Utica College Lowers Tuition

Utica College

UTICA-- Utica College made national headlines Tuesday when it announced it would be reducing the cost of undergraduate tuition and fees by 42 percent to fall below $20,000.

The new rate will take effect starting the fall 2016 semester for all new and returning students in the on-campus undergraduate program. If enrolment numbers stay as they are for the 2015-16 school year, approximately 2,200 students will be affected. The price of tuition and fees will be $19,996, coming down from the originally set $34,466. When the average room and board of $10,434 is added in, the approximate total cost of attendance will be $30,430 per year. Room and board costs will be $10,434, down 14 percent from $12,134.

Students appeared to have a little extra pep in their step Tuesday after the new was announced. For one student in particular, this comes just in the nick of time.

"Financially it was tough," said Jerry Bolivar, a junior football player at Utica college. Originally from Long Island, Bolivar relocated to the Mohawk Valley to play the game he loves. "After my freshman year my parents were not sure I could afford continuing to go here," said Bolivar.

Athletes don't receive scholarships to play at Utica. However Bolivar was determined to stay here. "Unfortunately I had to move off campus, with that I had to get two jobs," said Bolivar.

Tuesday's announcement by College President Todd Hutton that tuition would be reduced was music to Bolivar's ears. "I honestly started to tear up," said Bolivar. "I had to call my mom immediately to tell her the big news that I don't have to work two jobs anymore; I don't have to worry about working at Dunkin Donuts at 9:30 at night."

Bolivar's reaction warms Hutton's heart. "It's hitting the right cord," said Hutton. "People understand that colleges must do something. Not every school can do a (tuition) reset. It won't always work. Buteach of us needs to find a different pathway to be more affordable"

The college is pulling off by investing 2 million dollars from other budget lines to cover the loss of tuition income in 2016. President Hutton said by the following year (2017) everything will even itself out. Some students still have questions about the whole thing.

"With the decrease in tuition, the amount I am getting from institutional grants has been cut too so I have to see what that is doing my parents contribution," said Anthony Rydell, a freshmen at the school. "But on the surface it's really nice." The college says it plans to hold several Q & A sessions in the near future to explain everything. "Everything is really great right now," said Bolivar. "All my hard work has paid off."

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