Defying trends, upstate New York college slashes tuition
UTICA, N.Y. (AP) — Bucking a national trend of rising college costs, a small upstate New York private school announced Tuesday that it is slashing its undergraduate tuition.
Utica College announced tuition and fees will drop 42 percent next academic year from $34,466 to $19,996. Room and board will be reduced by 13 percent. With corresponding adjustments in financial aid levels, a student on average could save about $6,900 over four years. Students from middle-income families could save far more, according to the college.
Administrators say the “reset” of their published prices will provide a more sustainable long-run economic model for the college, but they stress their overall goal is to keep a college education within reach.
“We believe deeply, and our trustees believe deeply, that we need to be affordable for students and parents,” said college President Todd S. Hutton.
Hutton said they are making the change amid growing enrollment and the largest freshman class in the history of the school, which has 2,300 undergraduates.
While the reductions are expected to cost the college $2 million next year, net revenue is expected to stay the same or grow after the first year. The school expects to make up reduced tuition revenue through higher retention rates, more students, revenue from expanded housing and increased alumni giving.
College affordability has emerged as high-profile issue as families and students face higher debt burdens. Average tuition, fees and room and board for private, nonprofit four-year schools last year was $42,419, a 3.6 percent increase from the previous year, according to the College Board.
Utica College joins the ranks of small private colleges that have dramatically cut tuition in recent years. Hutton said they looked at two of those schools in particular: Concordia College in Minnesota and Converse College in South Carolina.
Utica College expects tuition to continue to increase by 2 to 3 percent a year, though from a smaller base.