At first glance, Pacific University’s new Four-Year Graduation Guarantee Program sounds almost too good to be true.

According to Pacific’s Four-Year Graduation Guarantee webpage, less than 50 percent of college students graduate within four years. This statistic seems a bit bold. Sadly, Pacific has not uncovered a new foolproof way to ensure that students will graduate in four years.

There are guidelines students must follow to qualify for the guarantee, but even if a student does everything required, there is still a chance he or she would not graduate within four years. In this case, Pacific promises to pay one year of tuition for that student to finish a Bachelor’s degree.

If a student is interested in the program, they must sign up within the first two weeks of their freshman year. Transfer students are not eligible for the program.

The most interesting thing about the program to me, that does not seem to be anything too special about it. Most of the things Pacific is asking of the participants in the program, are things already recommended to those who are hoping to graduate on time.

It seems students pursuing the four-year guarantee do not get any extra help from Pacific and are solely responsible for staying on track to graduate. If the students in the program are putting in the work to meet these requirements, shouldn’t Pacific be doing something extra for them in return?

For example, being allowed to register for classes earlier would ensure those in the program to get into the courses they need to stay on track. It also seems unfair to exclude transfer students from the program.

I understand why someone who is not on track to graduate in four years would not be allowed into the program, but it only seems fair to have the program open to those coming into Pacific who are already on track.

I transferred to Pacific this year, so I would not meet the requirements for the Four-Year Guarantee Program.

However, as someone who is not on track to graduate within four-years, I wish there would have been some program in place when I was starting college that would have helped me stay on track. Of course, if I were considering the Four-Year Graduation Program, I would want something more in return than what Pacific is offering.

It will be interesting to see how well this guarantee program works out in terms of increasing Pacific’s four-year graduation rate and if students actually find it helpful.

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