University of Minnesota | Rochester
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Annual Giving

Help us help our students Finish in Four!

Across the nation, fewer than 60% of students enrolled in public colleges and universities receive a Bachelor’s degree within six years. Only about one-third earn their degree in the traditional four year time frame.

At UMR we are working to ensure that all of our students - 100% - graduate in four years and are ready for the workforce or immediately start their graduate studies in their chosen healthcare field. There is a campus-wide expectation of, and commitment to, students that they will complete their studies in no more than four years. Finish in 4 is an initiative that uses community support to recognize and reward UMR students who are on track to graduate within four years.

Why is finishing in four years important?

  • The workforce needs our students now. Over the next decade, it is anticipated that more than 50% of the healthcare workforce will retire. This at the same time that demand for services is increasing.
  • Student debt continues to accumulate. Stretching out a four year degree means extra years of tuition, room and board, and other educational expenses. During a student’s fifth and sixth year of school, grants, scholarships and parent loans become less available. Many students often borrow the most money in these years and do so at the least favorable interest rates. Students who do not graduate in four years can expect to add approximately $15,000 to their debt load each year.[1]
  • Additional years of labor market earnings and experience are forgone. Students who are in school for an additional one to two years instead of the workforce are deferring their income. Amortized over a lifetime, this delay can cost a student hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How does the Finish in Four initiative work?

  • UMR raises funds in the community during the school year and each fall, distributes the funds raised to students who are on track to graduate in four years. (On track means that the student has the appropriate number of credits and has earned a “C” or above in all of their courses.)
  • Funds are distributed in the form of a credit at M Gear (the University store) and can be used to purchase textbooks, educational supplies, and computer accessories.

How can you help?

  • Make a gift today to recognize and reward a student who is on track to finish their Bachelor’s degree within four years.

O   To give a gift today, click here.

O   To set up your recurring gift, click here.

[1] Clark, Kim; Tuition at public colleges rises 4.8%; CNN Money, October 24, 2012;

100% of all gifts designated to the University of Minnesota Rochester are received by and invested in the Rochester campus.

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