Newberry College’s Value Proposition Pairs Quality and Affordability
March 7, 2017
Since its founding in 1856, Newberry College has been focused on its mission to prepare students for productive careers and meaningful lives. Flourishing alumni, along with record-breaking enrollment and rising national rankings, all point to a mission being fulfilled.
Newberry College saw a record high 381 incoming students for Fall 2016, bringing total enrollment to 1,070 full-time students. Newberry also moved into the upper echelon of institutions ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the 2017 Best Colleges report. Taking its place among the most respected colleges in the Southeast, Newberry College moved into the Top 20 colleges in three categories:
#16 – Best Regional Colleges in the South
#3 – Best Value for Regional Colleges in the South
#8 – Best Regional Colleges in the South for Veterans
Measuring Return on Investment
Students and their families understand that a college education can help open doors to better careers and higher lifetime incomes. They consider a variety of factors in a uniquely personal decision about their college choice. Increasingly, they weigh the cost of attendance compared to the return on their education investment after graduation.
“College is a big decision, so we expect that families will assess the value and affordability of a Newberry College education,” said Newberry College President Dr. Maurice W. Scherrens. “Rankings and enrollment growth, combined with our Loan Repayment Promise, reassure students and their families that a private college education at Newberry is a wise investment that will not result in a heavy student loan debt when they graduate.”
At Newberry College, students receive institutional scholarships that vary considerably based upon their academic and co-curricular strengths as well as the family’s financial need. The average Newberry College scholarship for fall 2016 (not including athletic scholarships) was $10,600. With the addition of merit- and need-based grants and scholarships from state (for South Carolina residents) and federal sources, the net price often drops much lower.
Ensuring Access to a Private College Education
Ensuring that qualified students from every socioeconomic walk of life have access to a Newberry College education is a foundational point of the institution. Newberry has taken a proactive approach on the issue of college affordability.
In 2012, the College launched the Tuition Promise, an initiative that guaranteed incoming students they would not be subject to tuition increases during their four years of undergraduate study.
After three years offering the Tuition Promise, Newberry continued to set the bar higher for innovative approaches to affordability, launching the Loan Repayment Promise in 2015. The Loan Repayment Promise pledges that if a student’s annual income is less than $40,000 after they graduate from Newberry, the College will help them repay their colleges loans until they reach that salary threshold.
“Newberry is the first college in South Carolina to offer this kind of loan repayment assistance to students,” said Dean of Enrollment Management Joel Vander Horst. “Although we work hard to keep tuition among the lowest of our peers in the state, the Loan Repayment Promise offers additional peace of mind to students and their families.”
Providing the Best Value
Even with the financial safety net of the Loan Repayment Promise, Newberry’s focus remains on keeping the cost of attendance in check. A generous financial aid package helps families manage costs.
“More than 95 percent of our students receive some form of financial assistance,” Vander Horst said. “Institutional scholarships combined with outside aid sources make us highly competitive, even among state-subsidized schools.”
Newberry’s claim to the number three spot in the rankings for Best Value for Regional Colleges in the South on the 2017 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges report offers strong evidence of the strides Newberry continues to make in enhancing its value proposition.
“Like any other student, I dreamed of getting a college education, but I worried about how expensive it would be," said Newberry College senior Olivia Fraunfelter, a Physical Education/Sport Management major and current student body president. "Because Newberry has helped keep my costs lower, I’ve been able to receive an affordable education and can more easily start making a better future for myself after graduation.”
Controlling Price Increases
Newberry’s efforts to keep price increases as low as possible makes the College a leader in access and affordability throughout the region. In a comparison with 20 South Carolina public and private colleges and universities, no institution has had a lower percentage increase in price over the past three years than Newberry College.
The price to attend Newberry College has risen 6.1 percent over the past three years, while the 20-school average price increase was 10.9 percent. Among that same group of 20 schools, Newberry College also had the lowest increase in tuition, fees, room and board over the past five years. The College’s increase on tuition, fees, room and board is just 1.69 percent for the 2017/2018 academic year.
“We are delivering on our commitment to carefully control the price of a Newberry College education,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Hugo A. “Hap” Pearce. “We are dedicated to keeping the cost of attending Newberry College competitive and affordable for all students and their families.”
Expanding employment prospects
Considering the scope and importance of their education investment, students feel the pressure to ensure their college degree puts them on a clear path to employment after graduation. Mindful of these concerns, the most recent degree programs launched by the College focus on areas of study that are in high demand with prospective students and offer strong career prospects after graduation.
New majors in Criminal Justice, Healthcare Management, Digital Marketing and Forensic Science are helping students prepare for careers in high-demand fields. Newberry also recently expanded its highly competitive nursing major – a program with an employment success rate of nearly 100 percent.
“Our new degree programs are intentionally career-focused, but the liberal arts foundation also helps students develop many of the “soft skills” employers value so highly, such as critical thinking, flexibility and creativity,” said Dr. Timothy Elston, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College.
Newberry College is preparing to launch a new online degree-completion option with fall 2017 semester starting with an RN to BSN program. Launching soon after will be online degree-completion programs in Healthcare Management, Psychology, Criminal Justice and Business Administration.