Frequently asked questions about Utica College's bold new affordability inititiative.
Starting in Fall 2016, Utica College will have a more affordable price for our on-campus undergraduate program. The cost of tuition and fees will be reduced by 42 percent to fall below $20,000. The average cost of room and board will also be reduced by 13 percent, so that our total published price (before financial aid) is $30,430.
A. Colleges and universities all across America are dealing with affordability issues. Even though colleges like Utica provide high quality and great results to make the investment worth it, the pricing models used by most private colleges can result in published prices that give students and their families “sticker shock.” America’s colleges and universities are reaching a point where they can no longer keep raising their already high tuition amount year after year – at some point it starts to seem just too high, and not every family knows that the sticker price will most likely be discounted for them with scholarships, grants, and other financial aid. The overall result is that too many students and families are not even considering a private college as a realistic possibility.
Q. Why is Utica College doing this?
So we are doing this because it needs to be done. And we are the right college to do it. Many private institutions are in the same position as Utica, with the ability to reset their tuition to a better price. But Utica is one of the few colleges in the nation – and the first among those we compete with for students – that has been bold enough to actually do it. There’s a reason UC’s brand signature is “Never stand still.” It captures the entire forward-moving spirit of Utica College. Ever since our post-WWII founding to serve area veterans on through to our early adoption of online learning and our development of cutting-edge programs like economic crime and cybersecurity, UC has remained flexible and innovative, growing and thriving specifically because we are always committed to meeting marketplace needs.
Q. How is UC able to do this?
A. A major factor in our ability to reset our tuition price for Fall 2016 is that hardly anyone ever ended up paying our current published price anyway. Even for families that receive financial aid from the federal and state governments, UC offers scholarships and grants from our own institutional funds to lower their cost even further. And regardless of whether a family qualifies for need-based aid, UC also offers merit-based scholarships. As a result, our high price was highly discounted. Next year, the new price will also be discounted with both need-based and merit-based aid to qualified students. But the amount of our scholarships and grants will be lowered in accordance with the price reset, so that UC’s net tuition revenue balances out to be nearly the same as before.
Yet, the most important reason UC is able to reset our tuition price is because we provide a high-quality education that is in high demand. There’s no better proof of it than the fact that our largest number of students ever chose Utica in 2015-16, as our incoming class grew by 38 percent. This strength in our enrollment numbers is matched by our financial stability, a track record of prudent planning by our board and sound fiscal management by our visionary campus leadership team, our continuous innovation in academic program development, and our stellar reputation for producing career-ready graduates. Nothing about the UC educational experience will need to change in order to make our tuition reset feasible; the quality will remain just as high, even as we offer a better price for it.
BEFORE TUITION RESET: $34,466
RESET TUITION PRICE: $19,996
A. All full-time students enrolled in UC’s on-campus undergraduate program for Fall 2016, whether they are entering or returning students, will have our new published price and are still eligible for need-based and/or merit-based financial aid from UC. The 2016-17 costs, before financial aid, are $19,996 for tuition and fees and $10,434 for average room and board, totaling $30,430. (The new price does not apply to our online programs, our graduate programs, or our hybrid programs such as the accelerated nursing degree, since they were already competitively priced without a high discount rate.)
Q. Who will get the new price?
Q. How will these students benefit?
A. Two ways. First, they will avoid the alternative for 2016-17, which otherwise would have been a standard tuition/fees/room/board increase of approximately 3 percent (amounting to about $1,400 out of pocket). And second, even though the amount of financial aid awarded by Utica will be adjusted in accordance with the tuition cost reduction, all returning students will have a lower net cost in 2016-17 than they would have had without the tuition reset. New and returning students from every family income level will benefit, and students from families with high financial need will be able to cover a greater portion of their cost using federal and state aid.
Q. How will UC benefit?
A. Because all students will pay less in 2016-17, UC’s net revenue per student will go down, but we anticipate being able to offset that loss with a higher number of students ultimately enrolling at Utica. Our lower published price will have a cascading effect: More prospective students will consider Utica, because fewer will turn away based solely on our published price. As more consider Utica, more will see the huge value of a UC degree, and more will apply. And as more apply, more will receive a financial aid offer to then know their actual net price.
This is how affordable access to higher education happens – by removing the early barriers, such as a high sticker price. So we expect UC to continue to grow and thrive when we lower our published price, which is simply the right thing to do in honoring our mission of providing affordable access to a quality education that leads to rewarding careers and fulfilling lives.
Q. What makes this a big deal?
A. America’s colleges and universities need to change. They must become more nimble in delivering higher education in ways that meet the needs of today’s students. They must become more responsive to marketplace needs so they are always providing the most relevant education. And yes, they must change their pricing system. UC has always been at the forefront of academic program development and delivery, and now we are taking the lead in making college more affordable for everyone. This is indeed “A Bold Move for Tomorrow” – for Utica College, for the students and families we serve, and for all of higher education.