This College Says: Get a Job -- or Get Your Money Back

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College has always been the oddest of consumer products.

Can you think of any other product that is marketed as an investment for which people will shell out six figures with no guarantee of anything -- and absolutely no recourse if the product (education) does produce the intended result (a well-paying job)?

Now, one community college is looking to make its product risk-free and more consumer-friendly. Lansing Community College in Lansing, Mich., offers six-week training courses for students interested in careers as call-center specialists, pharmacy technicians, quality inspectors and computer machinists. The cost for each of these certificate programs is is $2,400, but a special money-back guarantee program is being offered to 61 students. If they attend every class, complete every assignment, and make a good-faith effort to get a job, if they are unable to find employment within a year after graduation, they'll get their tuition back.

Time
has more on this innovative marketing strategy, which is believed to be the first money-back guarantee in the history of higher education. While its offer is unlikely to catch on in a broader way, Lansing Community isn't the only school trying to ease its students concerns about the job market amid this tough economy. Bellevue University, a private college in Nebraska that caters to part-time adult students, is offering to allow students who lose their day jobs to defer all college expenses for up to six months.
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