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With tuition reset, Carthage embraces transparent pricing

To give students and their families a clearer picture of the actual cost of attendance, Carthage College has decided to “reset” its tuition rate for the 2020-21 academic year.

In September, President John Swallow announced that Carthage will lower tuition to $31,500 — a 30 percent drop from the current $45,100. The price for housing and meals will also hold steady.

The tuition reset, which applies to all new and returning undergraduate students, should not affect the amount families actually pay. Corresponding adjustments to financial aid packages ensure they will pay the same net tuition as they would have without the reset.

Instead, the goal is to alleviate prospective students’ concerns about “sticker price.” A 2018 survey by student loan company Sallie Mae revealed that 65 percent eliminate schools from their search based strictly on the published price, without factoring in financial aid.

“Understanding the true cost of college has become unnecessarily complicated,” said President Swallow. “We hope this tuition reset cuts through the confusion to offer some much-needed transparency for families as they consider Carthage.”

Nearly all Carthage students receive financial assistance, and significant needbased and merit-based aid will remain available. U.S. News & World Report ranks the college fifteenth among Best Value Schools.

The reset was announced shortly after the launch of The Aspire Program, a comprehensive four-year career development initiative for all Carthage students. Administrators believe the move will attract even more students to the college’s growing list of academic programs.

“Each year, we’ve made a stronger commitment to affordability, making a Carthage education accessible for more students from all backgrounds,” said Nick Mulvey, vice president for enrollment. “The average amount students pay for tuition today, after scholarships and grants are applied, is the same as the average they paid a decade ago.”