Building on generous financial assistance program, Carthage moves to further demystify cost of college

9/20/2019, noon | Updated on 9/20/2019, noon


Building on generous financial assistance program, Carthage moves to further demystify cost of college

To give students and their families a clearer picture of the actual cost of attendance, Carthage College will lower tuition by 30 percent for the 2020-21 academic year.

President John Swallow announced recently that Carthage will reduce tuition to $31,500 (from the current $45,100) to better reflect the amount most students pay after receiving financial aid. The change, approved by the board of trustees, will apply to all new and returning undergraduate students.

Carthage, which welcomed its largest incoming class in its history last year, is among the first institutions in Wisconsin to lower tuition, and the first in the state to implement such a significant tuition reset.

“Understanding the true cost of college has become unnecessarily complicated,” said President Swallow. “Too often families rule out Carthage based solely on the advertised tuition rate, not realizing that our generous financial assistance makes the College as great a fit financially for their student as it is academically.”

Nearly 100 percent of Carthage students receive financial assistance. Last year, Carthage awarded $20 million in scholarships and grants to first-year students, and the average student paid a net tuition price of $15,800. A student’s total cost is set individually and depends on a number of factors, including their academic profile, family income, and competition in Carthage’s numerous scholarship programs.

“We hope this tuition reset cuts through the confusion to offer some much-needed transparency for families as they consider Carthage,” President Swallow said.

A 2018 survey conducted by student loan company Sallie Mae, “How Americans Value College,” illustrates how difficult it has become for families to assess the true cost of a particular college. The survey revealed that 65 percent of students eliminate colleges from their search process based on the published price, without conducting further research into the availability of financial aid.

Carthage will continue to offer significant need-based and merit-based financial aid to students, said Nick Mulvey, vice president for enrollment.

“In the past 10 years, Carthage has been able to provide more and more financial aid to our families, in addition to new academic and co-curricular programs,” Mulvey said. “Each year, we’ve made a stronger commitment to affordability, and to making a Carthage education

accessible for more students from all backgrounds. The average amount students pay for tuition today, after scholarships and grants are applied, is the same as the average they paid a decade ago.”

Financial aid packages for 2020-21 will be adjusted in line with the new tuition, and families of current students will pay the same net tuition price as they would have paid without the tuition reset. In addition, the price for room and board will not increase for the upcoming year.

Additional information about the tuition reset can be found at www.carthage.edu/reset.

Carthage College enrolls approximately 2,600 full-time undergraduate students and has an average class size of 17. Named a “Best Midwestern College” by the Princeton Review, Carthage has been a top producer in the nation of Fulbright U.S. Students for four years running. New this year, the College is launching The Aspire ProgramTM, a comprehensive four-year career development program for all students. Funded with a $15 million gift from benefactor Jan Tarble, The Aspire Program builds on Carthage’s strong history of providing students with the skills they need to succeed after college. The new program blends existing and new resources to help students shape a career plan from their first days on campus.