PELLA, IOWA (September 10, 2019) — Central College today introduced a new annual tuition of $18,600 for Fall 2020.
In addition, the college has launched a number of new initiatives to support students in all stages of their education and beyond graduation.
The price change brings a new approach to tuition in Iowa, offering transparency to what students and families actually pay. Previously, tuition at Central was offset with high financial-aid and scholarships, and virtually all students paid far less than the published price, a practice used by nearly all colleges and universities.
"Central views it as our responsibility to help bring rationality to the price of a high-quality college education," says Mark Putnam, college president. "Central's new tuition and financial-aid pricing is clearer and easier to understand. It's an important commitment to our students, families, alumni, and donors."
This commitment to affordable pricing is the first such initiative of its scale in Iowa. With scholarships, Central's price is equivalent to Iowa's public universities. No current Central student will pay more in 2020-21 than they do in 2019-20, and prospective students can apply without being deterred by a high published tuition-rate. The price for room and board remains the same.
Central will continue to offer scholarships and financial aid in proportion to its new tuition-price. In fact, Central now offers more scholarships than ever before.
"We've never raised more money for annual scholarships than we have in the past year," says Sunny Gonzales Eighmy, vice president for advancement and a 1999 Central alumna. "We now also have more endowed scholarships for students than ever before."
In the 2018-19 fiscal year, more than 4,000 alumni and friends donated over $4.6 million to support Central's students and community. The college witnessed a record fundraising year for the Journey Scholarship Fund, which directly supports students. In addition, the number of endowed scholarships grew, with 10 new scholarships formed, bringing the total of endowed scholarships at the college to 269.
Today, the college also launched a number of new initiatives to enhance the student experience, boost the value of a Central education, and promote the career readiness of its graduates.
For students who meet specific standards and expectations for progress toward a degree, Central guarantees graduation in four years or the ninth semester tuition is free. In addition, every student in good academic and social standing will be offered at least one internship, job-shadowing experience, or community-service opportunity.
"We are committed to the success of our students and that's why we are doing this. These assurances allow students to join the Central community knowing they are receiving an affordable education with incredible value-and knowing they will be supported in their success now and beyond graduation," Putnam says.
Central is adding:
- Career Kickstarter, a weeklong, career-focused program available to all sophomores as they explore career possibilities.
- A new varsity sport, women's triathlon, to start in Fall 2020. Central is the 31st school in the nation and second in Iowa to offer women's triathlon.
- Two new club sports, men's volleyball and women's bowling, with the possibility of both becoming varsity sports.
- A handful of new clubs and organizations, including clay-target sports.
- A campus chapter of Alpha Alpha Alpha, an honor society for first-generation students.
- Membership into the National Society of Leadership and Success, the nation's largest leadership honor society.
"We're thrilled about the college's momentum," says Tej Dhawan, chair of the college's board of trustees. "We've just recruited our largest class in five years and invested in so much more.
"With our goal to continue this incredible momentum, addressing college tuition seemed important to Central's mission of providing access to a high-quality, liberal arts education for more people," adds Dhawan, a Des Moines entrepreneur and a 1991 Central graduate. "Our new tuition puts Central's price below that of most colleges and universities. This, combined with our excellent faculty, programs and aid, makes a Central degree more valuable than ever."
Central offers the new tuition and programs under the umbrella of a high-quality, liberal-arts degree. The college will continue to offer academic programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), pre-professional programs in health-care and dozens of hallmark programs such as business, psychology, and education as well as historic strengths in social sciences, humanities, and arts.
The college's student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1. Students leave Central headed for success. In fact, 97% are in the workforce or in graduate school following graduation.
"While the price is changing, the value you get for it is not. Central simply is making it easier to understand the affordability, benefits, and value of its education. It's the Central way," Putnam says.
For more information about the new tuition and offerings, see www.central.edu.
Central College of Pella, Iowa, is a private, four-year liberal-arts college. Central is known for its academic rigor, leadership and character development, global experiential learning, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and sustainability education, athletics, and service. For more information about Central College: www.central.edu.