UT pushes for students to graduate on time

Alexa Ura

The UT System released a recommendation report on reducing student debt Wednesday night that states students can decrease debt by graduating on time, which could be more easily obtained by incentivizing 15-credit hour semesters, encouraging students to take Advanced Placement courses in high school and increasing student work opportunities.

The Student Debt Reduction Task Force emphasizes degree costs and returns, degree completion and transparency — initiatives endorsed by UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa’s Framework for Advancing Excellence, an action plan adopted by the System last year that promotes college affordability, among other System-wide goals. The report does not provide totals for student debt among System institutions, but does outline national trends and list several recommendations to decrease student debt within the System.

The task force was created as part of Cigarroa’s action plan and endorses various initiatives stated in the framework, including increased four-year graduation rates.

This year, UT-Austin announced a goal to increase four-year graduation rates to 70 percent by 2016.

The task force also recommends building on MyEdu, an interactive degree-planning site the System invested $10 million in last year.

Discussion of the report is on the agenda for the regents’ meeting Thursday.

Printed on Friday, December 6, 2012 as: Report examines reducing student debt