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There is a new video out encouraging full-time college students in the University of Hawaiʻi System to take a minimum of 15 credits a semester so they can graduate on time.

15 to Finish was launched earlier this year and includes an aggressive advertising and public relations campaign, which was sparked by the fact that only about 27 percent of all UH students graduate. The campaign is targeted at every student in the UH system, but particularly incoming freshman and their parents. Research has found that students who take at least 15 credits a semester are more likely to do better in school and not only graduate, but graduate on time.

“If that’s not a good enough reason, another reason is that it will save you and your family an enormous amount of money if you are able to finish in four years instead of five years or six years,” said University of Hawaiʻi President M.R.C. Greenwood. “Once you have paid for 12 units at the University of Hawaiʻi, you can take as many units as you would like to take at our four-year campuses.“

Student orientations across the UH System are setting aside time to educate incoming students about 15 to Finish, and the message appears to be getting through.

“I never really actually thought about credits, and how many credits it takes to graduate,” said incoming UH Mānoa freshman Jordan Morimoto. “And 15 actually isn’t really that big a number to achieve.”

“I thought it was very useful,” agreed Leisa Lovett who is also a UH Mānoa incoming freshman. “I know that I don’t have to be in school for super long if I just stay on task and do everything I need to do.”

The university is pledging to do everything it can to make sure students are able to graduate in a timely fashion.

“Now we’re not going to guarantee that every course that every student wants is going to be available from 10 to 2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” said Greenwood. “Students may have to adjust their schedule in order to take all of the courses but it can be done, and we will work hard to be sure that students can get the classes they need.”

They are a number of things students can do to graduate on time.

  • Students should meet with advisors to develop a plan of attack and stick with the plan.
  • If they have to work, they should think about getting a job on campus to eliminate the commute and to allow for greater flexibility.
  • Students should take the required freshman English and math courses in the first year.
  • If they cannot take 15 credits a semester, they should consider going to summer school full-time.

If incoming freshman do these things, they are more likely to graduate, and graduate on time.

“I’m going to do it, if it means I can graduate for in four years,” said Lovett.

“Most definitely, save 8,000 dollars a year so why not strive for it,” agreed Morimoto.

The 15 to Finish campaign is part of UH’s Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative. For more information, go to or read the news release.

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