Southeastern “Promise” raises concerns to the student body


Gerard Borne

After the Fall 2018 semester, the university created something called the “Southeastern Promise.” This promise offered students a set price for tuition throughout their four years of an undergraduate degree.

To be eligible for the Promise scholarship, students must have a selected major which they cannot change for four years, commit to make progress of 30 hours per academic year and have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.

At first glance, the promise is enticing for students to sign up, and I remember when I was a freshman thinking this a great incentive created by the university. However, there has been confusion recently regarding the promise scholarship and the extra credit fee.

Any student who is not enrolled in Southeastern Promise will be charged for classes over the 15 hour cap. The fee is $86 for 16 credit hours, $220 for 17 credit hours and $354 for 18 credit hours. The university explained that students enrolled in the Promise will get additional scholarships to offset the increase.

Another catch on the promise is the fact that if a student decides to change their major, then the promise is broken. I don’t like how much pressure that places on the students, especially freshmen who will most likely end up changing their major.

The university’s reasoning for the fee was to stay in competition with other local universities, but on the flip side, the university also gave a small scholarship to those who signed the promise.

To me, all these explanations are scary and create a lot of confusion with the university’s controller’s office. This semester, I scheduled my classes over the summer for this semester and paid my tuition well in advance before the university’s deadline. Unfortunately, because I was taking 18 credit hours for the 2020 fall semester, the university charged me $354 after I paid for my tuition. Then, in a blunder by the controller’s office, I was not informed of the fee I shouldn’t have had in the first place, thus causing the controller’s office to cancel all my fall classes on Aug. 16. Thank God something in my head at 11:45 p.m. told me to check my schedule for the first day of school on Aug. 17, and I was able to diffuse the situation. Unfortunately, I lost two vital classes for my career path.

I wish the university would have handled things a bit differently in this situation, because this cost me big time and ruined my schedule for the rest of my college career. I should have never had that fee in the first place, and the university had zero explanation or sympathy towards the situation.

Another reason why I did not like the way this was handled is because I lost a tremendous amount of trust in the university. One thing I was always taught growing up was to never fall back on a promise, and what do you know, that’s what happened.

As a student who signed the promise, I do not like what the university did and think it should be fixed. If the reason behind the fee is to stay in competition with other local universities, then why was the promise created in the first place?