Pro Deo et Patria

#5: There’s risk – and reward

Our plan relies on financial aid to keep net price flat, which is more flexible than locking in differential tuition each year. However, this approach shifts financial risks from students to the University. That means we have to think differently about rising costs and plan accordingly. But looking at the impact on graduation rates, student borrowing and accessibility to college, it’s clear that transparent pricing makes a huge difference for students and families. It also benefits the University, as increased retention and graduation rates lead to increased tuition revenue.

#3: Communication is key

This approach only works if families understand what the tuition plan means — and how it benefits them. From recruitment materials and admission presentation to acceptance letter and financial aid award, we consistently and clearly highlight that our approach involves no tuition increases and no fees — and offers families peace of mind when it comes to cost.

#4: Transparency is about the entire experience

Rather than just focusing on tuition and fees, we aim to make the entire college experience accessible to families. In 2014, we began offering a $3,000 scholarship to support study abroad experiences, and students can also study in China, Ireland and Spain for the same cost as a semester on campus. Among students under this plan, this strategy has led to a 15 percent increase in study abroad overall — and a 65 percent increase for relatively lower income families. 

#2: Students borrow less

Overall, students also have reduced borrowing by more than 22 percent — reducing their cumulative student loan debt by nearly $6 million versus the previous year. On average, four-year graduates will borrow less than $18,000 in student loans, well below the national average, and $5,000 per person less than those before the plan.

#1: More students persist toward graduation
The Class of 2017’s record four-year graduation rate of 67 percent is about 8 percentage points higher than historic averages and well above the previous high of 62 percent. Our federally reported six-year graduation rate has been approximately 80 percent, and results from this program are expected to push that above 85 percent. The positive trend is universal across all income segments and student populations.
About our approach

A top-tier Catholic research university, the University of Dayton graduates innovators and scholars — servant leaders who use their knowledge and skills to positively impact the world. And our commitment to affordability helps ensure their success.

Four years ago, the University of Dayton embarked on a bold plan — eliminate fees and hold steady the tuition a student pays from year one to year four.

“When we decided to overhaul the way we charged tuition, we saw it as part of our obligation as a Catholic institution to do what is right for our students,” said Jason Reinoehl, vice president for strategic enrollment management.

The Class of 2017 — the first to enroll under the plan — had higher retention and graduation rates, and lower student loan debt. 

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