University of Dayton offers new four-year cost guarantee

Incoming freshmen get a promise they will not pay more to graduate


The University of Dayton is attracting national attention with its new four-year tuition plan, which eliminates the uncertainty of how much a bachelor’s degree will cost by removing hidden fees and offering a guarantee to new freshmen that they will pay the same amount for tuition all four years they are enrolled in school.

The effort is unique and is one UD hopes other colleges will copy. Starting in mid-March, prospective UD students will receive a personalized two-page letter detailing upfront the full cost to earn a degree — that is the cost for all four years, not just one, said Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president for enrollment management and marketing. The new tuition guarantee comes as UD has enrolled record first-year classes the last three years, and applications for the fall are already outpacing last year’s record volume by 6 percent.

“We want families to understand exactly what they will be paying for, from day one through graduation,” said President Daniel J. Curran in a news release.

“Our goal is to give full information and transparent access to the facts, and let them make an informed decision,” Kumarasamy said.

The university is pledging to freshmen who enter in fall 2013 that their scholarships and grants “will grow dollar for dollar each year as tuition increases.” All current students will also benefit from the removal of fees, which have included costs such as $90 to graduate or $65 for each hour spent in a laboratory. And UD even promises to cover any losses to a student’s federal or state financial aid during their four years.

UD’s letters detailing the four-year costs are potentially risky for the private, Catholic school, Kumarasamy admitted. Parents could be scared off by seeing the total cost for four years upfront. The current annual costs: $33,400 for tuition and fees, between $5,540 and $8,400 to live on campus and between $3,900 and $4,720 for meals. This fall, tuition will increase to $35,800. More than 90 percent of UD students receive financial aid.

“The truth might scare them,” he said. “There’s nothing out there to compare something like this.”

But the university is convinced providing more transparent information “this is the right thing to do,” he said.

The university is encouraging students to ask every college they apply to what the total cost of earning a degree will be. The federal government also is encouraging universities to be clear about costs. This year, more than 300 schools nationwide will voluntarily adopt new “college shopping sheets” making it easier to compare financial aid packages between schools. The sheets will include information on the institution’s student loan default rate and average student loan borrowing by students.

But at a time when many universities are imposing fees on certain classes and majors that are more expensive to offer, such as engineering, UD’s new policy represents a different direction. It means UD will not attempt to generate more revenue through fees, a practice by some schools that offer a locked-in tuition price.

“Locking in the net price, as opposed to just tuition, makes college costs more predictable, helping families plan for the full four-year cost of a college education,” said Mark Kantrowitz, a national financial aid expert and publisher of FinAid.org, in the news release.

UD’s tuition plan covers eight semesters and up to 140 credit hours. Students can earn a major and a minor, and even a double major, during the four years, according to UD.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Cemetery gave clients ashes that were not their pets, deputies say
Cemetery gave clients ashes that were not their pets, deputies say

A pet cemetery gave clients ashes that were not their animals, sheriff’s investigators said. Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office seized the bodies of 12 animals in total. Some of the carcasses were found July 21 in non-working freezers outside Katy’s Pet Cemetery, according to WMBD. Some of them were microchipped. When investigators...
Firefighters chop off head of snake biting woman's face
Firefighters chop off head of snake biting woman's face

Firefighters had to cut a boa constrictor’s head off with a pocketknife Thursday after it wrapped itself around a woman’s neck and bit her nose. The woman, who has 11 snakes, was reportedly lying in the street with the snake on her when rescuers arrived around 2 p.m., The Chronicle-Telegram reported.  “There’s blood...
What you need to know about the Great American Eclipse
What you need to know about the Great American Eclipse

The Great American Eclipse will be visible across the country on Aug. 21.  In the Miami Valley, the eclipse will begin shortly after 1 p.m. on Aug. 21. It will take the moon almost three hours to cross the face of the sun, from one side to the other.  Many cities across America will see a total eclipse, but our area will only have a partial...
Photo of Scaramucci, Priebus in Oval Office lights up social media
Photo of Scaramucci, Priebus in Oval Office lights up social media

A photo taken Tuesday at the White House is making the rounds on social media in what some are saying is the very definition of a picture being worth a thousand words. The image began to get some notice as Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, launced a twitter, TV and online attack denouncing Reince Priebus, White House...
Florida eatery closed by roach infestation tries to hide health warning with sign
Florida eatery closed by roach infestation tries to hide health warning with sign

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – A Florida restaurant was caught trying to cover up a health inspector’s sign after it was shut down by a cockroach infestation, according to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Inspectors forced Jaxon Social in in Jacksonville Beach to close on July 18 after they found 23 live roaches...
More Stories