Frequently Asked Questions
What is GOT?
GOT is the acronym for Graduate-On-Time. Texas Tech University has implemented several graduate-on-time related policies and programs in recent years. Each GOT initiative is designed to assist students toward a timely graduation.
What is considered a timely graduation?
A timely graduation means the student graduated within the university expected timeline for the student's chosen degree program. More than 70 percent of the Texas Tech undergraduate degrees are designed to be completed in 4 years with a minimum course load of 15 hours per semester. Degree programs such as those in engineering or architecture require more hours and a timely graduation could mean 5 to 5.5 years. A list of majors and the number of years and hours required to complete each degree are included in your catalog and on the GOT website.
What is the GOT Contract?
One of the graduate-on-time initiatives is the Graduate-On-Time Partnership Agreement or GOT Contract program. The GOT Contract is a two-way (partnership) agreement between the student and the university. The GOT Contract is only one of many incentives designed to encourage students to earn a degree within a specified time period. 70 percent of the degrees at Texas Tech are 4-year programs and 30 percent are 4.5 to 5.5-year programs. The GOT Contract program is feasible for more than 90 percent of the university's degree programs. The remaining degree programs combine a baccalaureate and master's degree and are not part of the GOT Contract program.
Does the GOT Contract apply to all new students at Texas Tech?
Only first-time freshmen entering the university directly from high school are eligible to sign the GOT.
When do students sign the contract?
First-time freshmen at Texas Tech meet with an academic advisor during Red Raider Orientation to discuss a course of study, create a semester schedule and register for courses. Students and their advisors will meet again during the student's first semester to create an education plan and determine the best path for earning a degree. Once the student agrees to a plan of action, the student can sign a contract. The agreement must be signed prior to advanced registration during the second long semester of classes (April for those who enter in the fall). Academic advisors provide copies of the GOT contract and explain the commitments necessary from both students and the university. After a student has signed the form, the advisor sends the signed contract to the Office of the Provost. The Provost is the chief academic officer at Texas Tech and will sign the contract form as the official university signature creating the partnership. A copy of the signed agreement will be mailed to the student at the student's local address as entered by the student in Raiderlink. Students should keep their copy of the final signed agreement.
Where do students sign the contract?
Students need to see their academic advisor to sign a GOT contract. The academic advisors for degree program have copies of the contract form and will explain the expectations of the agreement, answer the student's questions, and assist the student to complete the requested information.
What happens if a student doesn't sign the agreement?
The GOT Partnership Agreement is about creating partnerships, not dispensing penalties. There are no penalties for not signing the contract and no penalties for students who sign but do not meet the conditions of the contract. GOT is a guarantee that students and the university will work together to ensure the student graduates in a timely manner. The contract guarantees certain options if a course needed for graduation becomes unavailable and creates a delay in the expected graduation timetable.
Why is a timely graduation important?
An increasing number of professions prefer or require advanced education beyond a bachelor's degree. Students should start planning now for a master's, doctorate or professional degree such as law or medicine. By guiding students to a timely graduation, GOT allows the time and money saved during undergraduate study to be invested more quickly in an advanced degree. Even if you don't pursue an advanced degree, you could find yourself putting your career on hold and needlessly paying for another college semester because you dropped a couple of classes considering only the immediate impact and neglected to consider the impact to your overall graduation timeline. The longer it takes you to graduate, the more money you spend. Graduating on time saves you money and time.
How does the GOT contract help students graduate on time?
Dropping courses, retaking classes or registering for less than a full course load delays graduation. The GOT contract will help you design an education plan, track your academic progress and earn your degree within a time frame that meets your goals. GOT saves time and therefore money because it makes you more aware of the semester-to-semester course sequencing needed to earn a degree.
I thought I could take 12 hours and be a full time student?
Being a full-time student means taking a "normal load" of 15 to 16 semester credit hours or above each semester. This differs from the minimum 12 hours required to receive full-time financial aid. If a student were to take only 12 hours a semester, it would take a minimum of five years to complete a four-year degree.
I've heard that some people don't have to follow the new rules about dropping and retaking classes?
Everyone entering Texas Tech in the fall of 2004 or later is subject to the new rules regulating dropping a course and retaking a class (see details in the "Undergraduate Academics" section of your university catalog). Students who enrolled prior to fall 2004 are allowed to follow the rules that were in existence at the time of their enrollment. Eventually those students will graduate and everyone enrolled at Texas Tech will follow the same academic regulations, all designed to help you graduate on time.