Willamette University to decrease tuition by about 20%

Marion County

Willamette University (Via Google Maps)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Willamettte University will soon be reducing their base tuition by about 20%, the school announced on Tuesday.

The private university in Salem is cutting the undergraduate tuition by nearly 10 grand — lowering the cost from $53,300 to $43,500. According to a press release, the driving force behind the cut is the need for increased accessibility of education and tuition transparency. The release did not mention if the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic played a role in the decision.

Along with the tuition decrease, the school says it will be offering more straightforward information about how their new tuition and financial aid can make their education more affordable. They say many schools’ true cost of attendance is hidden behind a high sticker price that is offset with scholarships or need-based financial aid.

For years, Willamette and other private universities have steadily increased their tuition costs. With this announcement, however, Willamette is calling on its regional peers to consider a similar move.

“Price shouldn’t be equated with prestige,” Willamette President Thorsett said. “Willamette was one of the first highly selective schools to offer test-optional admissions with no application fee, two practices that most other top schools haven’t yet adopted. As the premier liberal arts institution in the Pacific Northwest, and the first among our peers in Oregon to significantly reduce tuition, I’m proud that Willamette continues to lead the charge to make paying for college less complicated, more transparent, and more equitable — for more students.”

The tuition decrease, which applies to all College of Arts and Sciences students, will take effect at the beginning of the 2021 school year.

However, current students will pay the same net price that they pay now. The school says most students will see a reduction in expected costs for the 2021-2022 academic year.

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