Board of Trustees approves free 18th credit

Media Credit: Olivia Anderson | Photo Editor

University President Thomas LeBlanc said students will use the free 18th credit, which was approved by the Board of Trustees Friday, to "pursue their academic goals."

Students will be able to take a free 18th credit next fall.

The Board of Trustees unanimously voted Friday to expand the University’s 17-credit cap, allowing students to take the extra credit without incurring a more than $1,500 fee. The new policy follows more than a year of increased pressure from current and former student leaders, who said the extra credit will help students pursue multiple majors or graduate early.

“I do think that students need to understand that this is being done to allow them to pursue their academic goals, and we hope that’s what they will use it for,” University President Thomas LeBlanc said.

Officials said last month that they were exploring the logistics of upping the credit cap after Student Association leaders approached them about the topic last academic year. In a student-wide referendum last spring, about 96 percent of the student body said they approved the increased cap, and 54 percent indicated they would use it if given the opportunity.

“I think there will be some students – just because of flexibility, because of what’s being offered during various points in time – who will end up taking an 18th credit if it will work for them for their schedule,” Provost Forrest Maltzman said.

Former SA leaders also submitted a report to the Board of Trustees in May including recommendations to slowly implement a free 18th hour, building off an SA-led affordability report released in March finding that GW was more expensive than its peers in nearly all student services.

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