Bucking National Trend, CNY College Lowers Tuition

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Photo courtesy of Jamie Callari, Utica College

This story originally aired on WRVO Oswego.

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While the cost of a higher education has continued to rise across the region, one small private college in Upstate NY is attempting to buck that trend. Kevin Montano from the New York Reporting Project at Utica College has this story.

 

The affordability of college education has come under increased scrutiny from lawmakers and parents alike. Utica College President Todd Hutton announced plans yesterday to help change that.

 

It gives me great honor to share with you that begingni the fall of 2016 uc will reset its published price of tuition and fees from 35514 to under 20 thousand dollars.

 

And that’s before financial aid.

Few students actually pay the full shot, but the published price can produce sticker shock, and keep some from even applying. Hutton says cutting tuition is the right thing to do.

 

Americans need to know that a quality higher education is within their financial reach. We know, and I see it every year, that students cant afford to come here, or when they get here, something happens and they can’t to stay. That’s just not right.

 

 

On a campus where graduates average 40 thousand dollars in debt, the announcement was big news. Madison Babbits is a freshman.

 

I’m going to have a little less debt when I graduate.//Any money I’m saving is a good thing.

 

The amount students save will vary depending on their financial aid, but all will save at least a thousand dollars a year. While state and federal aid remains the same, the college makes the budget work by proportionally reducing the grants –it- offers.

 

That will cost the school about two million dollars the first year. But after years of increasing enrollment and a record freshman class, college officials say now is the time to make the investment.

 

Vice president for enrollment Dr. Jeffrey Gates says the college will make up some cost by retaining students who otherwise would have left U.C.

 

They’re leaving because they have a gap of 1500 hundred dollars or 2 thousand or even 3 thousand dollars and that’s just too much of a burden to bear.

 

A tuition reset isn’t without risk; in fact most of the schools that have tried it have failed. But after two years of study and analysis, the college feels now is the time to fix a pricing model that’s broken.

 

For WAMC News, I’m Kevin Montano with the New York Reporting Project at Utica College