By Sam Coren
In a time when students, parents, and educators are reeling from year-to-year tuition increases, one college has dared to do things a bit differently. Yesterday the University of Charleston in Charleston, W.Va. announced that no undergraduate student would pay more than $19,500 for tuition next year; a 22% reduction off the $25,000 tuition sticker price from 2011-2012. While new freshman and transfer students will be charged the new rate of $19,500, returning undergraduate students will be charged $25,500 with a guarantee of at least $6,000 in university aid.
“Thanks to a decade of success, we are in a strong financial position that enables us to make this bold move to reduce tuition,” said University President Edwin Welch. According to Welch, “This change will make a UC education more accessible to more students. We strive to be the best value private institution in the region. We are revising tuition and financial aid to reflect the real cost of a UC education.”
But lower tuition is only one way that University of Charleston is reducing the cost of private higher education. According to the university over 25% UC students who come to the school as freshmen and stay through graduation finish their degrees in less than 4 years. An additional 10% move directly into graduate school without receiving an undergraduate degree. This is done through the college’s fast-track options for students who enter the university knowing they’d like to pursue a graduate degree. Such options give students the chance to complete their Master’s degrees in less time. This allows students to enter the work force sooner which may bring down overall college costs.
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