Much has been written about the inflated costs of attending college and the debt that graduates often carry for years after graduation. Two area schools have made a move to reduce those costs and, in the process, provide an opportunity for higher education to those who might have passed it up as too expensive.
Rosemont College in the western suburbs of Philadelphia announced that it would cut its annual tuition by 43 percent for incoming and current students starting next year. The Main Line school will reduce its tuition from $32,620 to $18,500, and the costs of room and board will be cut from $13,400 to $11,500.
"College tuition has become an artificial sticker price that most students do not end up paying," said Sharon Hirsh, the school's president. "Instead, colleges discount the price through a package of grants and scholarships, which are nothing more than discounts off of the sticker price." She added, however, that Rosemont will continue to offer financial aid and scholarship opportunities.
"We're doing this not because we have to, but because we can," said Richard Geschke, the chair of Rosemont's board of trustees. "We want to be sure we're attracting the students who might initially have ruled us out due to the price tag alone."
Once a women's college, with a student body of just over 1,000 students, Rosemont began accepting male students in 2009.
At Stockton University, in Galloway Township, NJ, full-time undergraduate students are paying $6,410 per semester intuition and fees this year, but the more credits you take, the less you pay per unit because Stockton has a flat-rate tuition. So, if a student takes the minimum of 12 credits per semester, he or she is paying $534 per credit. But a student who takes the maximum of 20 credits per semester pays $320 per credit — and graduates earlier.
As Stockton President Harvey Kesselman put it, "It is less costly in the long run if they can graduate more quickly and borrow less."
Other area schools are dealing with their financial situation and the costs of tuition as best they can. Penn State University, for example, decided in August to freeze tuition, scrapping a plan to hike tuition by 2.7 percent — while Temple University approved a 2.8 percent increase in tuition to cover contractual obligations for salaries and benefits. LaSalle University announced it was laying off nearly two dozen employees to mitigate a $12 million budget shortfall.