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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: News - Top Stories - UD Offering New Tuition Guarantee
Wednesday, January 23 2013, 08:40 PM EST
UD Offering New Tuition Guarantee
DAYTON -- When next year's prospective first-year students receive their
financial aid offers from the University of Dayton in March, they'll get
something very different from what they're likely to see from other
schools full disclosure and a four-year guarantee.

Students will receive a personalized, two-page financial aid prospectus
clearly detailing all billable costs and a pledge their scholarships
and grants will grow dollar for dollar each year as tuition increases.

The result: families will know upfront the true cost of that four-year
degree, and they'll have a guarantee from the University the net tuition
cost students pay during their first year will be the same amount they
pay during their senior year.

"We want families to understand exactly what they will be paying for,
from day one through graduation. This initiative is about
transparency and the value that provides to our families," said Daniel
J. Curran, University of Dayton president.

Early response has been positive. Applications for the fall are
outpacing last year's record volume by 6 percent. The University of
Dayton, one of the most affordable Catholic universities in the nation,
has expanded its national and global reach and enrolled
record first-year classes the last three years.

This is not a tuition freeze: the school promises that students'
scholarships and grants will increase in value to meet any tuition
increases during their four years. In addition, all student fees, often
an unexpected cost for families, are wrapped into the
four-year tuition plan and students can receive up to $4,000 for

The University of Dayton's plan will help families plan the expense of a
college degree, according to Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of
and, who has testified before Congress about student aid.

"Locking in the net price, as opposed to just tuition, makes college
costs more predictable, helping families plan for the full four-year
cost of a college education," he said. "Also, some colleges have locked
in tuition rates but allowed fees to increase significantly
from one year to the next."

Across the country a number of universities front-load financial aid, so
students' financial aid packages typically don't increase significantly
over four years and don't keep up with tuition increases. Some
universities may offer tuition guarantees but make
up for lost tuition by increasing fees, which can add thousands of
dollars to the cost of a degree.

No other university is taking quite this approach, which has sparked the interest of
The Chronicle of Higher Education and
national experts in the field.

"As college-going students and their families become more
value-conscious, efforts such as Dayton's innovative net-tuition
guarantee send an important message about private higher education's
commitment to staying as affordable as possible during these difficult
economic times," said David L. Warren, president of the National
Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. "Through a variety
of creative measures, private colleges are taking unprecedented steps
to enhance their affordability while protecting academic
quality, and remain the best educational value for countless students."

Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president for enrollment management and
marketing, says the four-year tuition plan will assure families their
sons and daughters can graduate in four years and they will know
upfront what they're paying.

"We don't want students and their families to feel nickel-and-dimed.
They're often surprised by the high cost of textbooks and the hidden
costs of higher education, such as fees for everything from orientation
to labs. Some avoid buying textbooks because they
found the prices too high," Kumarasamy said. "The University's approach
gives comprehensive information about the real cost of a degree which
will help our families to make the best financial decisions."

Christine Sapita, parent of a high school senior who's shopping for a
college, appreciates that the University of Dayton's plan is focused on
helping parents and students make an informed financial decision,
without taking on unplanned debt and hardship.

"People are worried about the escalation of college costs. This approach
makes so much sense. This gives parents a comfort zone of knowing what
to expect, what we have to meet each year. I've not heard of any other
schools moving in this direction," said Sapita,
a 1988 University of Dayton graduate who serves as vice president for
global talent and communications for Hobsons, a higher education
consulting firm in Cincinnati.

Sapita's son has applied to the University of Dayton, Purdue University,
the U.S. Air Force Academy, Saint Louis University and Auburn

The plan answers the question, "What's the real cost of education?" and
is an intentional response to a national call for more accountability
and transparency in higher education.

"As other industries have reinvented themselves to adapt to changing
times, colleges and universities are overdue in creating innovations
that transform the way they do business and help families make the best,
most fully informed choices for their children's
future," Kumarasamy said.

Starting in fall 2013, full-time undergraduate tuition will be $35,800
annually. On average, this is a 5 percent increase over last year's
actual costs, including all fees. The room and board charges costs will
vary, depending upon choices, but are expected
to rise an average 5 percent.

Most undergraduates pay much less. Last year, 98 percent of all
first-year students received financial assistance, according to
University of Dayton officials.  The University provides $100 million in
institutionally funded financial aid annually.

The University of Dayton, a top-tier Catholic research university,
welcomed the largest, most academically prepared and geographically
diverse first-year class in school history last fall.

For more on the University of Dayton's tuition plan, see Offering New Tuition Guarantee

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