ACU recently adopted a new tuition plan. The plan will allow students to take anywhere from 24-36 hours per year for one standard price, however many hours they take. It is to be implemented fall 2012.
Although new to ACU, block tuition has been utilized by many of ACU’s competitors such as: University of Texas at Austin; Texas Christian University; Southern Methodist University; Pepperdine and Lipscomb.
Block tuition is a smart move by the university. Not only does it move us a step closer to where our competitors stand, it will help students in several ways.
Block tuition was designed to reduce the cost of a degree at ACU. It promotes taking more than 12 hours a semester and discourages just coasting through college. How does it do this? With the current tuition rate, most students may not be able to pay for 18 hours each semester; the price of each credit hour is much too high. The block tuition plan will help immensely in this area. It will allow students to take up to 18 hours per semester and pay the same price as they would if they were taking 15 hours.
For the student who just cannot handle 18 hours a semester, the plan will also extend into summer. This means that a student can take 15 hours each semester and take another six over the summer, all covered by the umbrella fee. Any summer tuition, whether for classes online or in Oxford on Study Abroad, will be covered by the block plan.
Block tuition is for the student who does not want to spend more than four years in college and does not want to spend the money it costs to attend for that time. The plan has created a way for students to graduate on time while saving a decent amount of money. Some students are unable to afford ACU, especially as tuition has continued to increase. Some students must take as few hours possible in order to cover their education in full. Other students take semesters off in order to work to pay their next tuition bill. Perhaps the new tuition block will be more affordable for these students and will help them graduate on time.
While the pros of block tuition greatly outweigh the cons, there are a few miniscule concerns that can be easily solved. Once students reach upper level classes, the workload increases in size and difficulty. How can a student maximize the tuition block by taking 18 hours of upper level courses and survive the semester? Summer courses play a huge role in this area. Rather than stressing oneself over taking 18 hours in one semester, breaking it up into three time frames (fall, spring, summer) will be extremely helpful.
Student fees, which are currently described in detail, may disappear into the new plan. Because students and parents want to know exactly what they are being charged for, it would be wise for the administration to continue to map out fees. People want to be certain that they are not being overcharged for things like Academic Enrichment fees or Health and Safety fees.
Block tuition is intended to help students enrich their time at ACU, and despite a few concerns, it will achieve that objective.