As of fall 2010, Mercyhurst College students will be charged one flat rate for tuition each term as opposed to being billed per credit.
For the 2010-2011 academic year, students who register for eight to 12 credits a term will pay $8,216 plus general fees each term.
Students who register for less than eight credits will pay $822 for each credit.
Students who register for 13 or more credits a term will pay $822 for each credit over 12 in addition to the flat rate charge of $8,216.
These costs do not include course or laboratory fees.
Students paid an average of $7,887 for fall 2009 tuition charges. The flat rate charge of $8,216 is a 4.2 percent increase per term, a result of Mercyhurst’s annual tuition increase.
A major reason for the change in billing comes from the lack of predictability in a per credit tuition charge.
According to Dr. Michael Lyden, vice president for Enrollment Management, the primary reason for the change is to “make costs of coming here more predictable.”
It is difficult for families to calculate each term’s bill when it changes every term due to students taking different amounts of credits and dropping and adding classes, Lyden said.
The flat rate tuition will allow students and parents to answer the question, “What is it going to cost me to come here?” Lyden said.
Another reason for the change in tuition is issues with billing.
“When you have so many different students paying different costs each term, it invites errors on bills,” Lyden said.
He said he hopes the flat rate tuition will reduce the number of complaints about billing issues.
The flat rate billing is meant to make paying tuition easier for students and families. The ability to pay tuition online is one way to simplify things.
“We’re going to look back on this and say I can’t believe we used to do it the other way,” Lyden said.
Lyden said he believes students will benefit from flat rate tuition because they will now be able to take non-major classes that will make them more competitive in the job field without it costing more money.
Students agree that the tuition change will be beneficial.
“I think it would help people whose financial aid might not help them get where they’re going as fast as they would like,” senior Connor Corcoran said.
Sophomore Kaitlin Badger said, “I feel good about it because I’m a double major and it would not cost as much.”
This new billing system will not affect all students on campus.
Only traditional undergraduate students at Mercyhurst main campus will pay the flat rate tuition fee each term.
Adult undergraduate students, post-baccalaureate students, graduate students and students at the Corry, North East and West campuses will be charged per credit.
Adult undergraduate students will not be affected by this because there are “too many part-timers,” Lyden said. “They wouldn’t really get the benefits from it.”
For more information about the flat rate tuition charge visit mercyhurst.edu/financial-aid/flat-rate-tuition-charge/.