Tuition reduction: What you need to know

Columbia College reduces tuition by nearly $10,000

Columbia College recently announced it will reduce its tuition price to $19,500, a decrease of nearly $10,000 from the current tuition price, for full-time students in its traditional undergraduate program starting with the 2017-18 academic year. This move aligns the institution’s “sticker price” more closely with the average net cost to attend.

With this tuition reduction, Columbia College is addressing the national issue of college affordability, while also taking steps to simplify the price of tuition. The tuition reboot will ensure the value of a private education can be accessed by any student who seeks to obtain a higher education degree. Just as we challenge our students to be change agents for good, we commit ourselves to shifting the current academic and fiscal climate to focus on real value in terms of both cost and quality of outcomes.

This new tuition level of $19,500 will position Columbia College with one of the lowest prices of any four-year private college or university in the region and is comparable with total costs at premier public universities both in and out of state. Institutional scholarships and need-based financial aid will continue to be awarded to Columbia College students, lowering the cost for some students even further from the published price.

Fact sheet:

  • The tuition price for fall 2017 will be $19,500 for the full-time traditional undergraduate program.
  • The room and board price for fall 2017 will be $7,900.
  • The reboot applies to the tuition “sticker price.” A students actual cost may be lower for qualifying students through federal, state, and institutional financial aid.
  • The tuition reboot is accompanied by a decrease in the amount of institutional scholarship and financial aid that is awarded. This new model creates an opportunity for the cost of a college degree to be more affordable for our students over the four years they spend earning a degree.
  • No student will pay more in the 2017-2018 academic year than she paid for the 2016-2017 academic year (important to note that some students will pay the same amount, if already receiving a discount greater than $9,400).
  • The tuition reboot only affects the pricing of the traditional undergraduate program. The pricing of the Columbia College online, evening, associates to bachelors or graduate programs will not be affected as those sticker prices already closely align with average net prices.
  • The reboot gives Columbia College one of the lower undergraduate tuition prices of any four-year private college or university in the region.
  • The reboot puts Columbia College total cost of attendance at $27,400 (for tuition, fees, room & board, before applying any scholarships or financial aid), which is comparable with the total costs of premier public universities, both in and out of state.

Frequently asked questions:

Q: Who is affected by the tuition reboot?
A: The tuition reboot does not apply to Columbia College’s online, evening, associates to bachelors and graduate programs which have a specialized pricing matrix. All new and returning full-time students in the traditional undergraduate program will be impacted.

Q: When does the tuition take affect and for how long?
A: The tuition reboot begins with the 2017-18 academic year. During subsequent years, any incremental increases will be applied to the current reboot figure.

Q: How does the tuition reboot affect students and their families?
A: Columbia College students and their families will all benefit. Students who receive federal and state need-based aid may see a higher percentage of aid coverage for their tuition cost. Students who do not qualify for these aid categories will experience a savings due to the lowered price. Finally, students who qualify for a mix of need-based and merit-based institutional aid will remain qualified.

Q: Why is Columbia College rebooting tuition?
A: Columbia College is addressing the national issue of college affordability. We want anyone we seeks to obtain a high quality 4-year private degree to in fact, obtain it. We want to remove barriers to success and lowering our tuition price will ensure that families can focus on the outcomes and not the cost.

Q: Will this result in any modifications to the Columbia College educational experience?
A: The College will continue to deliver high-quality, personalized education both in and out of the classroom and continue its tradition of consistently providing strong results and outcomes for graduates.

Q: What impact will the tuition reboot have on the value of a Columbia College degree?
A: Quality experiences and successful results will remain high and the return on investment in a Columbia College education will only improve.

The Reasons:

  1. Your needs became our priority. So many families today are concerned that rising tuition prices are putting private higher education out of their reach. At a time when average family income has remained stagnant, tuition at 4-year private colleges has increased. Today, the average price of tuition at 4-year private colleges is $32,405. Columbia College understand the current market trends and has committed to make a private-4 year college degree affordable to everyone.
  2. We are Columbia College. Columbia College would like to ensure that the value of a private education can be obtained by any student who seeks a higher education degree. We are taking a bold step, much like our founders did in 1854, to ensure that a high-quality liberal arts education continues to be possible for aspiring young women who want to make a difference in the world. Just as we challenge students to be change agents for good, we commit ourselves to starting a new conversation in higher education—one that focuses on real value in terms of both cost and quality of outcomes.
  3. Our commitment. Columbia College’s culture of creative and visionary thinking allows us to take this step. Our efforts have produced an energy and excitement that is rare in today’s colleges. As a result, we have the opportunity to dramatically decrease our tuition price while still maintaining and improving the high quality and lasting value that a Columbia College degree holds.
  4. The value of your Columbia College degree. The launch of this initiative, with its dramatic reduction of tuition will place Columbia College in the educational forefront as an institution recognized for quality, affordability, and value. Based on a formula that factors in quality and success as well as cost, the return on investment in a Columbia College degree will only improve with the tuition reboot. As our value is enhanced, so is Columbia College’s reputation.

The Results

  • With a substantially lower tuition price, we hope to eliminate the “sticker shock” of the past tuition costs and reach even more prospective students, including those who previously concluded the cost of a Columbia College education to be beyond their means.
  • Those who receive federal and state need-based aid will see this aid cover a higher percentage of cost. Families who do not qualify for need-based aid and consequently have a net cost closer to the sticker price will also benefit. Families that qualify for a mix of need and merit-based institutional aid will continue to qualify.
  • The appeal of quality education at lowered tuition should result in increased campus visits with prospective students quickly recognizing the dynamic opportunities available and the improved return on their potential investment (a ratio where our quality remains high but our price is lowered). We can reasonably forecast increased student enrollment as well.
  • The “high-tuition/high-discount” model that is so prevalent among private colleges across the nation has surpassed what is reasonable to the general public, even institutions with only annual increases to match the cost-of-living index.