Madison College is offering students the option to take degree-level classes regardless of format for free for seven days through its new “Give us the College Try” program.
The move follows a 10 percent drop in enrollment this semester in comparison to the fall of 2019, possibly due to the popularity of the community college amongst low-income, first-generation college students and people of color, who have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previously, students would only receive a full refund on classes if they were dropped at least one day before the class was scheduled to begin. By participating in the new program, students will avoid needing to pay for 20 percent of the class tuition fee as dictated by the school’s refund policy if they drop a class.
“We’re really, from so many different angles, trying to figure out what we can do to nudge prospective students who may be hesitating,” Provost Turina Bakken said to Madison.com. “Maybe they had a not very good senior year (of high school) and they’re just not sure. They’re inclined to head in our direction, but they need a little nudge.”
Eligible groups include new students, students who did not enroll for spring 2020 courses, and those who dropped during the refund period this semester before receiving a grade. Students who earned a letter grade or withdrew from classes are not able to participate.
Those interested in trying the program can sign up for classes just as normal students would do. If participants choose to remain in their classes, they will need to pay for tuition — as well as other fees, including book rentals — and would be subject to the refund policy.
Prospective students without reliable technology or transportation will still be able to participate, as individuals can rent a laptop or Wi-Fi hotspot during the trial period.
Class registration for the “Give us the College Try” program is currently open. The summer term begins on June 1.