SOURCE: College of Mount Saint Vincent

College of Mount Saint Vincent

September 15, 2014 08:00 ET

College of Mount Saint Vincent Announces Tuition Reset and National Measures of Quality

Liberal Arts College Offers Exceptional Value for "What an Education Really Costs"

RIVERDALE, NY--(Marketwired - September 15, 2014) - Last week, the College of Mount Saint Vincent announced two major initiatives: a Tuition Reset, which will provide more affordable access to higher education for students from middle income families, and National Measures of Quality, a model report giving students and their parents meaningful data about educational outcomes. Both the Tuition Reset and National Measures of Quality target common criticisms of the higher education sector. Mount Saint Vincent is dramatizing the case that it offers an exceptional education at an excellent price.

Tuition Reset

The College of Mount Saint Vincent is reducing what it charges for tuition, room and board, and fees for all students beginning with the 2015-2016 academic year. It will simultaneously reduce financial aid awards by an identical amount.

"The prevailing pricing model for higher education is broken," said Charles L. Flynn, Jr., President of the College. "Most colleges and universities pair high tuition with high merit scholarship awards. There are many reasons for this model, but it impacts all families, especially middle-income ones. They pay too much. The Mount intends to fix this broken model by charging what it really costs to provide a high quality college education. We are moving to a low tuition, need-based financial aid model."

The Mount is the first private college in the region and the first among its peer institutions to address the problem of spiraling tuition.

The new pricing model applies to full-time undergraduate students enrolled for the 2015-2016 academic year. Freshmen will pay $21,640, a 30 percent decrease from the projected 2015-2016 tuition price. Combined with a decreased room and board price of $8,120 and additional reductions in fees, the final cost of $30,610 gives freshmen campus residents a total cost savings of $14,940. Additionally, freshman commuters will see direct cost savings of $10,460 per year. Tiered pricing for sophomores, juniors, and seniors reflect slightly higher costs for upperclassmen.

"Mount Saint Vincent is fortunate to be able to lead in this way," said Dr. Flynn. "Our enrollment is at an all-time high. This year, with more than 500 freshmen, we are seeing the largest, academically strongest entering class in our history. We believe that it is our responsibility to recognize the financial pressure on families and to do something about it."

The College describes the low-tuition, need-based financial model as fairer to middle-income students. "With the high sticker price/merit scholarship model, middle-income families pay too much," says Emmett Cooper, Director of Financial Aid. "By moving to a primarily need-based financial aid policy, we can provide an opportunity to those who need it and lower the cost for families with incomes too high for need-based assistance."

Individualized emails and letters have been sent to students and their families, explaining the Tuition Reset and comparing costs under the old and new pricing models.

National Measures of Quality

Higher education is facing unprecedented criticism, as public officials demand data to prove that education is worth what it costs. "There is a lot of data about higher education. The federal government requires institutions annually to complete IPEDS [Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, an extensive report of complex data], said Dr. Flynn. "By instituting National Measures of Quality, a reliable, sensible model of assessment, the College of Mount Saint Vincent is providing students and their parents the data they need to evaluate the Mount's educational outcomes. We are also providing other colleges and universities with a model they can use. We think the data are pretty dramatic and demonstrate the high quality of a Mount education."

"Among policy wonks and federal officials, there is much discussion about how to standardize, measure, quantify, and compare the quality of educational programs," Dr. Flynn continued. "Not all schools are excellent -- but, like Mount Saint Vincent, excellent schools are multi-faceted and complex. Some of their exceptional qualities can be measured by statistics, but much of it cannot. We believe there is a meaningful way to assess the quality of colleges and universities and to provide students and their parents a means to differentiate the exceptional from the rest."

National Measures of Quality includes both statistical and qualitative data. Among Hispanic serving institutions, for example, Mount Saint Vincent has one of the ten best graduation rates in the United States and has the highest graduation rate in the United States for Hispanic students in the sciences. National Measures of Quality reports these statistics along with such qualitative data as participation in service programs, internships, student-faculty research, and student satisfaction.

In announcing National Measures of Quality, Dr. Flynn emphasized the College's record of continuous improvement. "By national standards, our graduation rates are excellent," he said, "but we are delighted to have recently received a $2.3 million grant to try to improve them. We can always do better."

For more information on the Tuition Reset and National Measures of Quality, please visit www.mountsaintvincent.edu/exceptionalqualityauthenticvalue

Watch our video release here.

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent

Mount Saint Vincent offers a nationally recognized liberal arts education and select professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Enriched by the resources and opportunities of New York City, the College is committed to the education of the whole person and prepares student for lives of accomplishment, leadership, and service.

Contact Information