Lesley University is changing its tuition pricing model effective Fall 2014 for full-time new and returning students in its traditional undergraduate programs.
The tuition price at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will move from its current level of $32,000 to $24,000 next year, and the tuition at the College of Art and Design (formerly the Art Institute of Boston) will drop from $30,600 to $24,000 as well.
This change affects all new and returning students in our traditional undergraduate programs. For currently enrolled students, we will reduce the tuition rate and institutional aid so that this new pricing model delivers the same aid benefits.
The change begins with the 2014-2015 academic year. This means that any modest tuition increases in the future are applied to the new, lower tuition rate. That translates into smaller increases for students and their families from 2014-2015 until degree completion.
Higher education pricing is outpacing family income and financial capacity and has become too complex. Sticker shock is causing many people not to pursue higher education at a time when a college degree enhances career opportunities and earnings, as well as access to health care and retirement systems. Our high list price was intimidating students and families and they weren’t learning about the aid that reduces the list price. We are changing these pricing patterns to serve more students and families because we are a nonprofit educational institution with a mission to serve an economically diverse student population. As the economy suffered and family income dropped, the gap deepened between family financial capacity and college costs. The “high tuition/high aid” model left out too many families.
The vast majority of our undergraduate students receive institutional aid. We are reducing the tuition rate and institutional aid so that this new pricing model delivers the same aid benefits for currently enrolled students.
Also, Lesley has a diverse portfolio of undergraduate and graduate programs. Our financial ratios are strong, with a growing endowment and a recent affirmation of our A- rating by Standard and Poor’s. In the past decade we acquired 15 new buildings, including two newly constructed residence halls, and we are in the process of building a $48 million arts center in Porter Square, Cambridge.
All students benefit from a lower price to which any future tuition increases will be applied. For students with high financial need, the lower tuition price means that a federal grant, state grant, or any other grants will cover a larger portion of the actual cost. On the other extreme, families with sufficient resources to pay the full tuition may also be interested in this lower rate as it is a direct savings. For the majority of students and families, grants and family contributions will cover a higher percentage of the tuition price.
We remain committed to providing guaranteed merit scholarships and need-based financial aid to eligible students. The dollar amount of the awards we offer will be adjusted in order to align with the new tuition price. New amounts are being calculated and will be published as soon as they are available.
Yes, there may be modest increases. More students may inquire and apply to Lesley because we have reduced the barrier of an intimidating list price. The lower annual tuition increases and the transparency of our pricing and aid may appeal to prospective students. Scholarships will cover a larger percentage of tuition. The lower price may help more current students avoid financial stress and complete their degrees.
Only modestly, in the ways that we previously described. The real objective is to reduce the tuition price and the tuition discounting so that more people can see the actual cost of attending Lesley, which is a lower cost than most people know. Expanding people’s options for college, constraining annual tuition increases, making finances more transparent, and providing a quality educational experience helps us to fulfill our educational mission.
No, this is a change to the undergraduate tuition pricing model only. The reduction in the undergraduate tuition and discount rates is an effort to make our rates and our aid less complex and more transparent. We want to more carefully align list price with actual cost for our undergraduate students and their families. The graduate tuition model is different from the undergraduate model and the published prices and actual costs are more closely in alignment but fundraising efforts are underway to establish additional graduate student scholarships.
American higher education includes many different types of institutions: public and private research universities, highly selective private colleges, regional public colleges, community colleges, and a range of for-profit institutions. Each sector faces both common and unique financial conditions. Lesley University is a private institution and changing the tuition pricing model is a modest step to strengthen connections with the economically diverse students and families that Lesley has served for over 100 years. Each sector and each institution will need to determine how its pricing model supports or constrains its particular mission.
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General/Media InquiriesJohn Sullivan, Director of Communications617.349.8514Prospective StudentsOffice of Undergraduate Admissions617.349.8800Current StudentsStudent Financial Services617.349.8760
Read Lesley President Joseph Moore's Op-Ed in The Boston Globe Opinion pages on Lesley's new undergraduate tuition pricing model.
President Moore sat down with WGBH News recently to discuss Lesley's new undergraduate tuition pricing model. Learn more and listen to the full recording of his interview here.
Listen to President Moore on Radio Boston sharing his insights on Lesley's new undergraduate tuition plan and bringing transparency back to tuition costs. Listen to the full interview.
Read President Moore's message to help you better understand your student loans. Click here to learn more.