UI to offer free summer school - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UI to offer free summer school

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

University of Iowa junior Cody Haugen finds himself in the same position as many of his peers.

"It's going to be a little bit longer than four years," he said.

Haugen fell behind in classes after taking a semester off to deal with family issues. Now, he may be forced to take on an extra year of school to earn his degree.

"Money is also a big issue," Haugen said.

The University of Iowa is taking unprecedented steps in helping students like Haugen get out in four years.

"That fifth year adds extra costs, so making sure you can finish in four years is a great form of financial aid," said Beth Ingram, UI Associate Provost of Undergraduate Education.

The university is offering a scholarship to the 2013 and 2014 incoming freshmen class.

Full-time, in-state students would be offered up to 12 credit hours of summer school free.

Out-of-state students would see their summer tuition drop significantly.

"We know that a lot of our students change majors in their first and second year, so this is really an opportunity to catch up on a major," Ingram said.

Currently, 48 percent of undergraduates at the UI find themselves able to get their degree in four years.

While the rate sounds low, it is better than most and continues to improve.

Officials hope the new incentive will help even more students successfully complete their education in four years.

"It's really related to the Board of Regents' goal and Sally Mason's goal of making sure an education at the University of Iowa is both accessible and affordable," Ingram said.

Haugen, who has considered summer school, says he would benefit from the incentive -- helping him get back on track after dealing with a setback.

"It would probably seal the deal for me to probably take summer classes," he said.

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