Frequently Asked Questions

What is EIU4?

EIU4 is Eastern's four-year graduation guarantee for first-time, full-time freshmen in many majors. The program is simple: if you qualify and complete the EIU4 student responsibilities, we guarantee that you will finish your degree on time. 

Why should I be concerned about timely degree completion?

Nationwide, only about one in four college students complete a degree in four years. Increased time-to-degree costs you additional tuition, fees, and living expenses.

Who is eligible for EIU4?

First-time, full-time freshmen who are regularly admitted and ready to declare an eligible major may participate in EIU4. Also, undeclared students able to declare a major by May 1 of their freshman year are eligible for EIU4. However, those students who are unable to complete ¼ of their course requirements in one academic year because of deficiencies in high school course work or ACT scores are not eligible for EIU4.

What majors are eligible?

All majors are eligible for EIU4, except: All teacher education programs, all Bachelor of Fine Arts programs, athletic training, environmental biology, clinical laboratory science, and the engineering and nursing cooperatives. 

If you have changed to an eligible major from an ineligible major you must apply to EIU4 your freshman year to be considered for the four-year guarantee. You can apply online here.

What are the benefits of EIU4?

  • A four-year graduation guarantee as long as you remain eligible for the program.
  • Reminders of important dates sent to your email.
  • Assistance in securing seats in closed courses you require to stay on track for a four-year degree.
  • Access to the EIU4 website, with its resources designed to help you graduate on time.
  • Additional monitoring of your progress and notification of problems, before it’s too late.

How will I know if I am eligible for the four-year graduation guarantee?

You will be notified by email if you are eligible for the four-year guarantee. Normally, this will occur at the beginning of the fall semester of your freshmen year. Current EIU4 students can check their EIU4 status at any time in the PAWS degree audit under the "COHORT MEMBERSHIP" heading.

If you have changed to an eligible major from an ineligible major you must apply to EIU4 your freshman year to be considered for the four-year guarantee. You can apply online here.

What if I want to change my major or add an option or minor?

Contact the EIU4 Coordinator prior to making the change. The coordinator will determine whether the change affects your eligibility under EIU4.


What if the class I need is full?

If you register by your established deadline but discover that a course you absolutely MUST take that semester is full, please contact the EIU4 Coordinator via email at or fill out this closed class form. The Coordinator will contact the appropriate department chairperson to develop an appropriate course of action.

This offer of assistance applies only if 1) you registered by the established deadline; 2) you MUST take the course that semester to avoid delaying graduation; and 3) there are no seats in ANY section of the needed class at ANY time. A desire to avoid an 8 AM course or a particular instructor does NOT warrant the Coordinator’s intervention.

What happens if I become ineligible for EIU4?

If you become ineligible for EIU4 (either by altering your program of study or failing to meet one or more of the student responsibilities), you simply give up the four-year graduation guarantee. You face no penalties for being unable to complete the program.

Is this the same as the four-year guaranteed tuition?

No. Eastern automatically fixes tuition for all new undergraduate Illinois resident students for four continuous academic years at the rate for the first semester at EIU. However, students who complete their responsibilities for EIU4 can more accurately estimate their expenses and ensure that they will graduate before their tuition increases with the addition of a four-year graduation guarantee from EIU4. Information about the Guaranteed Tuition Rate Plan is available here.

What if I want to drop a class?

Contact your academic advisor and the EIU4 Coordinator to determine whether dropping a course will affect your ability to complete a degree in four years and your eligibility for EIU4. You are permitted to fall up to 6 hours behind and still remain eligible, but you must make up the hours prior to graduation.

What about AP credit, CLEP credit, summer school, and transfer work?

EIU4 students may apply AP credit and CLEP credit toward degree requirements. In addition, summer school credit is accepted and encouraged. Summer semesters are not included as one of the eight semesters in the EIU4 degree plan, so they do not reduce your eligibility for the program. If you plan to transfer courses from other institutions, please consult the Office of Transfer Relations to determine course equivalents and transferability. PAWS transfer degree audits also will assist you in determining how courses will transfer to EIU.

What are my major responsibilities to remain eligible for the four-year guarantee?

  • Make and keep appointments with your academic advisor every semester in order to plan the next semester’s courses and register within two days of your assigned registration period.
  • Regularly monitor your degree progress by accessing your online degree audit via PAWS.
  • Meet the GPA requirements and graduation requirements of your major and of the University.
  • Complete at least ¼ of your program requirements each academic year. You must complete 30 hours each year. Generally this is done by completing at least 15 hours each semester.
  • See the Student Responsibilities for a complete listing of your responsibilities to remain eligible.