A faculty committee at Tufts University will soon recommend that the university change its tuition structure to charge students by the course rather than by the semester.
If adopted by the Tufts faculty, the new procedure would prohibit students from taking accelerated course loads and graduating early.
Under present policy, students have been able to save as much as $3200 of their education costs by taking five and sometimes six courses a semester.
Jack A. Dunne, special assistant to the Tufts administration, said yesterday that the adoption of a pay-as-you-learn policy would create an incentive for Tufts students to take only four courses a year, "If a student is going to take a course seriously, he ought to pay for it," Dunne added.
Dunne said that the present rules theoretically permit a student to take eight courses in a semester, receive incomplete marks in four of them, and take the next semester off to finish the outstanding work, thereby saving a semester's tuition.
The Tufts faculty committee hopes to stop the loss of money that the present tuition schedule has caused by allowing students to graduate early without additional cost.
Dunne said that the idea is "only under consideration," but members of the faculty committee, although unavailable for comment yesterday, have confirmed for The Tufts Observer that the group has reached a consensus favoring the tuition change.
At Harvard, students are allowed to take additional courses without charge so long as they do not use them for accelerating their graduation, Robert E. Kaufmann, assistant to the Faculty for financial affairs, said yesterday.
Kaufmann said that until several years ago, Harvard had charged for additional courses, but retreated from that policy for educational rather than economic reasons. He noted that the change acted to encourage students to take additional courses.