped 23-percent since the requirements went into effect.