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Tuition Reset

Frequently Asked Questions

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. Here’s more information about what that means, and how it will affect our students and families.

What is Carthage doing?
Carthage is “resetting” its tuition for the 2020-21 academic year to better reflect the amount most students pay after receiving financial aid. Tuition for full-time undergraduate students in 2020-21 will be $31,500 (compared to the current $45,100). In addition, the price for room and board will not increase for the 2020-21 academic year.

Why is Carthage resetting its tuition?
We want to be more transparent about what it costs to attend Carthage. Most families make decisions about colleges based on the advertised tuition without considering the financial aid they will likely receive, leading them to believe many colleges like Carthage are out of reach financially. We want families to know Carthage can be a great fit for their student, both academically and financially.

When will this new tuition be implemented?
It is effective beginning in fall 2020, for both new and returning full-time undergraduate students.

What will happen to the cost of room and board in 2020-21? 
We are pleased to share that there will be no increase in room and board for the 2020-21 academic year!

Why is it called a tuition “reset?”
Carthage is “resetting” or moving the published tuition closer to what families have actually paid in the past for tuition after receiving financial aid.

Why is Carthage doing this now?
Carthage is flourishing. We welcomed our largest incoming class in college history last year. This fall, we launched The Aspire Program™, a comprehensive career development program for all students, fueled by a $15 million gift. In recent years, Carthage has invested more than $250 million in new facilities, including a new science center and a new residence hall. We continue to add innovative academic programs, and next year, we will add three new sports to our varsity lineup: men’s wrestling, women’s wrestling, and women’s bowling. Resetting tuition to $31,500 brings transparency to our pricing, and encourages more students to consider the excellent education Carthage offers. We want to be sure that students who can excel at Carthage don’t write us off because of sticker price.

Will the tuition reduction also apply to graduate programs?
No. This tuition reset only applies to undergraduate students in our traditional program.

How will the reset affect the amount returning students have to pay?
For returning students, financial aid packages will be adjusted in line with the new tuition. Returning students and their families can expect to pay the same net tuition price as they would have paid without the tuition reset —  what they’re paying this year, plus an annual increase for inflation. The price for room and board will not increase for the 2020-21 academic year.

Will new students pay less than returning students? 
As a whole, no. Every individual student’s total cost is different, as it depends on a number of factors including family income, wealth, academic profile, and scholarships and grants. Financial aid packages for new students will be aligned with our new lower tuition. 

Will every student now pay $31,500?
No. Carthage will continue to offer generous scholarships and other financial aid, so your price to attend Carthage may be even lower. An individual student’s total cost depends on a number of factors, including family income, wealth, academic profile, and scholarships and grants. For more information on the many scholarship and financial aid opportunities available for Carthage students, visit www.carthage.edu/scholarships or contact your Admissions Representative.

Will other fees go up?
Unlike some other colleges, Carthage does not have any mandatory fees. We have a set tuition and, for residential students, a set starting residence fee. The residence fee depends on a student’s residence hall selection. Additional costs may include a parking permit for students with vehicles. The residence fee (often called “room and board”) will not increase for the 2020-21 academic year.

What is my total cost going to be?
A student’s total cost is set individually, and depends on a number of factors, including their academic profile, family income, wealth, and their competition in a number of scholarship programs. For more information on the many scholarship and financial aid opportunities available for Carthage students, visit www.carthage.edu/scholarships or contact your Admissions Representative.

Will Carthage still offer financial aid?
Yes! Carthage will continue to award generous merit and need-based financial aid. For more information on the many scholarship and financial aid opportunities available for Carthage students, visit www.carthage.edu/scholarships or contact your Admissions Representative.

What other steps has Carthage taken to make college affordable?
We appreciate how challenging it is for students and their families to pay for college, and we continue to increase the financial aid available to students each year. Carthage awarded $70 million in grants and scholarships in fiscal year 2018, with well over 90 percent of undergraduates receiving a Carthage grant. In addition, the price for room and board will not be increased for the upcoming year.

Do current students and families need to do anything now? 
No. The new tuition takes effect in Fall 2020, and we will adjust all financial aid packages to be in line with the new tuition. Beginning Oct. 1, 2019, you should file your FAFSA as usual. You will receive your award package, which will include the new tuition and adjusted financial aid, this spring.

How can I get more information about the tuition reset, and what it means for me?
Prospective students can contact our Office of Admissions. Our admissions representatives serve as financial aid counselors for new families, walking them through the financial aid process step-by-step. Reach out to your Admissions Representative, send an email to admissions@carthage.edu or call 262-551-6000. 

Current students and families can reach out to our Office of Student Financial Planning, finaid@carthage.edu or 262-551-6001. Current students can also talk with staff in our Office of Admissions.

Carthage financial aid counselors will be available for student questions during lunch and dinner hours at the Carthage cafeteria Tuesday, Sept. 17, and Wednesday, Sept. 18.