Utica College in upstate New York is a private university best known for its programs in cybersecurity, economic crime, and health studies.
Its history goes back to the 1930s when it mainly served the surrounding working class community. Today, many of its students are the first in their families to pursue a college degree.
However, the school’s dropout rate is high. In 2015, more than half of its students failed to graduate – higher than the national average. The main reason – they couldn’t afford it. Tuition and fees in 2015 topped 34,000 dollars a year.
CCTV America’s Karina Huber reports the story.
In a dramatic move, the college decided to slash tuition and fees by 42 percent to almost $20,000, effective this September.
“We wanted to stay true to our roots and the families we are serving. And we kept hearing from them that it was just so hard for them to continue and to complete their four year experience here,” Jeffery Gates, the V.P. Enrollment Management of Utica College, said.
The college spent two years investigating how best to make tuition more affordable.
Gates said Utica College hasn’t had to cut its budget to cover the lower tuition. Instead, it has reduced scholarship awards and focused on recruiting and retaining more students to make up for the lost revenue.
This year, enrollment hit an all-time high with 685 first year students.
Utica’s move has garnered considerable attention. Gates says ten other colleges have contacted the school to explore how they too could make a college degree more affordable – something many young kids are pinning their hopes on.
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