'Early Start' Offers Tuition Discount for First-Semester Students

Published 10.10.2002

Student News

Getting a head start on their college education will also mean saving money on tuition costs for students who take advantage of a new program approved Thursday by the Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors.

"Early Start," an initiative proposed by the Council of Deans at Penn College, will enable first-semester students to receive a 25-percent discount on tuition for English Composition I, Introduction to Information Technology and first-level math courses taken during the summer session. The program will begin with the Summer 2003 session.

By starting sooner, students can avoid the stress caused by tackling a too-heavy credit load in the initial semester of their college education, explained Veronica M. Muzic, Penn College's vice president for academic affairs and provost.

"We have found that students and their parents are wary of first-semester loads of 16-18 credits; many prefer to start at the 12/13-credit load as a means of ensuring a successful first semester," Muzic said. "Research shows that a successful first semester stands as a strong indicator of successful completion and graduation."

Muzic said many majors at Penn College call for students to take a 16- to 18-credit load each semester over four or eight semesters to complete, in two or four years, the associate's and bachelor's degrees, respectively.

"Being able to 'bank' credits before starting in full-time allows them to meet their timeline," she said. "Moreover, being able to limit the number of credits during the first semester is a positive decision, given the adjustments inherent in that first semester, while also orienting the student thoroughly to the College and to faculty expectations."