Students may be offered fifth year free of tuition

The newly elected Student Government (SG) Executive Board wants to create an option for students to attend the University of Miami for a free fifth year.

Now, the elected officers of the “Inspired by U” team have taken the initial steps toward making this popular platform a reality.

The plan is modeled after the Take Five Scholars Program at the University of Rochester. At Rochester, students can apply for an additional semester or year, free of academic tuition. After a student submits their application to the program, it is sent to a review board comprised of faculty members at the university, deans, and a student currently participating in the Take Five Scholars Program.

“The idea seems to be well liked by all students we have spoken to,” said SG President Nawara Alawa.

The scholarship at UM would cover tuition, but not the student activity fee, room and board, or textbooks. Alawa said that the Take Five Scholars Program at UM would start with a pilot group to transition this program to UM.

According to AJ Ricketts, the SG press secretary, UM’s pilot program will consist of 10 to 15 students for its first year.

The fifth year can also be used to study abroad, or explore a new major or minor, but should not be used for personal gain. Any student who has completed at least one semester at the university and has at least one full semester left to complete at UM is eligible to apply. Courses taken under the program will appear on a student’s transcript and will count toward their GPA.

Meetings have been set up with the dean of each school and college. Administrative members must support the program before decisions regarding scholarship allocations can be made.

So far, Alawa said that Dr. Green supports “several student ideas including, but not limited to, Take 5 and Design-A-Course.” These programs are currently in the works, and further details will be released in the future.

At Rochester, the Take Five Scholars Program is not an opportunity to earn additional credentials.

It is, according to the school’s website, a chance for students to “indulge in studying a topic of interest, to learn for the sake of learning, without the concern that it will make him or her a better job or graduate school applicant.”

Alawa expressed similar sentiments.

“I see a student who has a passion, who likes to take control of their education, who takes in and appreciates every second they have here at this university and realizes it’s not enough,” Alawa said.