Davenport University, a private university with 11 campuses in Michigan, and a focus on business, health and technology, plans to offer a contract to students, reports news website MLive.com, pledging that if they do not find a job in their major after graduation, they are entitled to more education and training at Davenport free of charge. Undergraduate tuition is $15,840 a year.
It's part of the university's multi-pronged strategy to grow enrollment and reduce its startling drop-out rate. According to government tallies, the school's graduation rate stood at a dismal 25 percent in 2011.
As grim unemployment rates made more youths question the wisdom of dumping thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dollars into their education, a few other colleges have come up with similar pledges. Capitol College in Maryland offers graduates in science, technology or business dozens of tuition-free credits if they don't find a good job within 90 days of commencement, while Thomas College in Minnesota gives unemployed graduates two years of free learning.
Some analysts have raised an eyebrow at these plans. As Jason Delisle, director of the Federal Education Budget Project at the nonpartisan think tank, the New American Foundation, told MLive: "It's sort of like saying to someone, 'we guarantee our product, and if it doesn't work, we promise to give you more of it.' "
But these colleges are at least demonstrating some commitment to the ultimate fate of their students, so that graduates don't end up burning their diplomas for warmth.
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