Keystone College announces tuition price reset
What exactly is Keystone College announcing?
Keystone College is announcing a tuition price reset for undergraduate tuition beginning in the 2020-2021 academic year.
What is a tuition price reset and why is Keystone undertaking this now?
Essentially, we have developed a new pricing structure to better reflect what students will actually pay for tuition once scholarships and other forms of institutional aid are applied. The tuition reset provides a more transparent and realistic “sticker price” for students and their families. We are undertaking this course of action because historically our mission has been to make college more accessible to as many students as possible. This tuition price reset continues that mission.
What are the details?
According to the new pricing schedule, tuition for all new and returning full-time undergraduate students will now be $14,500 per year for the 2020-2021 academic year compared to $24,920 for the current 2019-2020 academic year.
In addition, the college’s comprehensive fee charged to undergraduate students will change to $2,500 per year from the current $1,100 but will cover all individual course fees. The overall change results in a 39 percent reduction in the cost of full-time undergraduate education. Rates for room and board will remain unchanged.
What are the advantages to students and their families?
Keystone’s current published tuition price, which is already lower than most four-year private institutions, is rarely what students pay upon enrollment, because of comprehensive financial aid packages which are offered to approximately 96 percent of students. That complicated process often leaves many students and families confused about how much their education will really cost. By resetting tuition and including course fees, actual tuition costs will be less confusing and more transparent for everyone. Furthermore, by reducing tuition, we are also resetting, and in effect, lowering the baseline for future tuition increases should they become necessary.
How will this impact student scholarships and financial aid packages?
Keystone scholarships and grants will be scaled according to the new tuition model. Merit scholarships will still be offered but in a different model than the “high discount” awards currently in effect. Keystone is also committed to raising additional funds to support students in addition to the funds that are already available.
Overall, we estimate that in most cases the actual price of attendance (the net price) for returning students in 2020-2021 will remain about equal to or be slightly less than the amount students are paying this academic year, assuming the student’s FAFSA information does not change. Again, this is a tuition reset and grants and scholarships will be reset accordingly.
Will this apply to graduate tuition also?
No. The reset applies only tuition for undergraduate students, who make up the large majority of our student population. The graduate tuition rates per credit hour are already in alignment with the average prices for graduate tuition.
Will this tuition reset impact the quality of education at Keystone?
Absolutely not. Keystone remains committed to providing a quality, personalized, and transformative education to each and every student. Our goal is, and will continue to be, to prepare our students for successful careers in the years following graduation. This will not change in any way.
In recent years, we have had many successes, including three years of growth for new freshmen enrollment. We have also added new majors such as computer science with artificial intelligence, public health, and we are looking to launch later this year, a major related to digital media. We have seen significant growth in our science majors, added several new professional development certifications, and bolstered our public/private partnerships. We have renewed varsity football after a long hiatus and are in the final stages of our Keystone Commons retail development project.
We believe our tuition reset continues our positive momentum by “right pricing” our education and will open the doors to even more students who wish to take part in the Keystone experience.
Will the Keystone Commitment loan repayment program continue to be offered?
Unfortunately this program will not continue, mostly due to the fact that it has not resonated well with our families. We tried it and have been told by a majority of our families that this was not a benefit that encouraged students to come to Keystone or remain enrolled, and they would prefer a lower price point overall. We have listened to that message in undertaking this reset. The program will continue for current students who qualified for and are receiving the benefit.
Will the Keystone Encompass textbook program continue?
Unfortunately, this program will not be continued. The program was unique when Keystone began it several years ago. However, it has not continued to adequately provide the resources the College needs. Discussions are underway to look at various options to meet the academic needs of the College. We are working very diligently to keep the cost as low as possible for our students.
How will you inform and work with Keystone students to educate them about all of these changes?
We want all of our students and their families to be fully informed about the price reset and what it means to them. In the coming days, we will provide to each current full time, undergraduate student a side-by-side comparison of their current cost along with an estimate of what their cost would look like under the reset. In addition, student meetings will be held to further explain the changes. Of course, we are always willing to meet with any student or family who has questions. Again, our goal is to provide more clarity and transparency for everyone.