Students should take advantage of graduating early or earning their diplomas on time to receive monetary rebate benefits offered at Texas State.
There are extra incentives to graduating within four years or fewer. Aside from being able to get a professional job earlier than some peers, students are now rewarded financially for completing coursework faster than projected six-year graduation rates.
The Tuition Rebate Program was initiated in March 2011. The program rewards students financially for making an early decision about their major and minimizing the number of unnecessary courses taken. Reducing unnecessary coursework does not only save students’ money. The university and the state save money this way by reducing staff, faculty and other additional costs students may require while taking more than four years to complete their degrees.
Many qualified students are unaware of the rebate program. While the student handbook lists qualifications for the rebate, not all advisers actively promote the program and many students remain uninformed.
The rebate program only applies to students working on a first bachelor’s degree. In order to qualify for the rebate, students must finish their degrees within four years. The student can have no more than three hours over the minimum number of credits required for the degree, including attempted classes. While these and other requirements may limit the amount of students able to qualify for the rebate, it is still an attainable goal.
The rebate program is an excellent way to start paying off student loans and providing for necessities after graduation. While the actual rebate is somewhat small, it can still be beneficial for the students who qualify. The rebate amount does not exceed $1,000 and is based on financial aid and tuition fees.
The rebate can only be obtained when a student applies for it. When students are completing an application for graduation there is a separate tuition rebate application that can be filled out.
Students should be more aware of the rebate program’s existence even though the strict qualifications eliminate many from being able to receive the rebate. Advisers and other staff members should provide students with information about the rebate as they enter the university.
More students might be encouraged to stick with one major and graduate sooner if they know of the benefits of graduating on time with a limited number of credit hours.
Although students may not read the entire undergraduate catalogue, it is beneficial to know about often-overlooked programs such as the rebate. In addition, advisers can give students an advantage by mentioning the rebate program. Meeting with advisers can still be beneficial, even for those with busy schedules even if CatsWeb has made it easier for students to opt out of seeing them every semester.
Students who graduate early receive many benefits. The rebate program can offer students monetary benefits as well, aside from the accomplishment of graduating early. Students who become aware of the benefits of completing a four or fewer year degree plan early may have a better chance of receiving the $1,000 rebate.
--Ariella Hannon is an English senior.