Tuition changes cause confusion on campus

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Tuition changes cause confusion on campus

Megan Robinson, Staff Writer

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Columbia College’s board voted to adjust tuition and rework the entire financial aid process in order to appeal to prospective students and reduce student debt.

“The reboot will help those federal and state dollars stretch further. I’m excited to have conversations with families who once were paying PLUS loans that total upwards of $40,000; but with this new restructuring, PLUS loans could decrease or even go away,” Donna Quick, director of financial aid at Columbia College, said.

The published price for tuition and mandatory fees comes closer to the actual cost of tuition and will then match the net amount most parents and families see, according to Ken Huus, vice president of enrollment management at Columbia College.

“We are trying our best to simplify the entering college experience for students,” Huus said. “This change will make the institution more viable for a greater number of high school seniors who once wouldn’t have considered Columbia College as a possibility because of that initial sticker price.” Huus adds that returning students will not pay more than they did this year, but the fees will not be considerably less. However, this is all dependent on a student’s financial status, which will be determined in individual meetings with returning students and financial aid counselors. Meetings begin the week of October 3.

“From now until the first week of October, the vice president of enrollment and I will be working together to restructure the aid of returning students and finalize all details,” Quick said.

The tuition changes were shared with day college students along with faculty and staff via email on September 9. Parents were not notified.

“We hope that students shared the new information with their parents. This is why we encourage students to update their personal information on Koala Connection so that we can have solid contact information,” said Monique McDaniels, executive director of marketing and communications at Columbia College.

A forum will be arranged to address any questions students may have prior to October 3.

Upon request by Quick, The PostScript conducted a poll to see whether students prefered a Q&A forum in the dining hall or a Q&A table where students may approach individually. The poll revealed a preference for the forum format.

 

2016-2017 2017-2018
Tuition and mandatory Fees $28,900 $19,500
Standard double room $3,800 $3,900
21 meal plan $3,850 $4,000
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