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Tag Archive | "tuition discounts"

Reducing Fees – An Outside of the Box Approach to Tuition Pricing

You have to give credit where credit is due and I must say that the University of the South, found on a majestic wooded hilltop in Sewanee Tennessee, definitely should be given some recognition when it comes to adopting tuition pricing models.

In a time when most colleges are struggling to decide how small of a tuition increase they can impose on their students, Sewanee decides to take a different approach. They contemplate how much of a tuition DECREASE they can provide families and still maintain the same excellent level of services on their campus. That magic number for Sewanee this year was 10% (or $4600).

The current rate of tuition, room and board at Sewanee is $46,000 annually. So next year, the new rate will be $41,400 when factoring in the reduction. The silver lining to this story is that Sewanee is still standing by all of their financial aid commitments to current students as well. I bring this up because I have witnessed dramatic tuition rate reductions at other schools in the past but at the same time they adjusted financial aid accordingly. So the net out-of-pocket expense for many families never really changed from one year to the next even though the sticker price went down.

The Future of Sewanee

Not many colleges take as bold of a step or “leap of faith” as Sewanee has decidedly done… and there is good reason. It is very difficult for any college to plan on a tuition decrease because this almost always insures a loss in net revenue for the school. However, the way to offset that experience is to bolster numbers (enrollment). Based upon the coverage that Sewanee has received on their landmark tuition decrease announcement, I would say that they should probably be in store for a record year in regard to the size of their incoming class. If they are lucky, they may get enough steam off of this to secure their enrollment numbers for the next two years.

I would certainly encourage other colleges and universities to keep Sewanee in their sights for the next 3-5 years. If Sewanee’s “leap of faith” in tuition pricing pays off, it may serve as a good indicator for other schools that they can do the same. Inversely, it may prove that their decision may have been a little too “outside of the box”. Time will tell.

Here is a good promo video provided by University of the South (Sewanee):

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Davenport U. Provides Tuition Discount to Unemployed

The state of our economy over the past few years has been like a roller coaster ride. Unfortunately, I think it has been going down more than it has been going up and I think we even experienced a loop somewhere along the way. The optimist in me feels that we are certainly moving in the right direction but unemployment in our country is still staggering around the 10% mark. Repeatedly, our nation’s leaders have said time and time again that now is the time for our unemployed to take advantage of their situation (availability of free time?) and prepare themselves to re-enter the job market with more education and a better skill-set.

Davenport University has heard this message and has stepped up to the plate to roll out the red carpet and welcome the unemployed to it’s campuses. Davenport has made a commitment to provide a 25% tuition discount to any current or potential student (who is unemployed) that attends any of the 14 campuses it has located in Michigan.

The following is a quote from Larry Polselli, vice president for enrollment and student development at Davenport U: “Current economic environments across the state of Michigan have created challenges for many. With 14 campuses across the state and programs tied to today’s jobs, Davenport University is uniquely positioned to help students by extending this tuition discount when people need it most.”

Qualifications and rules governing this tuition discount program is fairly simple:

  • Any current student who can show documentation of current unemployment will be eligible for the 25 percent discount (Unemployment letter, paycheck stub, confirmation page, etc.)
  • Students who are underemployed and currently in a Michigan Works program and can provide Michigan Works documentation will be eligible for the 25 percent discount.
  • The discount will be applied for the entire financial aid year that it is awarded.
  • The discount is not retroactive and may not be combined with other tuition or scholarship offers.

I did some calculations and the estimated annual tuition at Davenport University for the 2010-2011 academic year is $11,544 assuming the student attends full time (12 credit hours each semester). Based upon the 25% discount, you will be saving $2,886. That is a huge savings that Davenport is presenting to it’s unemployed students.

If you live in the Michigan area, are unemployed, and looking to continue your education, I certainly recommend that you look into this opportunity provided by Davenport University. Davenport also manages an extensive online undergraduate degree program in the fields of Business, Health, and Technology. At the time of this article, I am unclear as to whether the discount is applicable to their online unemployed students. However, it never hurts to ask…

Davenport University boasts an enrollment of 11,000 students, maintains their flagship campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan and provides satellite campuses in Alma, Battle Creek, Caro, Flint, Gaylord, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Livonia, Midland, Saginaw, Traverse City, and Warren. If you would like to learn more about Davenport University, you can stop by their website anytime.

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Grace College Provides Accelerated Degree Options

Getting your degree completed in a shorter time span almost always equates to a greater savings in your checkbook. A three year bachelor’s degree is becoming more and more common and I have even recently seen a one year associates degree program (Ivy Tech Community College). Now something a little more flexible and probably more attractive, from an accelerated degree standpoint, has rolled out in Indiana

Grace College and Seminary is a liberal arts campus located in Winona Lake and they boast a student population of nearly 1700. They have taken the traditional academic calender and now tweaked it to provide accelerated degree programs for their students. The two most popular are the three year bachelor’s degree and the four year bachelor’s degree combined with a masters.

Most liberal arts calendars provide two 16 week semesters (Fall & Spring) and then have a summer session of varying course length. Grace is taking this academic calendar and parsing it into two 8 week sessions for each semester and then still rolling out a traditional summer session. This provides their students an opportunity to take an extra course during each of the 8 week sessions. Combine this with a few courses over the summer sessions and you can see how easily it is to graduate early and ahead of schedule. Trust me.. your brain is going to hate you but your pocketbook is really going to like this option.

Grace has put together some numbers to provide a proof of savings for their new program. The sticker price at Grace College for the 2010 academic year is $28,774. This price includes meals and housing but does not include financial aid, which you are sure to receive… In their financial chart, they factor the one year savings into their equation but they also include something that other schools forget to mention – the extra year of income the student will be receiving by entering into the work force a year earlier.

Now this program is not for the academically challenged. If you are interested in participating in Grace’s accelerated degree program, you have to go through the normal admission process the same as every student. And once you are admitted into the program you have to maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average. If you are unsuccessful at keeping your GPA in check, you won’t get kicked out of Grace (unless your grades are deplorable) you will just have to convert back to the traditional course schedule until you can be proven worthy enough to get back on the accelerated track.

If you think this approach at completing your degree is something that interest you (and your bank account), feel free to drop a line to the nice people at Grace College.

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Good News – Tuition Discount Rates Are Increasing

collegemoneyOf course this is only good news for students/families and not necessarily for the colleges and universities that are providing the discount…

As you go through the college search process, it is very unlikely that you will hear the word discount being used by anyone from the admission/recruitment office. Even though every college does it, they prefer to spice up the term discount and call it something more along the lines of a scholarship, a grant, an award, or a prize. Those descriptions provide a much more warm and fuzzy feeling than the word discount. So when you get your financial aid package in the mail from your school, essentially you are getting a piece of paper acknowledging what your discount will be from the sticker price that the school has on their cost of attendance. You will compare these financial aid packages (discounts) to the costs and see which school is the best fit financially.

The Good News For You…

NACUBO (National Association of College and University Business Officers) recently reported that the average discount rate for freshman entering college for the Fall 2008 semester rose to 41.8%, which was up from the 39.1% achieved the year prior. Since a portion of discounting is made up of need-based aid and is directly related to your FAFSA results, it is easy to understand why discount rates have been increasing for colleges and universities across the nation in the past year or two as our economy and job market has been weathering a tough financial storm.

Projections for future discount rates have not been determined but as a family’s ability to pay for college is decreased it is only natural to assume that the average discount rate is going to continue to increase in order for schools to be competitive in recruitment.

The Bad News For Colleges & Universities…

Discount rates climbing to record highs equates to less revenue being generated by the school. When less revenue is generated that means the institutions will be required to implement cost-cutting measures to help balance the budget. Massaging the budget translates to salary and hiring freezes, elimination of programs, staff reductions and other financially savvy ways to reduce expenses or increase revenue. All-in-all, it definitely makes for a tough time for those employed in higher education.

So…  I guess with national discount rates being at an all time high, now more than ever is a great time to get a quality education at an affordable cost!

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Summer College Tuition Deals Are Coming!

SummerCollegeWe have all known that summer school is a great time to load up on quality classes at bargain basement prices. However, it appears that the summer session tuition pricing is getting better and better for credit hungry students. A few weeks ago, I posted an article about how Otterbein College was offering summer credit hours at a 25% discount rate in the great state of Ohio. Now it appears that some colleges in New Jersey are stepping up to the plate and trying to increase summer enrollment with some great offers as well.

St. Peters College
is a small private Jesuit college boasting an enrollment of 3000 students on two campuses (Jersey City & Englewood Cliffs) and they are the first college in New Jersey to come out of the gate with a buy one summer class get a second summer class for 50% off. This is the second year that St. Peters will be offering this deal to students.

After Saint Peter’s advertised its deal last year, students completed 18 percent more summer credit hours, said Terence Peavy, the school’s vice president for admissions and marketing. “It’s a very smart initiative,” Peavy said. “A lot of people took us up on the offer.”

The savings for a student taking two 3 credit hour courses equates to almost a $1000 dollars. Certainly makes for a nice incentive to enroll in summer classes!

Saint Peter’s is not the only educational institution in New Jersey looking to score some extra students for summer session. Centenary College is offering free summer housing. The only requirement is that you enroll in at least 2 courses during the first summer session.

My guess is that other schools (maybe in your area of the country) will be providing incentives and discounts for students looking to take some summer courses. If you know of a school, or work at or attend a school, that is providing some great summer deals, please feel free to let us all know in the comments section below. We definitely enjoy affordable college tuition when the opportunity presents itself.

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