College prices are “complicated and cyclical,” according to a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, which cited a report by the College Board.
The average sticker price for tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates at a private, nonprofit four-year school rose 3.8 percent. This means the average price of $28,989 in 2012-13 increased to $30,094 in the 2013-2014 academic year, according to the Chronicle.
This tuition increase marked a jump of 1.5 percent over the average increase per year for the last decade, which was a 2.3 percent increase per year.
However, at least thirteen of the twenty U.S. Catholic colleges recommended in The Newman Guide have annual costs (tuition and related fees) that are lower than the national average of their private, four-year college counterparts.
By their nature, Newman Guide colleges stand apart from these other institutions because of their mission orientation. They exist to provide the highest-quality education that is authentically Catholic. And part of that mission is to make that excellent education experience available en masse. One recent example of this commitment is in Ave Maria University which recently announcement that they will slash prices by 22 percent for new students enrolling in 2014-2015 academic year; and that they will freeze tuition and fees for current students.
Newman Guide colleges were also included in the Kiplinger finance magazine’s recent list of the top 100 best value liberal arts colleges, ranked for high quality academics and affordability. In the liberal arts college rankings,Thomas Aquinas College was ranked 41, Christendom College was ranked 49, and The University of Dallas was ranked 94.
Thomas Aquinas College Director of Admissions Jon Daly said that, “The College has always maintained a policy that no student will be turned away on the basis of financial need, and it caps student debt at $16,000 over four years.” According to the College’s website,Thomas Aquinas College alumni have a 0.0 percent default rate on their student loans—compared to a nationwide average default rate of 8.8 percent.
Last year, private colleges exhibited a smaller price increase than public institutions. But this year, public college tuition and fees increased only 2.9 percent, compared to private college tuition that went up by 3.8 percent. The public institutions may have been able to record a smaller percentage increase in tuition—the smallest tuition increase in three decades—partly because of increased government money, according to the Chronicle.
The financial burden on Catholic families to be able to send their children to Catholic colleges can be great. Yet, the Newman Guide colleges are leading the way in affordability while maintaining outstanding academics and strong Catholic identity. Christendom College's Director of Admissions Tom McFadden stated:
Our generous donors enable us to remain free from Federal funding and still offer a robust financial aid program. We can keep costs down, while at the same time, make sure our personal and highly-acclaimed liberal arts education is within reach of every family.
“The Cardinal Newman Society is proud to promote the faithful and affordable Catholic colleges in The Newman Guide,” said Adam Wilson, manager of the Society’s Guide. “Catholic families want nothing less than the best value in Catholic education. The institutions we recommend give parents and students their money’s worth and more!”
Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.