Here are answers to some of the questions surrounding this decision.
Q. Why did Ashland choose to reduce its tuition by more than $10,000?
A. We believe the new full-time tuition price of $18,908 will mean that prospective students now have the option of getting a top-notch private education at a more affordable cost. Once students receive their financial aid and see their net costs, we believe that Ashland University will be among the most affordable four-year private institutions in the Midwest.
Q. What will be Ashland’s total cost when tuition is added with room, board and fees?
A. Ashland’s room and board costs will remain frozen and will bring the University’s total charges for tuition ($18,908), fees ($944), room and board ($9,502) for 2014-15 to $29,354.
Q. What would Ashland’s total cost for 2014-15 have been without the tuition reset?
A. Tuition was scheduled to increase from the 2013-14 rate by 4% bringing the total tuition cost to $30,064 for 2014-15. This would have brought the direct cost to attend with fees ($944), room and board ($9,502) to $40,510.
Q. Was this move in response to student enrollment issues at Ashland?
A. No. Our undergraduate enrollment has been stable over the past few years and we’ve seen an increase this year in first year students compared to 2011 and 2012, so this is really about becoming more transparent in our pricing structure.
Q. How will this tuition reset impact scholarships at Ashland?
A. The reset means that Ashland will reduce, but not eliminate, the dollar amounts for grants and scholarships. We are seeking to move from a high-tuition/high-discount model to a lower-tuition/lower-discount model. The change will also mean that students who qualify for federal and state assistance will see a greater percentage of these available dollars applied towards their tuition costs, thereby reducing the overall cost to attend.
Q. How will this change affect continuing students?
A. Current students will be receiving on-going communication throughout the 2013-14 academic year about how they will be impacted by this change. All current students returning in 2014-15 will receive a direct cost and net cost statement demonstrating how financial aid has been repackaged under the tuition reset. Returning students will notice that under the tuition reset, their net costs for 2014-15 will be less than what they would have been in 2014-15 under the outgoing price model.
Q. Will the University be cutting any of its programs or services because of this tuition reset?
A. No. Nothing will be cut or eliminated from the total Ashland educational experience to accommodate this tuition reset.
Q. When was the decision made to reduce tuition?
A. This decision was approved by the executive committee of the university’s board of trustees in June and followed almost a year of research and two years of discussion.
Q. Does Ashland hope to see an increase in enrollment because of this tuition reset?
A. Our projections indicate that the tuition reset and financial aid changes will help us to recruit more traditional undergraduate students.
Q. What other steps has Ashland taken to help reduce the cost of higher education?
A. This tuition reset is just the latest in a number of AU developments in response to student and family financial concerns about higher education costs. In just the past two years, Ashland University has:
reduced the minimal number of credit hours needed to complete an undergraduate bachelor’s degree from 128 to 120.
instituted a three-year degree program that will allow students to earn a quality private education in less time and for less money.
established a four-year graduation guarantee program that will help keep college costs predictable for families.
launched a five-year accelerated accounting degree program that allows students to complete bachelor’s and master’s programs in less time than it would for separate degrees.