Thomas Aquinas College has a fixed, four-year curriculum, meaning that students who pass all their classes and return each semester will, without exception, graduate in four years. The College’s four-year graduation rate is among the nation’s highest at 71 percent, nearly double the national average of 39 percent. As a result, the total cost of education at a typical public or private college — even if its tuition rate is nominally lower than the College’s — is oftentimes higher, because students must pay for 2-4 additional semesters. (This delay also comes with the opportunity cost of missed time in the workforce after graduation.)
The College’s six-year graduation rate is 83 percent, compared to 59.2 percent nationwide. Yet even students who take longer to complete the program do not, as a rule, pay more than four years’ tuition. Because the College offers a uniform schedule of studies, there is no way, short of repeating a semester for disciplinary or academic reasons, to stretch a student’s time on campus — or one’s tuition payments — beyond the course of eight semesters.