Reducing Costs

See this?

The College Board says that the average yearly cost for a four-year public university for an in-state student is now $8,240.  For a private college, it’s $28,500 per year.

William Thierfelder, president of Belmont Abbey College, says that most students are so discouraged with what he calls the “sticker price” of higher education that they don’t even consider applying to a school they think is beyond their families’ means.

So Belmont Abbey is taking a different approach:  The college has announced that it is “resetting” its tuition, reducing it by 33% next fall for incoming freshmen and transfer students.

The old sticker price for one year at this small private college near Charlotte, North Carolina was about $27,600.   The new price will be $18,500.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

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  • Tracy

    Yearly “cost”? This must be tuition only, not room, board, books, fees . . .

  • Chad

    A sore subject with me. Having two sons who recently graduated from college I can tell you that IMO college cost (tuition, housing, books, fees, etc.) has become one of the most scandalous expenses in our economy. Here in Texas we have seen tuition increases far outpace the CPI every year for at least the last decade. Our larger public schools (ex. UT, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, etc.) are flush with wealth yet the students/parents are sent to the poor house just to pay/borrow for the privilege of being there. Middle income families bear the greatest brunt of this insanity. Our society needs to seriously take a fresh look at this whole matter with respect to college cost, value, and accountability. There has got to be a better way.

  • DAK

    $8240?? That almost sounds downright affordable. At Michigan State University, where I teach, the school website lists the 2 semester costs (tuition, room, board, fees) for an in-state freshman student is $21,200. Of that, tuition is $12,674. For out-of-state students the cost is $41,158, of which $32,632 is for tuition. International student freshmen, whom I teach, have a fee structure of $47,284, which includes tuition and fees ($33,632), room/board ($9322), health insurance ($1450), and books and miscellaneous expenses ($2880). I don’t know how families afford any of these fee structures. My oldest child is 4 years from college/university, and we will seriously consider the local community college, even with the 1/2 tuition waver I would get for him at MSU.

  • Ann

    I don’t know where they get these numbers from, but $8240k for a 4 year public university seems REALLY low. Apparently I live in the wrong state.

  • Steve Caruso

    If the costs don’t come down, our country will simply have to invent and integrate alternatives. ‘

    I for one would love to bring back apprenticeships where you work one-on one with a scholar, programmer, artisan (what-have-you) to learn their trade.

    Given how an increasing number of institutions of higher education are run nowadays, it would be a vast improvement as students would actually *learn* something via direct, daily experience. :-)


  • Chad

    Ditto to Mr. Caruso! Apprenticeships usually have to happen at some point anyway for an individual to actually learn the job. Why not start sooner before unnecessary time and money has been literally wasted sitting in a classroom.

  • Phil Miller

    The apprenticeship thing makes a lot of sense. The big drawback I can see is that for many fields, being licensed or certified either from the get-go or after having so much experience is the only way to really do the work. And virtually all of these licenses and certifications have a college degree from an accredited school as a prerequisite.

    I consider myself fortunate that I was able to go to college when I did. My dad is a pastor, and my parents didn’t have a lot of money to invest in my education. I was able to get loans, and I had some when I came out, but they were not much compared to what people graduate with today. My payments were never too burdensome, and it worked out.

    I understand some people wanting to get rid of student loans entirely, but I don’t think they’re all bad. I think students being personally invested in their education to an extent is a good thing. I’ve seen a lot of kids who have stuff handed to them, and it seems they don’t place the same value on it as the ones who know they’re on the line if they have to stay an extra semester or two.

  • Steve

    @Chad, my fellow Texan. College is expensive, but you have to look as much at the state legislatures as at the colleges themselves. I was in Wisconsin for 8 years as a student, and the legislature slashed the university budget dramatically every single year I was there, and all of that was *before* the recession. Texas government isn’t any more enthusiastic about funding much of anything, frankly. I’m sure there are places that our universities can cut expenses, but I don’t see any way they could cut as much as state governments have asked them to cut and still remain competent at their mission, without passing on much of the expense to students in the form of tuition. Society should indeed figure out a way to change the insanity, but I contend most of the insanity is in the statehouses and not on campus.