Though I applaud any effort to support students as they attempt to achieve a college diploma, as a long-time faculty member at the University of Baltimore, the proposed plan to provide financial incentives to students toward the end of their college careers confuses and concerns me ("UB plans free final semester for 4-year grads," March 19).

A low graduation rate is certainly influenced by economic issues, and there are students for whom any additional financial support will be meaningful. However, there are a large number of UB students who are not well prepared for college level study and who need remedial work in both English and mathematics.

An investment which would increase the number of qualified and motivated professors who will provide careful and attentive instruction to these students in small and focused academic settings might be much more likely to result in graduation in four years, as students will be better prepared for the rigorous work required in their degree programs.

Deborah Kohl, Baltimore

The writer is chair of the Division of Science, Information Arts and Technologies in the University of Baltimore's College of Arts and Sciences.

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