The College of Mount Saint Vincent, affectionately known to locals as "the Mount," yesterday announced two unique initiatives designed to address frequent criticisms of higher education. The first of these, called "tuition reset"by the college, is a tuition and reduction that will begin next fall. With this initiative the Mount becomes the first private college in the region to address the spiraling cost of tuition
âThe prevailing pricing model for higher education is broken,â said Charles L. Flynn, Jr., President of the College. âMost colleges and universities pair high tuition with high merit scholarship awards. There are many reasons for this model, but it impacts all families, especially middle-income ones. They pay too much. The Mount intends to fix this broken model by charging what it really costs to provide a high quality college education. We are moving to a low tuition, need-based financial aid model.â
The new pricing model applies to full-time undergraduate students enrolled for the 2015-2016 academic year. Freshmen will pay $21,640, a 30 percent decrease from the projected 2015-2016 tuition price. Combined with a decreased room and board price of $8,120 and additional reductions in fees, the final cost of $30,610 gives freshmen campus residents a total cost savings of $14,940. Additionally, freshman commuters will see direct cost savings of $10,460 per year. Tiered pricing for sophomores, juniors, and seniors reflect slightly higher costs for upperclassmen.
âMount Saint Vincent is fortunate to be able to lead in this way,â continues Dr. Flynn. âOur enrollment is at an all-time high. This year, with more than 500 freshmen, we are seeing the largest, academically strongest entering class in our history. We believe that it is our responsibility to recognize the financial pressure on families and to do something about it.â
At the same time college administration is also instituting an assessment measure that will allow parents and students to understand the true value of education available at the Mount. âThere is a lot of data about higher education. The federal government requires institutions annually to complete IPEDS [Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, an extensive report of complex data], said Dr. Flynn. âBy instituting National Measures of Quality, a reliable, sensible model of assessment, the College of Mount Saint Vincent is providing students and their parents the data they need to evaluate the Mountâs educational outcomes. We are also providing other colleges and universities with a model they can use. We think the data are pretty dramatic and demonstrate the high quality of a Mount education.â
National Measures of Quality includes both statistical and qualitative data. Among Hispanic serving institutions, for example, Mount Saint Vincent has one of the ten best graduation rates in the United States and has the highest graduation rate in the United States for Hispanic students in the sciences. National Measures of Quality reports these statistics along with such qualitative data as participation in service programs, internships, student-faculty research, and student satisfaction.
In announcing National Measures of Quality, Dr. Flynn emphasized the Collegeâs record of continuous improvement. âBy national standards, our graduation rates are excellent,â he said, âbut we are delighted to have recently received a $2.3 million grant to try to improve them. We can always do better.â
For more information on the Tuition Reset and National Measures of Quality, please visit www.mountsaintvincent.edu/exceptionalqualityauthenticvalue