One of the region’s private colleges is making a 35% cut to its listed tuition and room and board rates — but officials there say it’s more a case of aligning the college’s “sticker price” with what students and their families actually pay. WFIR’s Evan Jones spoke with Randolph College President Brad Bateman:
“The cost to attend Randolph College after grants and scholarships is already competitive with all of Virginia’s top colleges and universities, both public and private,” said Randolph President Bradley W. Bateman. “Today’s change will narrow the gap between our ‘sticker price’ and what students and their families actually pay for a Randolph education.”
The change will begin with the fall 2020 incoming class, and the College is working to ensure there will be no negative impact on current students’ net tuition and fees.
“The personalized approach to college education that Randolph students enjoy is a transformative experience,” Bateman said. “At a small college like ours, everyone is seen; everyone is important; everyone has a part to play. Randolph is a community that welcomes every student, and the opportunities that a Randolph education provides are limitless.
“But as college costs continue to rise, private colleges are viewed by many as overpriced and available only to a select few,” he added. “As a result, our message isn’t getting through to some families, who understandably won’t even consider a college whose advertised price seems well out of their reach.”
The fact is that for most private colleges, this “sticker price” is just a starting point. Most private colleges practice a “high-tuition/high-discount” model, offsetting high tuition costs with large financial aid packages. In fact, most private colleges only charge half of their “sticker price” after the financial aid packages have been awarded.
But most families don’t know this—and as a result, the admissions process tends to favor families with the knowledge, time, and resources to navigate the system. Randolph believes this model is both unfair and unsustainable. By resetting tuition, room, and board to be closer to what families actually pay for a Randolph education, the College is doing its part to change it.
“With this tuition, room, and board reset, and our generous financial aid policies, our message is simple,” Bateman said. “If you’re interested in a high-quality education at a place where every student gets personalized attention from outstanding professors, Randolph College can make that kind of education affordable for your family. We offer a lifetime of opportunity at a very affordable price.”
The news of this price reset is just one of many exciting things happening this year at Randolph. In addition to a major technology upgrade this summer, the College has made numerous other improvements on campus. The gymnasium received extensive renovations, and the stadium turf and tennis courts were refurbished. In addition, Randolph looks forward to the ongoing renovation of the athletic building over the coming year. The M.F.A. program continues to grow dramatically and is drawing talented students and esteemed faculty from all over the nation. The College also added a new data science minor, and thanks to a grant from the Endeavor Foundation, began a new college transition program for first-years this summer.
“There is much going on, and even more to be proud of here at Randolph,” Bateman said.