By Greg Bird
University of the Cumberlands President, Dr. Larry L. Cockrum, made a significant announcement Tuesday, declaring the educational institution will reduce tuition by 57 percent beginning the next academic year.
The change could greatly impact local students seeking higher education as many McCreary Central graduates attend the University located in Williamsburg.
“We are making this change because we are committed to putting our students and families first by addressing the most significant hurdle to a college education, affordability,” Dr. Cockrum stated. “We want all students to know that with Cumberlands there is a clear and affordable path to a college degree.”
“The Cumberlands Commitment,” is a new initiative as part of the university’s “mission to serve students and families throughout the Appalachian Region.”
According to the announcement 82 percent of students at the university come from Appalachia.
Details of the Cumberlands Commitment include reducing the cost for the 2019-2020 academic year to $9,875 from $23,000. The annual total cost would drop from $32,000 to $19,175. UofC will also maintain a scholarship system for academic, athletic and extracurricular awards.
Dr. Cockrum stated the average incoming Kentucky student is expected to save more than $12,000 over their college career. The plan will impact all on-campus undergraduate students.
“The Cumberlands Commitment we’re making today means that out of pocket costs will not increase for any of our students,” he said. “We will continue to work each and every day to make tuition affordable to anyone who has dreams of higher education and greater opportunity.”
Dr. Cockrum assured students that while tuition cuts are being made, there would be no reduction in programs or services offered, and no cuts to faculty or staff.
The press release states the tuition cuts mean Cumberlands will offer the lowest tuition of any private university in the state, and rates will be comparable to every public four-year institution in Kentucky.
“The university has done all the right things in recent years to make the student experience the best that it can be,” said Dr. Jerry Jackson, Vice-President for Enrollment. “We experienced growth this fall beyond our projections in undergraduate enrollment, and we have grown in that regard for the last five years. With a transparent pricing model that reduces tuition costs, we expect even more students to find Cumberlands the perfect fit for them.
University of the Cumberlands, located in Williamsburg, began the fall term with 1,366 students on campus. Kentucky students make up 53 percent of the student body.
More information can be found at www.ucumberlands.edu.