Students at the University of Utah don’t have to worry about paying their full tuition fee upfront as the university has announced a new income-sharing agreement system, in which they will pay reduced tuition in exchange for a percentage of their income after graduation for a set period of time.
Invest in U, a pilot program started by the university, is aimed at improving affordability, on-time degree completion and to launch professional careers as early as possible.
“Through Invest in U, the University of Utah is investing in our students to help them succeed, recognizing that many students start and stop their educations based on finances,” President Ruth Watkins said.
Under the new agreement, students will be able to receive up to $10,000 for fall, spring and summer academic semesters. After graduation, depending on their declared major and the amount of funding they received, students will pay 2.85 percent for three to 10 years.
The pilot program is currently funded by $6 million in university, donor and investor money.
“The University of Utah has the highest graduation rate, the lowest average debt at graduation and the highest average beginning salary for graduates of any public institution in the state—and well above the national median,” the university said in a release.
“But aversion to debt, the need to work while attending school and other factors lead many students to extend their schooling or to never complete a degree, which means they delay or forgo earning potential tied to being a college graduate.”
The university has partnered with Vemo Education to implement and sustain the income share agreement initiative after developing the pilot program with the help of university leaders, students, and its Sorenson Impact Center.