Right-sizing Tuition FAQ – Albright College

Right-sizing Tuition FAQ

Fulfilling Albright’s Commitment: Right-sizing Tuition

Albright is implementing a plan to lower the cost of college (aka “sticker price”) and align it with the institution’s historical commitment to educating students of academic promise, ensuring that the transformative experience of an Albright liberal arts education is accessible and affordable. Under this plan, tuition for the 2019-2020 academic year is being lowered by 45 percent, from $44,206 to $24,500. This will reduce the total cost of attending Albright (which includes room, board and the student services fee) by 34 percent, from $57,376 to $38,122.

Albright students who currently (this academic year) pay more than $38,122 (based on the right-sized tuition, standard double room and gold meal plan) will benefit from a decrease in what they pay. Because room, board and the student services fee will increase for academic year 2019-2020, a number of current students will still see an increase in cost. However, this increase will be much smaller than the increase would have been had the college continued its trend of raising tuition on a larger tuition amount. Families will also experience financial aid scaling with the new tuition pricing, and will likely notice packaging being less reliant on state and Federal grants.Currently, Albright offers little need-based institutional aid to cover year-to-year tuition increases for students moving into their sophomore, junior and senior years. As tuition rises, need-based federal grant aid usually does not change for upper class students, often creating unanticipated bills. New research shows that this is most troubling for middle income families.

So the real value of lowering tuition today will be twofold: significantly smaller actual-dollar tuition increases in the future and a promise of more funds to cover the upper class tuition gap — made possible through a new scholarship fundraising initiative.

Albright’s tuition is currently priced in line with many other private institutions in Pennsylvania and around the country. In reality, the published tuition price for colleges is rarely what students pay upon enrollment because of a complicated financial aid system that can leave many students and families confused about the entire process. Simplifying this complicated structure helps to make actual tuition costs more transparent for students and families.

In reality, the vast majority of Albright students pay only a fraction of the college’s current tuition “sticker price” of $44,206. Yet studies show that a large percentage of potential students do not consider attending high tuition schools because they do not realize these schools often offer considerable aid. Also, students beginning their sophomore through senior years pay (often unaided) percentage increases based on the college’s sticker price.

The financial aid process can leave many families confused about scholarship plans, state and federal financial aid awards, and actual costs. By right-sizing tuition we are creating a simplified financial aid process where students and families can clearly see the bottom line – scholarships, grant aid, and debt included – and make a sound financial investment regarding their college education. We are attempting to eliminate the smoke and mirrors surrounding today’s higher education costs. 

Albright’s plan to right-size tuition will benefit traditional undergraduate students.

This change will begin with the fall 2019 semester. This new tuition model will not impact spring 2019.

No. Those programs will continue to be priced differently because they carry different cost structures.

Students should first complete 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms. Albright’s Financial Aid office will provide current students with financial aid award packages under the new tuition model following receipt of FAFSA documentation. Scholarships and merit aid from Albright will continue to be awarded, and will scale with the new tuition model.

Yes. Financial aid and scholarships will scale with the new tuition model. Upper class students will receive financial aid packages in June.

Yes, Albright offers the Founders, Presidential and Albright merit scholarships. Scholarships for current students will scale with the new tuition model. Scholarships for new students will be as follows: Founders, $12,000/year; Presidential, $10,000/year; Albright, $8,000/year.

Albright has always benefitted from the generous support of alumni and friends, including gifts for scholarships and aid through The Fund for Albright and endowed scholarship funds.  Our alumni and donors contribute to Albright College because they believe in our commitment to educating students of academic promise for success in lives and careers. Even as we launch our new right-sizing tuition model, we are increasing efforts to garner additional philanthropic support and to build our endowment dedicated to scholarships and aid.

Recognizing that our pricing model had become unsustainable for middle income students of academic promise, an Albright team – the Tuition and Pricing Strategy Implementation Design Team, part of our Deep Dive strategic planning process – extensively explored Albright data, peer data and higher education pricing data. Nine different pricing models were studied by the team before they recommended the right-sizing model.

No. Albright is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has maintained positive standing with this accrediting body. Accreditation is based on the strength of academic programs, service to students, and financial viability. Right-sizing tuition will not impact accreditation.

Read letter to students & parents