Michigan community college makes job-or-money-back offer

Getty ImagesGetty ImagesA new trend in the making? Probably not, but it sure is a headline-worthy move.

A community college in Lansing, Michigan, the third largest in the state, and where unemployment is stubbornly at 11.7 percent, is making the promise for certain courses that if grads don't get jobs within a year, they could get their tuition reimbursed.

Before you decide there is no way they could possibly make such a promise and move on, consider that it applies only to six-week training courses that cost about $2,400 and train students for in-demand tech jobs in the region. Jobs like call-center specialists, pharmacy technicians, quality inspectors, and computer machinists. The jobs pay between about $12 and $16 an hours, Time reports.

Still, it's a head-turner and a pretty bold way to attract more students. A few more details: the money-back guarantee will only be available to 61 students in a pilot program, all of whom must have high school degrees, go through "employability skill training," go to job fairs, and prove they are applying for jobs after completing the six-week training courses.

Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution tells Time the Lansing Community College offer may be the first of its kind. It's definitely an intriguing offer, though very job-specific, at a time when so many people are questioning whether the full price of a college education is yielding an equal-value return.

Is this the kind of trend you'd like to see more of in higher education? Or is this just one genius marketing move amid the wider reality of education costs that don't keep pace with after-graduation salaries?

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