The University of Dayton will graduate more students this weekend than any spring before.
More than 2,000 UD graduate and undergraduate students will be awarded degrees Saturday and Sunday at the University of Dayton Arena. Not only will the university set a record for total graduates this spring, but it will set another after this weekend, having graduated more than 3,000 in a single academic year, according to UD.
Commencement for grad students is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Saturday at the arena, while the undergraduate ceremony is slated for 9:45 a.m. Sunday. More than 1,600 undergrads are expected to accept their degrees, according to the school.
“We are proud to celebrate with our students their hard work and dedication that led to their graduation day,” said Julia Thompson, associate director of admission and financial aid.
UD has attributed recent graduation records to a number of initiatives but chief among them have been the school’s net tuition guarantee program.
In 2013, UD began promising prospective students their financial aid would match any increase in tuition so they would be same price all four years in college. UD also got rid of individual fees and began offering four-year projections for the cost of housing and meal plans.
The program has led to increased retention, meaning students who would have transferred to another school because of rising costs are not leaving as often, Jason Reinoehl, UD vice president of strategic enrollment management, has said.
Saturday’s commencement will mark another milestone, not just for UD but for Sinclair Community College as well.
Maria Loyd will become the first student to graduate from the UD-Sinclair Academy. She hopes to land a teaching job at a Dayton area school.
The Academy was launched in the spring of 2016 and allows students to begin their studies at Sinclair Community College and finish a bachelor’s degree at UD. The agreement between the two schools eases the transfer process and aims to remove some financial difficulties that might prevent students from earning a degree at the private catholic college.
“I was lucky to start at Sinclair and figure out what I want to do with my life,” Loyd said. “I am so excited to graduate and bring my experience as a transfer student into teaching.”
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