Converse President Shocks Students, School Reduces Tuition by Ne - WSPA.com

Converse President Shocks Students, School Reduces Tuition by Nearly Half

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Converse College is celebrating its 125 Anniversary this year and as a part of the celebration, school officials have decided to dramatically reduce tuition for Fall 2014 traditional undergraduate students. Converse College is celebrating its 125 Anniversary this year and as a part of the celebration, school officials have decided to dramatically reduce tuition for Fall 2014 traditional undergraduate students.
Tuesday's announcement Tuesday's announcement
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -

Converse College is celebrating its 125 Anniversary this year and as a part of the celebration, school officials have decided to dramatically reduce tuition for Fall 2014 traditional undergraduate students.

The school told 7 On Your Side that board members agreed tuition needed to be lower to allow Converse to be an option for many more families who previously could not afford the $29,000 tuition.

The tuition reset represents a 43% decrease from the fall 2013 tuition price of $29,124. Officials said room and board costs will be about $9500.

Converse President Betsy Fleming tells 7 On Your Side the tuition price for fall 2014 will be $16,500. This is for the full-time students in the traditional undergraduate program.

Officials said Converse II and graduate students are not eligible for the tuition reductions but other concessions have been made for those programs.

President Fleming said board members and college officials travel to recruit students often and on multiple occasions , they heard feedback saying a tuition rate of close to $30,000 was too high for them to consider attending Converse.

“Once we heard the concerns we figured out as an institution we need to speak to the need to be more affordable,” said Fleming.

Officials said the last time the tuition cost was that low was nearly a decade ago.

7 On Your Side asked Fleming, how Converse College is able to reduce for tuition and where the money is coming from.

Fleming said students are enrolling in record numbers and her team moved around scholarship funds and donations.

She continued, if students receive scholarship money from the school it may be adjusted down with the lower tuition rate. Those scholarships however and money from other agencies however, can cover more of the tuition cost.

“We are simply realigning how we use the resources at our fingertips,” said Fleming.

Fleming explained the school needs to make absolutely no cuts to school programs or jobs.

She continued to talk about new programs and renovations that are planned for the college in the future. She discussed new programs in music and sports and entertainment in the business focus.

“I hear on a daily basis from students about their concerns having to hold down a job as well as pursue school on a fulltime basis and how and difficult it is for them to take full advantage,” said Fleming.

Officials said the net price may be lowered even further for qualifying students through federal, state, and institutional financial assistance.

Converse officials said in a release that they refer to the move as a “high-tuition/high-discount” business model to a “low-tuition/low-discount” model that is more affordable for students over the four years they spend earning a college degree.

It also reads, The launch of this initiative, with its dramatic reduction of tuition by almost half, places Converse in the national spotlight as a bold leader in college quality, affordability, and value. The return on investment (a formula that factors in quality and success as well as cost) in a Converse degree improves with the tuition reset. And as our value is enhanced, so is Converse’s reputation.

“I hope this puts money I their pockets to have some fun on a regular basis and study travel. More money in their pockets when they graduate would mean they’re not overburdened by student loans,” said Fleming.

Converse officials said every returning Converse student in the full-time undergrad will see at least a 1000 dollar reduction in tuition costs. The old pricing system would have meant a 3.5 percent tuition increase each year.

Fleming told 7 On Your Side the school is able to distribute about 37 million in scholarship funds yearly.  Click here for more information.

Tuition Comparison

Regional Competitors' Tuition and Tuition with Room and Board

  • Anderson University $22,840--$31,240
  • Clemson University $13,382--$21,524
  • Coastal Carolina University $9,760--$17,720
  • College of Charleston $10,625--$20,481
  • Furman University $43,164--$54,448
  • North Greenville University $14,772--$23,426
  • Presbyterian College $33,650--$42,678
  • University of South Carolina $10,791--$19,700
  • USC Upstate $10,083--$17,507
  • Winthrop University $13,692--$21,314
  • Wofford College $35,515--$46,835
Converse College Tuition and Tuition with Room and Board $16,500 -- $26,000
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