University of Bridgeport promises lower tuition for residents

By Reece Alvarez

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Under Connecticut Promise, a new initiative launched by the University of Bridgeport, tuition fees for first-time freshman living on campus as well as commuters will be drastically reduced.

“We know that in today’s society, the overwhelming cost of higher education can hinder a student’s options for choosing the best college for their studies,” said Karissa Peckham, associate vice president for enrollment. “At the University of Bridgeport, we want to make it possible for incoming students to experience the benefits of a private institution without having to pay exponentially more than an in-state public school. UB firmly believes that a solid education should be both accessible and attainable.”

According to the university, with the nation’s current student debt crisis, it is becoming increasingly difficult for students to have access to quality higher education without a cumbersome financial burden.

The Federal Reserve states total education debt reached $ 1.3 trillion in 2015.

To address the growing issue, beginning Fall 2016 no in-state freshman living on campus will pay more than $18,500 per year for tuition, fees and room and board including any grants or scholarships they receive as part of financial aid.

For example, if a student plans to live on campus, the sticker price would be $43,840. If the student initially receives a financial aid award that includes $18,000 in scholarships and grants, then their total cost would be reduced to $25,840. Through the Connecticut Promise program the student would be awarded an additional $7,340 to cover the difference and bring the total down to $18,500, according to the university.

For commuter students the maximum cost per year would be $12,000.

The tuition reduction will remain as students progress through their education.

The initiative will be directly paid for by the university, though the school intends to off-set the cost  by attracting more students for whom cost is an issue, according to a university representative.

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