College tuition has risen by more than 1000% in the last thirty years. Even as the recession left recent grads without job prospects, students were racking up obscene amounts of debt to get their degrees.
While it’s yet to be seen if President Obama’s plan to “shame” colleges with higher default rates than graduation rates will succeed — some colleges have taken matters into their own hands. For the 2013-2014 school year the average tuition and fees for American colleges was $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for state residents at public colleges, and $22,203 for out-of-state residents at public universities. Here are 30 colleges breaking the tuition hyperinflation trend.
Colleges Lowering Tuition
1. Seton Hall University
South Orange, NJ
For this Catholic University only 14 miles from New York City, Seton Hall proves that you don’t have to break the bank to have access to opportunity. For students enrolling directly from high school in September 2014, tuition is reduced to $22,500 per year. Though you must keep above a GPA of 3.0, and the offer only lasts for 8 continuous semesters (4 years), the reduction prices Seton Hall similarly to the tuition of state schools.
2. Converse College
This economically-diverse, all-female school, where 63% of graduates had jobs or grad school acceptances upon graduation, has taken a hard stance on rising educational costs. Converse College has “reset” their tuition by reducing it by 43%. At $16,500 a year for tuition, and a total cost of attendance of $26,000, Converse College is a great buy, and one of the least expensive private schools in the region.
3. Ashland University
Ashland University is reducing tuition by over $10,000 in 2014-15. This represents a 37% decrease, and lowers the total cost of attendance below the previous tuition costs.
Ashland University offers over 70 majors, and has a four year graduation guarantee, where students not on track get an extra year paid for by the University, if students will only adhere to a graduation plan. Ashland University is taking a progressive stance fighting both low-graduation rates, and high education costs.
4. Ohio Northern University
This private, United Methodist-affiliated, nationally ranked and comprehensive University offers five colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Pharmacy and Law. The myriad offerings will also be significantly more affordable in the 2014-15 school year, with Ohio Northern University pledging to lower tuition for all of its colleges by 20-25%.
5. Ancilla College
This small, Catholic associate and liberal arts school just approved a 4% drop in tuition at what is already the state’s least expensive private school. The decision was made in hopes to expand access to education. Meanwhile, the college has also added a Computer Information Systems degree, bringing their total to 18 programs. At $6,500 per semester, Ancilla is dramatically below the national average tuition for private colleges.
6. Alaska Pacific University
Starting in the fall of 2014, freshman year at Alaska Pacific University should be a pretty awesome time, with the new 158-mile float trip down the Yukon River as orientation, and a 34% tuition reduction. The difference is huge, and should boost interest and affordability at a school off the beaten path for most in the contiguous U.S.
Lower Tuition for Certain Demographics
7. University of Chicago
This private, fifth ranked national university in the country has pledged to allow admitted students from the city of Chicago to attend the University debt free. The UChicago Promise program waives the $75 admission fee, and replaces student loans with grants that do not need to be repaid for admitted students who attended high school within the Chicago city limits. That’s a savings of up to $46,386 a year in tuition, and the opportunity to attend one of the nations best universities at a price you can afford.
8. Metropolitan State College of Denver
Metro State has latched on to President Obama’s statement that younger undocumented immigrants will not see deportation, and is now seeking to provide them with an affordable college education. Though Metro State’s measure is being challenged in court, the current proposal offers a much reduced out-of-state tuition for undocumented immigrants who attended at least three years and graduated from Colorado high schools. Undocumented immigrants would pay $7,157 for a full year, compared to $4,304 for in-state students, and $15,935 for out-of-state students.
9. Sewanee: The University of the South
This private, Episcopal, liberal arts college is routinely ranked in the top 40 liberal arts schools in the country. Located on a mountain campus of 13,000 acres, Sewanee has a strong literary association, the longest continuously running literary review in the country, and an Episcopal Seminary. Sewanee has also produced 26 Rhodes scholars, a number ranking it fourth amongst liberal arts colleges nationwide. In the name of affordability, tuition for students incoming in 2012 will be frozen until 2016.
10. Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA
A top 40 ranked, all-female, liberal arts college, Mount Holyoke has frozen its tuition for two years running, keeping the 2013-14 tuition rate the same as the 2011-12 rate. Due to a prestigious history, location, and connections, Mount Holyoke students may participate in the twelve college exchange program. In this program students can study for 1 to 2 semesters at one of eleven other schools, including Dartmouth and Vassar College.
11. University of Charleston
This 126 year old West Virginia state school made news two years ago for pushing a 22% reduction to their sticker price. This year they’re pledging to freeze tuition, continuing the trend of fighting tuition raises.
12. The University of Cincinnati
This public research institution approved a 2013-14 freeze on undergraduate tuition, and a 30% reduction in law school tuition. While the college president has recommended an undergraduate freeze through 2015, the 2015 tuition has not yet been set. With hundreds of majors and scores of graduate degrees, University of Cincinnati is a great place to move forward academically.
13. William Peace College
After a 7.73% reduction in tuition in 2012, William Peace College is planning on freezing tuition through 2014. This Presbyterian-affiliated school, previously known as the Peace Institute, changed its name to William Peace College, and began admitting males in 2012.
14. Concordia University
St. Paul, MN
After a $10,000 tuition reset in 2013, Concordia is hardening their stance on education costs by freezing tuition. With a record number of new students, Concordia believes that it is in a good position to help families whose finances were eroded in the recession.
15. Belmont Abbey College
After a whopping 33% reduction to tuition in the fall of 2013, Belmont Abbey College has committed to freezing tuition through 2015. Belmont Abbey is a unique place, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Benedictine, Catholic school is the only school with such an affiliation between northern Virginia, and Florida, and was listed as one of the “Best Southeastern Colleges” by the Princeton Review.
16. Cabrini College
A year after cutting tuition by 12.5%, Cabrini College promised to freeze tuition for the 2013-14 year. Cabrini College also pledges that tuition will increase by less than $1,000 until May 2015.
17. Lincoln College
Two years after a $6,500 tuition reduction, Lincoln University, a liberal arts school dating back to 1865, is freezing tuition. This brings fees to $16,500 through spring 2015, which is much lower than the average private university tuition.
18. Northland College
Northland College recently became the first college in Wisconsin or Minnesota — and one of the first in the Midwest — to guarantee tuition rates for four years for incoming freshman. Northland College is also offering a one semester bridge for graduating seniors during which they can work on professional work opportunities and structured career planning.
19. Davis and Elkins College
By freezing tuition for incoming freshman at the same levels from 2014-2018, Davis and Elkins College is welcoming its largest incoming class ever.
20. Trinity Western University
Bellingham, WA and Langley, British Colombia
This private, christian, liberal arts school in British Columbia and Washington boasts an average class size of 16, and an “A+” ranking for education from The Globe and the Mail for every year since 2005.
After approving a tuition increase partway through the school term, the student association put through a motion that the administration should give students more warning when changing tuition. The administration agreed to provide more notice, and went a step farther, freezing tuition for the 2014-15 school year.
21. Antioch University Midwest
Yellow Springs, OH
Antioch University Midwest, a school for adult learners, has kept their tuition flat, for 2014-15, and lowered their education graduate program price by 7.25%. The reduced tuition for education graduate programs was at least partially driven by the need for English, math, science, social studies, and special ed in Ohio.
22. Urbana University
Tuition remains the same as in 2011 at Urbana University, as a second year of tuition freezes have been approved. The small, private, liberal arts school is a great value with over 40 undergraduate and graduate programs of study. Urbana’s commitment to keeping education affordable follows a long history of progressive action, as Urbana was the second college in Ohio to offer entry to women, and the first to offer non-traditional degree completion programs.
23.Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University, a Christian university in Phoenix, has frozen tuition for the past six years, rendering the 2015 prices identical to those in 2009. With the University spending a planned total of $408 million on capital expenses during the same period, Grand Canyon University presents itself as an option greatly concerned with the quality and availability of your education.
24. Lees-McRae College
Banner Elk, NC
Lees-McRae College, the highest college campus east of the Mississippi River, is a private, four-year college offering diverse baccalaureate degrees including online and degree completion options, and strong athletic programs. With 95% of the student population receiving financial aid, the College chose to freeze tuition for two consecutive years, leaving tuition costs untouched since 2011-2012.
25. The Sage Colleges
Albany and Troy, NY
The Sage Colleges, located in Albany and Troy, have now voted to freeze tuition for the fifth straight year. Keeping tuition at 2009 levels. These colleges, one co-ed and one women’s boast two locations and graduate level schools in education, health services, and management at both locations.
26. Alderson Broaddus University
With 99% of students qualifying for financial aid, and the four year long tuition freeze extending until Spring 2015, Alderson Broaddus id definitely a proponent of affordable education. This private West Virginia University is noted for health science, natural science, education, music, and NCAA division II athletic programs.
27. Wilson College
Wilson College maintained a tuition freeze for the third year in a row in 2013-14, keeping tuition at 2010-11 levels. This private, Pennsylvanian college offers post-baccalaureate through master’s tracks and a 10-1 faculty-student ratio is definitely a school that cares about students’ ability to attend and succeed in school.
28. Thomas College
Thomas College, a business and liberal arts school, has approved a second year. The move is made especially to make tuition affordable to Mainers, who make up 85% of the student body, and is where a majority of graduates stay and continue to work.
Other Forms of Aid
29. Benedictine University
Benedictine University responded to the last recession by instituting its displaced earner program. This program alters the costs and aid awards for students whose financial situation has changed since they enrolled, adult undergraduate or graduate students who are finding it hard to continue their studies for financial reasons, and students who have graduated but are unable to find employment.
30. University of Dayton
This private, Roman Catholic, national research university has garnered attention by looking at the net price of a 4-year tuition, and pledging to offer aid and scholarships to offset any tuition raises. Technically not a tuition freeze, as tuition may rise over a student’s time at Dayton, but the portion of tuition they owe will not.