Get a job or your tuition money back

In a county with 11.7 percent unemployment, Lansing (Michigan) Community College is offering a money-back guarantee, reports Time Magazine. If you pass a six-week training course for a high-demand job and don’t get hired within a year, you’ll get your tuition back.

This offer applies to training for jobs as call-center specialists, pharmacy technicians, quality inspectors and computer machinists; pay rates range from $12.10 to $15.72 an hour. Training costs about $2,400.

The money-back guarantee is only open to a total of 61 students in Lansing’s pilot program. And the applicants are expected to be élite and competitive, says Ellen Jones, the college’s director of public affairs. (All must have a high school degree.) Those who are accepted can’t miss any class or assignments. They have to go through employability skill training and attend job fairs, and after they complete one of the six-week training courses, they must prove that they’re actively applying for jobs.

Russ Whitehurst, a Brookings fellow, tells Time that Lansing’s get-a-job-or-your-money-back offer is a first. “If every community college in America did something like that, they’d all be broke,” he says. “They’d be refunding all their tuition.”

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  1. Dear Joanne,

    If colleges want to run themselves like businesses, and charge as much as they possibly can per student, then I say, let them be held to business standards.

    Make them guarantee what a student will gain from being there.
    For instance, if it’s preparation for a teaching career, with a college career department that helps them find a job before graduation, then let it be that.

    Northeastern has done this for years, with 6 months on for education, and 6 months in an internship, and at the end, 96% of their students have jobs.

    We need to INVEST in college career offices, and help students find their passions early, so that they can be ready to hit the ground running when they graduate.



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