Modest tuition increase, salary freeze and cuts, direct lending to keep college affordable
February 9, 2009 – A college degree is crucial in order to succeed in today's tough economic environment. That's why Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minn. is implementing numerous efforts to keep costs reasonable for its students: a modest tuition increase, a faculty and staff salary freeze, a salary cut for senior executives, and a switch to the U.S. Department of Education's Direct Loan Program.
"We understand the challenges that families face in these economic times," said Alan Cureton, Ph.D., president of Northwestern College. "These prudent measures will help to ensure that the goal of earning a college degree continues to be a reality."
Modest tuition increase
For the fall 2009-10 school year, annual full-time tuition will be $22,990, a 3.3 percent increase from the current rate. The estimated 2009-10 annual total cost of education for a student living on campus (including tuition, room, meal plan, books and supplies, personal expenses and transportation) will be $33,381, a 3.9 percent increase from the 2008-09 school year.
"Despite increasing costs to run Northwestern College, we have kept tuition increases to a minimum," said Cureton. "By a modest increase and by cutting costs we will serve and assist students and their families. Our commitment is to affordability."
Salary freeze and cuts
To keep costs low for students, Northwestern College also is implementing a hold on salary increases for its faculty and staff, effective July 1, 2009 (the beginning of the next fiscal year). In addition, members of the president's cabinet—senior executives—have agreed to show their commitment by taking a salary cut of 5 percent.
"We sincerely appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our faculty and staff during this time," Cureton said. "Their sacrifices will benefit our students in tremendous and practical ways."
Switch to Direct Loan Program
Northwestern College also has decided to switch federal student and parent loans to the U.S. Department of Education's Direct Loan Program starting with the 2009 fall semester. The college currently offers loans through the Federal Family Educational Loan Program.
The Direct Loan Program offers many benefits to students, including:
- Direct funding by the federal government
- More repayment plans
- A Public Service Loan Forgiveness program
- Full integration with the federal financial aid process
- Loans never being sold to other lenders, and more
"The switch to the Direct Loan Program stabilizes student access to loan funds and guarantees students' ability to borrow," said Cureton. "Through the Direct Loan Program, we are ensuring that students get the best benefits possible while providing the opportunity to consolidate their loans."
For the 2009 fall semester, students will need to process their Stafford or PLUS loans directly through the U.S. Department of Education.
About Northwestern College
Founded in 1902, Northwestern College is a private Christian liberal arts college in St. Paul, Minn. offering 50 majors, two master's degrees and several associate degree and certificate programs. Over 3,000 students representing 35 states and 23 countries are enrolled in NWC's traditional undergraduate and continuing and graduate education programs in North and South America.
Northwestern College exists to provide Christ-centered higher education equipping students to grow intellectually and spiritually, to serve effectively in their professions, and to give God-honoring leadership in the home, church, community, and world.