News Release

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Miami University
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Miami considering new tuition plan to help make Miami more affordable to middle-class

04/04/2003

Twenty years after being selected a "Public Ivy," Miami University may soon adopt a tuition model used by the private sector--in order to help Ohioans struggling with high college costs.

“The state’s leaders have asked us to be creative, given the difficult economic times and the state budget crisis,” said Miami President James C. Garland. “We are proposing a progressive new tuition plan that embraces the best practices of private universities while recognizing Miami’s heritage as an Ohio public university. It is an innovative approach to better serving moderate-income Ohioans without an extra burden on taxpayers.”

Garland will present the plan to the Miami board of trustees April 23, with a proposed multi-year phase-in. If trustees approve, Miami will adopt the custom of private universities by converting to a single tuition. The tuition for Ohioans will be increased to the amount charged to out-of-state students, but the university will then offset the increase by providing substantial scholarships to all of its accepted Ohio applicants.

The new plan will have no financial impact on currently enrolled students or those admitted fall 2003 throughout their years at Miami, except that these students will see “paper changes” on their tuition invoices. Starting with students admitted in fall 2004, however, the variable scholarships would go into effect, with larger awards granted to Ohio residents from low- and middle-income families.

Garland said the model will allow Miami the same pricing flexibility to attract top students that its private-school competitors in other states enjoy.

“This plan is aimed primarily at middle-income students and at bright Ohio students who now go outside the state to attend universities like Notre Dame, Vanderbilt or Northwestern,” Garland explained. “The plan will give us the scholarship flexibility to compete with these schools for students, with no added cost to the state.”

“Although we will show a higher listed tuition, after the new scholarships and other awards are applied, the net cost to attend Miami for many Ohio applicants will actually drop. Our goal is to replace student loans with cash scholarships for outstanding middle-income Ohio students who now struggle to afford a Miami education.”

Miami now charges $7,600 per year in tuition for in-state students on the Oxford campus and $16,300, or $8,700 more, for non-Ohio students. If the new model were effective today, the charge to every student would be $16,300, with Ohio residents receiving average scholarships of $8,700 to bring the net cost back down to $7,600.

Starting with students admitted in fall 2004, the total awards will vary from student to student by a limited amount, typically by about $1,000 or less. As the program is phased in, award amounts will vary more significantly for each new entering class.

“The net cost would drop for many lower-income families. Others who are asked to pay higher tuition will remain eligible to receive other Miami scholarships and will need to weigh our offers before deciding whether to attend,” said Garland. “Given our national reputation as one of the best values in American higher education, we’re confident such students will continue to enroll with us.”

The new tuition model will underscore for all Ohio students the value they receive in a Miami education, said Miami’s admissions director, Michael Mills.

“At $16,300 a year, Miami is seen as a top value to students from outside Ohio, which explains why we experienced a 24-percent increase in out-of-state applications this year. But inside Ohio, students often don’t fully grasp that they are receiving a $16,000-plus education for less than half the cost, thanks to funding from the State of Ohio, alumni gifts and other support from the university,” Mills said.

Miami’s current tuition structure has greatly hampered Miami’s ability to award scholarships to Ohio students, Mills added. Scholarships provided by Miami’s top private competitors are on average three to four times larger than Miami’s per-student award.

All Ohio students will continue to be eligible for other financial aid the university currently offers. The new plan applies only to Oxford campus undergraduate students.


New Miami Scholarships

Ohio students will benefit from two scholarship pools intended to make a Miami education more affordable, attract the best and brightest students, and foster greater diversity.

1. The “Ohio Resident Scholarship” is a fixed award for all Miami’s undergraduate Ohio residents and is equal to or greater than the annual per-student funding provided by the state (currently about $4,400). Additional state funding will add to this award, which is for the exclusive benefit of Ohio residents. The scholarship is renewable until graduation, up to six years.

2. The “Ohio Leader Scholarship” is a variable award, given to students based on need, ability, and their intent to major in subjects key to the state’s economic development. It is renewable, contingent upon satisfactory academic progress toward graduation.

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