The tuition is falling from $45,000 to $35,000 for new Rider University students in the 2021 academic year — a 22% drop.
“Rider is focusing on addressing the obstacles that students and families face that prevent them from considering college,” said Drew Aromando, vice president of enrollment management at Rider University. “That also positions us more competitively with out-of-state institutions that charge New Jersey students a much higher rate when they attend as an out-of-state student.”
The private school still will offer scholarships and financial aid. Rider University says it’s about removing sticker shock and getting to the true cost of the education it provides.
“I think the biggest barrier has been looking at a $60,000 price tag and thinking that that is what we’re going to have to pay, when in reality that average is less than half of that, and in some cases much than less than half of that,” said Aromando.
Dylan Erdelyi, who serves as president of the Student Government Association said, “We’re getting to the point where the sticker price of a university is too high and it’s really creating economic barriers even if just in optics for families who are looking into attending a university.”
The price drop is one component in Rider’s Lifting Barriers initiative. Other parts include students transitioning to college, graduating in four years of less and preparing for careers. The last one includes reaching in to the job market to encourage internships.
“Rider has set a target to achieve 95% of all students will have an enriched career preparation experience in internships, guided research, field work, similar to some of the programs you’ve seen at some institutions, but very few do this very well,” Aromando said.
Erdelyi says the pandemic has forced administrators to rethink tuition pricing for future classes.
“There are a lot of students, kind of separately to this initiative, that are really concerned about tuition prices right now in terms of online learning and coronavirus. So this comes at an interesting time because I think that this is a very important kind of remodel of the tuition structure that the university should be looking into. But it also comes at a time that a lot of students want financial assistance and lower tuition right now,” Erdelyi said.
Rider says given what’s happening right now, the school has not set an aggressive goal on growing enrollment.