Additionally as part of the Ithaca Commitment, the college offers one free IC Advantage course to every incoming student the summer before their first semester at Ithaca, with the opportunity to earn up to three total college credits. Now in its third year, the program has a proven track record of increasing the likelihood that a student will fully matriculate at IC in the fall and improving incoming student confidence, academic performance, and persistence.
Students are also eligible to take up to two additional one-credit courses for only $155 each. The IC Advantage allows students to master course content, become familiar with the college’s academic expectations, and make early contacts and friendships with professors and fellow incoming students.
Hundreds of incoming students have participated in IC Advantage each year since its inception, and 93% said it was an experience they would choose again, while 90% said it helped them prepare emotionally and intellectually for their transition to college. All students who successfully complete at least one IC Advantage course benefit, but students in the highest financial need category see the greatest impact, with a 7% higher rate of persistence to their second semester.
Students agreed that IC Advantage was helpful. “The best part is all the people I met from outside my major, and now I have a professor I know I can talk to if I need it,” one student wrote in a survey about IC Advantage courses.
With the Ithaca Commitment, all students will be able to move through their years at IC with confidence, knowing they have a four-year financial support plan that won’t change. In its inaugural year of implementation, 80% of matriculating students said that the four-year forecast and direct cost increase cap were influential in their decisions to enroll. In fact, in that same year, Ithaca College experienced a three percentage point increase in students who accepted their offers of admission, even as nationally that rate had been declining a point a year on average.
“This suggests that we are moving in the right direction by providing this level of transparency up front to students and their families,” said Koehler.
As Ithaca College is committed to a holistic approach to affordability and value for students in all four years of their time at the college, IC has also introduced the Senior and Graduate Housing Community. which offers seniors and graduate students a new housing and meal plan option for on-campus living at a significantly reduced rate for the academic year.
“By ensuring that students have clarity from the start about the cost of their education, we’ll enable them to make the most informed decisions about where to enroll and then to focus their energy on getting the most value out of their time here at Ithaca College,” said Koehler.