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J-Term is an academic mini-term prior to each spring semester and is mandatory for first-time freshmen. J-Term is meant to strengthen the academic, social, relational and spiritual formation of students in their collegiate experience at OBU. To help with the costs of a mandatory J-Term requirement, select courses are offered tuition-free and housing scholarships covering all housing costs are applied for qualified students. The only additional costs associated with J-Term for first-time freshmen are meal plans and books. 

A primary benefit of J-Term is to keep students on track in their efforts of degree completion in four years. Most students who graduate in four years achieve that objective by taking courses in the summer and/or J-Term semesters. Students should see J-Term as an opportunity to advance in their degree programs toward graduation. J-Term provides an opportunity to take a fun course, fulfill a requirement for graduation, or improve a grade in a course requiring remediation. Students can get a jump on academic programs by taking advantage of this opportunity.

A few students may not be able to enroll in the first-year J-Term experience. Those students may apply for exemption from J-Term by submitting an online form requesting exemption to the Office of the Provost for consideration. Exemptions to the required attendance policy are rare and granted only in unusual circumstances.

Students who are required to attend J-Term and choose to not attend will have a hold placed on their account. These students will not be allowed to attend classes in the spring semester until their non-participation in the preceding J-Term has been satisfactorily resolved.