UPDATED: Livesay announces tuition-free master’s degree initiative

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Livesay, Stephen
Dr. Stephen Livesay

By Ashley Coker
Editor-in-Chief

President Stephen Livesay and Director of Admissions Joshua Hood announced that every current Bryan College student who graduates with at a 3.5 GPA will be eligible to earn a master’s degree from the college tuition-free.

Livesay’s announcement, made Wednesday morning in chapel, was received with a round of applause from students. Students also applauded when Hood announced they would all be receiving free T-shirts.

Bryan currently offers three master’s degree programs: Master of Business Administration, Master of Education and Master of Arts in Christian Studies.

The college is in the process of developing more master’s programs, according to Livesay.

The program, dubbed “The Bryan Difference Maker,” has been in development for the last eight months.

Eligibility for the program includes seniors graduating this December.

Hood announced an informational meeting with more details for 4:30 Wednesday afternoon.

Update 5:46 p.m.: In the 4:30 p.m. informational meeting, a panel of administration and faculty members welcomed students’ questions about the new program.

The panel included AGS Dean Paul Rickert, AGS Professor of Bible Ken Turner, Assistant Dean of Students Tim Shetter, AGS Assistant Professor of Business Kathy Estes, AGS Assistant Professor of Business Stacey Duke, Director of Graduate Education Matt Johnson and Vice President of Finance and Enrollment Rick Taphorn.

Taphorn said all current students who maintain a 3.5 GPA  and continuous enrollment from now until graduation, regardless of transfer status, are eligible to earn their Bryan master’s degree tuition free. However, any future students must have started at Bryan as a first-time freshman and have maintained continuous enrollment throughout their time at Bryan.

Current Bryan students who plan to take advantage of the program must begin the program immediately upon graduation. For December graduates, this means beginning the program in January. May graduates will start in June.

Bryan students will be able to complete an expedited, one-page application. The typical transcript and letter of recommendation requirements, as well as the application fee, will be waived, according to Taphorn.

While they will receive free tuition, Estes said students will still be responsible for a $50 technology fee, a graduation fee and room and board, should they choose to live on campus.

All three of the current master’s programs are conducted entirely online, giving students the freedom to complete their degree from anywhere with an internet connection.

Each of the 36-hour programs can be completed in as little as 18 months when students take two courses per 12-week term. Students are required to take at least one course each term and maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to continue receiving free tuition.

The Adult and Graduate Studies department plans to announce new degree options by the end of the calendar year, though it is unclear how long it will be before those new programs begin being offered, according to Duke.