Temple University hopes to help students graduate on time by offering grants to low-income students who agree to limit their outside work hours.
The $4,000-a-year grants, announced Monday, will be available for incoming students who agree not to work more than 10 hours a week in off-campus jobs. Temple officials hope that students with more time for school will graduate in four years and enter the workforce sooner.
"Temple students must not keep their futures waiting,'' school President Neil D. Theobald said in a statement.
Up to 500 incoming students, or 7 percent of the class, will be eligible for the ``Fly in 4'' grants, school officials said. They will cover more than one-fourth of the approximately $14,000 cost of in-state tuition and fees each year. The program, for low-income and working-class students, is also designed to reduce student debt after graduation.
"For nearly 50 years, researchers have shown that college students employed more than 15 hours per week during the school year earn much lower grades than do those working fewer hours for pay,'' Theobald said. "In addition, time-to-graduation has become the primary determinant of student debt.''
The university will have students meet at least once a semester with their academic advisers to stay on track toward graduation. The school also agrees to pay for any remaining classes for students who fulfill the program requirements, but still can't graduate on time.
According to Theobald, 10 hours a week of minimum-wage work was enough 40 years ago to pay for Temple tuition. However, he said it now takes 25 hours a week on the job today to pay the tuition bill.