DAYTON, Ohio, Jan. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When next year's prospective first-year students receive financial aid offers from the University of Dayton in March, they'll get something very different from what they're likely to see from other schools — full disclosure and a four-year guarantee.
The plan answers the question, "What's the real cost of a degree?" and is an intentional response to a national call for more accountability and transparency in higher education.
Students will receive a personalized, two-page financial aid prospectus that clearly details upfront all billable costs to graduation — and a pledge that the net tuition cost they pay for their first year will be the same amount they pay for their senior year.
"We want families to understand exactly what they will be paying for, from day one through graduation. This initiative is about transparency and the value that it provides to our families," said Daniel J. Curran, University of Dayton president.
It's not a tuition freeze: students' scholarships and grants will increase in value to meet any tuition increases during their four years. All student fees, often an unexpected cost for families, are wrapped into the plan and students can receive up to $4,000 for textbooks.
No other university is taking quite this approach, which has sparked the interest of The Chronicle of Higher Education and national experts in the field.
"As college-going students and their families become more value-conscious, efforts such as Dayton's innovative net-tuition guarantee send an important message about private higher education's commitment to staying as affordable as possible during these difficult economic times," said David L. Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
The University of Dayton's plan will help families plan the expense of a college degree, according to Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Fastweb.com and FinAid.org, who has testified before Congress about student aid.
"Locking in the net price, as opposed to just tuition, makes college costs more predictable, helping families plan for the full four-year cost of a college education," he said. "Also, some colleges have locked in tuition rates but allowed fees to increase significantly from one year to the next."
The University of Dayton, a top-tier Catholic research university, welcomed the largest, most academically prepared and geographically diverse first-year class in school history last fall. For more on the University of Dayton's tuition plan, see The Real Cost of a Degree and Net-Price Tuition Plan Offers Transparency, Guarantees.
SOURCE University of Dayton