North Texas Daily

More than Half of Freshmen Opt In to New Tuition Plan

More than Half of Freshmen Opt In to New Tuition Plan

August 27
02:36 2014

Rhiannon Saegert / Senior Staff Writer

This fall, students were asked to choose between two tuition plans: the traditional plan and the new Eagle Express plan.

Eagle Express, which has a higher tuition rate, encourages freshmen to finish school in four years with a $4,000 incentive their final semester if they finish on time. Upperclassmen opting into the program receive $3,000, $2,000 or $1,000 incentives based on their current number of hours.

Campus president Neal Smatresk said the number of students who enrolled in the new tuition plan exceeded his expectations.

“Over 50 percent of the freshman class has opted for it, meaning about 50 percent will graduate in four years,” Smatresk said. “We predicted maybe 800, and we have about six times as many as we thought as of today, over 4,700.”

Smatresk said the new tuition plan will simplify billing and motivate students to graduate within four years.

“The thing I love about it is that it gets students out faster,” he said. “We know for a fact that the longer you’re in school, the more student debt you’re going to incur.”

Some upperclassmen majoring in engineering and visual arts determined they could benefit from the plan, saving about $100 a year before the incentive, Smatresk said.

Some transfer students and upperclassmen said they still weren’t sure how the Eagle Express plan would apply to them.

“I just did traditional because I thought it was easier to do,” Alejandra Godoi said. “Whenever it explained it, it didn’t give specific details.”

Transfer student Sumbul Shaikh said the plan wouldn’t benefit her.

“It wasn’t a good fit for a transfer student. If you have less credit hours [left to complete], you have to stick with traditional,” Shaikh said. “There’s no point for us.”

This will be the only semester transfer students and upperclassmen can opt into the new plan. Only freshmen will be able to choose the new plan next semester.

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