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University of Charleston Announces Vision for the Future, Including 22 Percent Tuition Cut for Entering Freshmen

Release Date:  Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Charleston, W.Va. – The University of Charleston has announced a series of initiatives to further its mission in the changing higher education environment and expand access to private higher education to a greater number of middle income families.  The initiatives include a 22% reduction in tuition for incoming freshmen and transfer students for the fall 2012 semester.

The university is guaranteeing that no undergraduate student will pay more than $19,500 for tuition next year.  This is a reduction of $5,500 or 22% from 2011-12 tuition of $25,000.  Tuition for new freshmen and undergraduate transfer students will be $19,500.  Tuition for returning undergraduates next year will be $25,500, with a guarantee of at least $6,000 in university aid, ensuring that no student will pay more than $19,500 in tuition.
“Thanks to a decade of success, we are in a strong financial position that enables us to make this bold move to reduce tuition,” said University President Edwin Welch. “This change will make a UC education more accessible to more students.  We strive to be the best value private institution in the region.”

According to Welch, the gap between the advertised price and the actual tuition paid at the University of Charleston -- and most private colleges -- has been growing during many years of tuition increases.  The result is a tuition price tag that discourages many middle income families from applying to the university.  “We are revising tuition and financial aid to reflect the real cost of a UC education,” he said.

The tuition restructuring is part of a broad system redesign, in which the University of Charleston is looking for ways to be innovative and more cost-effective in the delivery of a quality education.  These include expanding fast-track programs for students who know they want a graduate degree.
Already, over one fourth of the students who come to the school as freshmen and stay through graduation complete their degrees in fewer than four years.  An additional 10 percent move directly into graduate school without receiving an undergraduate degree.  Tuition savings from early graduation, plus extra years of earning power, bring the total cost of education for many students below what students might pay at a public institution. The school also offers several fast-track options for students who know at the outset that they want to attend one of the University of Charleston’s graduate professional programs.

Elaborating further on the system redesign, the university described a five-year plan that emphasizes fast-track learning, achieving athletic prominence, championing innovation, and expanding access.

The University of Charleston is an independent, co-educational, residential university with approximately 1,400 students from 35 states and 30 countries.  Offering 23 academic majors and graduate programs in business and pharmacy, the school consistently ranks among the top regional colleges in the South, according to U.S.News & World Report. Students at UC enjoy the cultural and entertainment advantages of the capital city of West Virginia, while also benefiting from easy access to outdoor activities and the Appalachian Mountains.

The mission University of Charleston is to educate each student for a life of productive work, enlightened living and community involvement.

View a video announcement by President Welch,

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