LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – Virginia’s largest and most rapidly growing institution of higher education is providing students and their families financial help by freezing student tuition rates for a second year.
“For a lot of colleges and universities, they’re seeing an increase in tuition, and so that’s something that we are really excited to be able to offer. Is that we don’t have to increase our tuition,” says Ashley Reich, Vice President of student financial services.
Officials say after hearing from students about their concerns with increases in tuition prices from both public and private colleges and universities across the country, Liberty University wanted their tuition rates to be predictable as students and their families make life-changing decisions regarding their future.
The university is also freezing student tuition rates for their online program for a fifth year in a row.
“The majority of our student population take online courses. We do have a smaller residential population in comparison, but most of our students definitely take advantage of our online options. And it’s great for families needing flexibility, working adults, being able to just take a degree program or a course fully online and never having to step foot on Liberty’s campus,” says Reich.
In addition to Liberty University freezing tuition rates, they also provide different funding options for students. Their new Middle America Scholarship is a $17 million dollar investment by the institution to help provide for students from middle-income families who typically earn between $35,000 and $95,000 per year. They also have a local partnership with the nonprofit Lynchburg Beacon of Hope that sponsors and funds the Stay Close, Go Far program that will invest in up to $8,000 per local student, who has attended a Lynchburg City School, over four years to go toward their education.
When it comes to the future, the university is unsure if they will continue their ongoing trend of freezing student tuition rates.
“It is definitely something that we discuss on an annual basis and something that we look at to see if we can continue to freeze. And ultimately what we want to be able to do provide is a world-class education for students in a Christian environment,” says Reich.
According to Liberty University’s Student Financial Services, undergraduate students for the 2017-2018 academic year on average borrowed $33,118 towards their education. She says the number is significantly lower than the national average of $39,400.