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US colleges announce ‘tuition reset’ by cutting students’ annual fees by more than 40%

University tuition in America has more than doubled since 2000, while family income has remained the same

Aftab Ali
Student Editor
Friday 16 October 2015 15:40 BST
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(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Two colleges in the US have made the surprise announcement that they will be slashing their tuition fees by more than 40 per cent in the midst of soaring costs gripping the country’s education system.

Beginning in time for the academic year 2016/17, Philadelphia’s Rosemont College president Sharon Hirsh announced a 43 per cent reduction in yearly tuition – from $32,620 to $18,500 (£21,111 to £11,972) – and a 14 per cent reduction in room and board from $13,400 to $11,500 (£8,672 to £7,442) because she wants to make the institution ‘an accessible choice for families’.

Similarly, President Dr Todd Hutton of New York’s Utica College declared a 42 per cent annual cut, from $34,466 to $19,996 (£22,288 to £12,931), telling local news station, WKTV, the move is key in order to guarantee savings for both students and families.

However, although it may seem like students are making a drastic saving, the new prices actually reflect what students already pay once financial aid is taken into account, also known as the net price.

Speaking with The Washington Post, Hirsh explained how, on the whole, Rosemont wants to ensure students know this does not mean financial aid is going away. She said: “It will just be done in a logical way. The institutional aid will be less, but proportionate to the real price.”

Both colleges have branded the move a ‘tuition reset’ after the Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities found that US university tuition has more than doubled since 2000, while family income has remained the same.

The news has also coincided with recent research undertaken by travel money company FAIRFX which found the US to be the fourth most expensive country in the world to be a student, followed by the UK, as degree-seekers look into heading abroad to undertake their studies.

FAIRFX currency expert, Darren Kilner, said: “With the investment costs so high, it’s no surprise students are looking at cheaper ways of securing their university education and studying abroad is becoming a much more attractive option.”

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