Block tuition system under consideration at the University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming is currently considering switching from their current tuition system to a block tuition style in the fall of 2018.
This switch will allow full-time students to take more than the required 12 credit hours needed for full-time status without having to pay for any extra credit hours after paying for 12 credit hours.
As of right now, students pay per credit hour,and students who take the minimum 12 credits pay less than students taking 15. An in-state student taking 15 credits will pay roughly $1,600 a semester in tuition and fees before room, board, and textbooks, according to UW’s website.
Rose Martinelli of Huron Consulting Group proposed the new tuition system at the January Board of Trustees meeting.
“We would also like to make a further recommendation that is somewhat beyond our study, but also provides enormous benefits to families and to the institution and also optimizes student progression,” Martinelli said. “And that is setting undergraduate block tuition.”
The issue that comes to the surface with the current tuition system is that there is no specific incentive for students to take more than 12 credit hours. This is slowing down graduation rates because students aren’t paying extra for a heavier workload.
“In order for a student to graduate in four years, he or she must take at least 15 credit hours per semester,” said Chad Baldwin, Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing at UW. “This new system would be a way to encourage students to take extra credits to reduce the time to graduation.”
A cheaper tuition system has the possibility of raising enrollment numbers, but that is not the expected goal with the proposed switch. Baldwin said the intended goal is to simply help students graduate more quickly.
“In the end that actually doesn’t help enrollment, if you move students through more quickly, the enrollment numbers aren’t going to hold up as high over time,” Baldwin said. “We want to do what is right for student’s period, even if that causes some financial impact or doesn’t help our enrollment.”
Baldwin said the issue will be further discussed in the third week of March at the Board of Trustees meeting.
The mystery around this switch is the fact that all seven community colleges in Wyoming are abandoning block tuition and going back to the per credit hour system. Laramie County Community College will be making this switch as well.
“We have good, strong articulation agreements with the different programs at LCCC, I think the ease of transfer has been increased over the years,” Baldwin said. “I don’t think this will be problematic in the relationship between LCCC and the University.”


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