Fresno Pacific offering a Graduation Guarantee

July 16, 2009 10:21:45 PM PDT
Incoming freshman at Fresno Pacific University were getting some guidance from faculty Thursday as they chose their classes for the fall semester. Gable Chavez, freshman said "I'm pretty much set for this next year, I might add a few classes for fall, but spring is all set in stone now."

Steve Varvis, Vice President Enrollment Mgnt. said "All year people have being late enrolling because of the economy so we expect more late enrollees this year."

Unlike Fresno State which this week announced a 10% cut to enrollment, Fresno Pacific will be accepting students all the way through the first day of class.

Rina Campbell, Undergraduate Admissions said "We're not government funded. We don't get the state money like other institutions do, so it's business as usual here at Fresno Pacific."

The private university did feel the impact of a bad economy last fall, when undergraduate enrollment dropped by about 5%, so they decided to make students a promise.

"If the student comes and does their work, takes the classes that they need to take, and passes them, we guarantee we'll have the courses they need, the mentoring they need to be done in four years." said Steve Varvis.

It's the 4-year graduation guarantee. While State Universities are cutting thousands of classes, Fresno Pacific will make sure the necessary courses are available for students who sign this contract, or the school will pay for the students' 5th year.

It's one reason 18-year old Matt Gilbert chose Fresno Pacific over a CSU closer to home, in Southern California.

Matt Gilbert, freshman said "The tuition here is a little more but overall 5 years would probably come close to the same 4 years tuition here."

Tuition at the University has gone up to $23,600 a year, but the school is also making up for the 3% increase, by offering more financial aid and scholarships.

"We've done everything we can to get the word out that this is a place that is available, that is affordable and where students will have success." said Steve Varvis.

Total student enrollment at Fresno Pacific University is about 2400, and they have space for more.

They've already registered about 270 freshman for the fall semester, and expect as many as 150 more by August 24th, the first day of classes.

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