Longwood has changed its tuition model back to “tuition by the semester” for the 2019-2020 academic year.
On May 21, students and families received an email from President W. Taylor Reveley IV announcing that Longwood would be freezing tuition and would be switching back to the banded tuition model.
This model will now charge all students who take between 12 to 18 credits per semester a flat tuition rate that is based off of a full-time load of 15 credit hours.
Students who are taking less than 12 credits or more than 18 will continue to be charged by the credit hour, like in years past. Summer and winter intercession classes will continue to be charged per credit hour.
Longwood traditionally followed the banded tuition model until 2007, when it was decided to switch to the “pay-per-credit” model.
Justin Pope, vice president and chief of staff, said, “the university switched back to get in line with what other colleges do and to lower the overall cost for college students.”
This model is supposed to help ensure that Longwood students graduate on-time in four years. For most undergraduate degrees at Longwood, if a student takes 15 credits per semester every semester then they will graduate in four years.
Pope said, “we want people to graduate in four years, and students do a lot better when taking a full course load of 15 credits.”
By charging students the flat rate for 15 credits, the university hopes students will take advantage of the model and take a full course load each semester.
Casey Vandegrift, a junior at Longwood, is taking less than the 15 credit hours the new model suggests, and is not in favor of it.
She said, “I do think that Longwood could have come up with a better option for tuition payments.”
The goal of the banded tuition model is not to anger students, it is to increase the four-year graduation rate, as well as the student retention rate.
Pope added, “students who are full-time and committed are much more likely to graduate and come back. Cost is front and center because that fifth or sixth year is underrated, where student debt becomes an issue.”
In addition to creating the banded tuition, Longwood has also frozen the tuition, so the rates did not change from the last academic year to this new one. Longwood does not have plans to switch back to the “pay-per-hour” tuition model anytime soon.