Magazine article University Business

States Pushing '15 to Finish' Graduate-on-Time Message

Magazine article University Business

States Pushing '15 to Finish' Graduate-on-Time Message

Article excerpt

West Virginia is the latest state to encourage college students to take 15 credits or more every semester so they can graduate on time. Sponsored by the nonprofit Complete College America, the "15 to Finish" campaign is already in 15 other states, most notably Hawaii, which first developed the program. In its first year, 2011-12, the state was able to increase the number of students taking 15 hours per semester by more than 17 percent.

The idea is that a full course-load helps increase academic success and decrease student loan debt, says Jessica Tice, senior director of communications at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC). Another goal for West Virginia is to increase the portion of jobs in the state that require an associate degree or higher from 27 to 51 percent by 2020, she adds.

"Overall, a campaign like this is a simple way to change students' mindset of what a full course-load really means," Tice says. …

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