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4-Year Graduation Guarantee

Pay less, earn sooner. Guaranteed.

  • $26,141 saved through Bethel’s 4-Year Graduation Guarantee, over going to a state school for 5 years
  • First private college in the state to offer a 4-year graduation guarantee
  • 72% of Bethel graduates finished their degree in four years during the past 10 years, well above the 49 percent national average for public colleges.


  • begin as a first-time freshman
  • stick to one major
  • take a full load each term
  • make reasonable academic progress

You’ll graduate in eight semesters, guaranteed, or Bethel College will provide tuition, plus any course fees, for all Bethel courses needed to complete the degree requirements.

How does the 4-Year Graduation Guarantee affect your college costs?

  • Two out of three  state university graduates will pay substantially more for their college education than Bethel students.

These students must enroll for additional semesters, even years, of study before they graduate, accumulating tuition and living expenses and delaying the earnings associated with full-time, professional employment.

4-Year Graduation Guarantee Agreement

Ready to choose the four-year plan to start saving a significant amount of money and get a head start in your career or post-graduate studies? If so, be sure to review the commitments and discuss the plan with your major advisor before completing the 4-Year Graduation Guarantee Agreement Form.

If you have additional questions, contact the Registrar's Office or the Office of Admissions.


Whether you’re ready to map out a single route or want the flexibility of varied paths toward your educational goals, Bethel’s combination of advising, course scheduling and individual attention ensures efficient and steady progress toward graduation. You may elect to extend your studies beyond eight semesters to take advantage of research and employment opportunities or certificate and/or minor programs, or to pursue specialized plans of study tailored to unique career goals. You will also find financial support to make your choices possible.

The 4-Year Graduation Guarantee is not for all students. There are many good reasons why you might choose to take longer than four years to graduate.

  • Family or work responsibilities prevent you from completing an average of 16 credits per semester.
  • Your interests change while you’re at Bethel, leading you to change your major field of study.
  • You take one or more internships to prepare for your post-graduate career.
  • Requirements for teacher licensure, a certificate or a minor include extra courses.
  • You decide to study abroad for a year.*
  • You opt to be heavily involved in extracurricular activities.

Each of the choices you make could enhance your education, yet they make it more difficult to finish the 4-Year Graduation Guarantee on schedule. Nevertheless, many students in each of the above circumstances can finish their degree programs in four years.

* Not all study abroad experiences provide the breadth of coursework necessary to complete a major. Students considering study abroad must consult the academic dean to determine if the 4-Year Graduation Guarantee will continue to apply.

Bethel provides eligible students advising about their academic programs and the courses they need to complete them. To assist you in your plan to graduate in four years, Bethel College will:

  • Ensure you are well informed about college and major requirements and assign you a designated adviser.
  • Provide timely access to the courses you must take to meet degree requirements.

Student’s commitments

You follow the academic advice provided and take the courses, which are available to you. If you are committed to graduating in four years, you must:

  • Matriculate as a first-time Bethel College freshman (including freshmen with Advanced Placement but excluding freshmen admitted on provisional, part-time status).
  • Declare your intention to pursue the 4-Year Graduation Guarantee by signing the appropriate contract, available from the Office of the Registrar, no later than your second semester at Bethel. In the contract, you will declare your major* and you must stick with that major.
  • Meet with your academic adviser/s every semester to ensure that the courses you select will meet all program requirements (college and major) within your contract period.
  • Adjust your preferred schedule to take courses you need when they are offered.
  • Complete the average number of credits necessary each academic year to meet the minimum credit requirements for graduation. (Students may need to take interterm classes to achieve the necessary rate of progress.)
  • Maintain the grade point averages required by the college and particular majors. You must earn grades sufficient to allow you to enroll in the next level of required courses in order not to repeat courses and thereby lose time.
  • Meet with the registrar for a formal degree check during your fifth semester.

Many students who declare a major later than the guidelines specified above, as well as students who change majors (even more than once), will often still be able to graduate from Bethel College within four years. These guidelines apply to the guarantee only and not to any specific graduation requirements.

* Programs that require coursework beyond the major to fulfill teacher licensure requirements are excluded from the 4-Year Graduation Guarantee.

If you have additional questions, contact the Registrar's Office or the Office of Admissions.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.