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Houghton College resets tuition to aid students during COVID-19, reinforces historic mission


Wed, Sep 23rd 2020 01:30 pm

Houghton College recently announced a significant tuition reset beginning in the fall of 2021.

A press release said, “In this time of COVID-19, Houghton has made pricing more transparent with a substantially reduced tuition rate, demonstrating that a high-quality, Christian education is a real possibility for students from all backgrounds and circumstances.”

Beginning in the fall of 2021, Houghton’s new tuition rate will be $15,900 for the year, before financial aid awards – the lowest it has been in 20 years. This represents a 53% decrease in published tuition costs for students enrolled in the residential undergraduate program at the Houghton, New York, campus compared to the 2020-21 academic year. This price reset makes Houghton College the best-priced Christian college in the nation (based on the most recent tuition survey done by the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities). In addition, Houghton is offering one of the lowest tuition rates of any college in the Western New York region. 

This milestone is a major move for the Christian institution and represents the latest embodiment of Houghton College’s longstanding mission to provide a high-quality Christian education to students from all socioeconomic backgrounds and life circumstances – including those impacted by COVID-19.

“In keeping with our historic mission, this transparency makes it more obvious that a Houghton education is truly a possibility for today’s learners who would not otherwise have considered the opportunity and for whom that education can make all the difference in the trajectory of their lives," Houghton College President Dr. Shirley Mullen said. 

Houghton’s most recent strategic plan had already recognized that increased accessibility and flexible availability to a high-quality education is as important as affordability. COVID-19 has made this need more pronounced. Today, when learners more than ever see the need for a flexible path to graduation, this new pricing model provides greater parity across the multiple platforms, programs and delivery methods for Houghton’s relational, transformative education. Whether a student studies in person or online from anywhere in the world, they can choose the path that fits their circumstances. 

"The stories of students struggling with the new economic realities of COVID-19 hastened the college’s efforts to help alleviate some of their burdens," said Jason Towers, chief officer of enrollment and marketing. "At the same time, Houghton will reinforce our historical mission to train and equip underserved students through an excellent Christian college education so that they can impact the world for Christ." 

The press release added, “In an era when COVID-19 adds barriers to families already seeking help understanding complicated and unpredictable higher education discounting practices, Houghton’s new model is straightforward – giving students clear information about what their college education is going to cost.”

“In this moment, we are taking a very deliberate step to make our pricing more transparent,” Mullen said. “We are also making certain that, in the process, a Houghton education will actually be more affordable, not simply appear to be more affordable.”

All residential undergraduate students taking up to 18 credits per semester (36 a year) at the Houghton campus or remotely through the flexible learning option will save at least $500 on their 2021-22 academic year bill compared to the prior year.

The college's new tuition rates will be partnered with a revised financial aid process to make more scholarship funds available to students who need them most. Thanks to the dedication and generosity of Houghton’s alumni through the recently completed IMPACT Campaign for Greater Houghton – which raised $41 million for student scholarships – Houghton has been able to reimagine the financial aid awarded to high-potential students with significant need. Already ranked No. 3 in the “Top Performers on Social Mobility” listing for National Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, this tuition reduction will enhance Houghton’s existing dedication to empower students of all backgrounds.

“One hundred and thirty-seven years ago, our founder, Willard J. Houghton, believed that a high-quality, Christ-centered education should be available to students of all backgrounds – and this price transparency allows us to continue his legacy today,” Mullen said. “Houghton College is about meeting students where they are and empowering them to transform the trajectory of their lives beyond anything they could imagine. If you ask our students or their parents, they will tell you how Houghton helped them embody their potential. This allowed them to make the difference in the world that only they can make.” 


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