Why does a Central College education cost so much?

Whether you graduated 50 years ago or five, you paid less for your Central degree than students are paying now. That’s a fact. And you might be concerned by how much the current Dutch are shelling out for their educations.

We won’t lie. The price of a Central education is rising. And tuition is a lot higher than it used to be, even considering inflation. But the cost for Central College to educate a student is increasing faster than tuition.

Central College works hard to keep tuition down. Through fundraising and endowment support, all students receive an inherent subsidy—even those paying full price don’t cover all the costs of their education.

Sure, there might be some sticker shock when you hear that tuition, room and board at Central College is now $40,680. But remember that more than 99 percent of students receive financial assistance. The average student receives more than $25,000 off the sticker price, including scholarships, work study, student loans and federal and state grants.

Not only are we in line with our competitors—and everyone knows you can’t put a price tag on Dutch pride—but we recently announced the smallest price rate increase in more than 40 years: just 3.95 percent higher than the current school year. That’s well under the national average of 7.5 percent over the past 35 years.

“Central College is keenly aware of the need to create opportunity and affordability for students, without sacrificing quality,” said Mark Putnam, president. “Our campus and board leaders have renewed our commitment to ensuring that many students can benefit from these unique educational experiences. As a campus community, we have rallied together to place every resource at our disposal to its highest and best use.”

Despite the higher price tag, Central College is still a good investment. At Central, students receive faculty mentorships, the opportunity to study abroad, the chance to get involved with a myriad of clubs and organizations and people who support them and push them. Students don’t have to choose a major right away—and recent studies find that changing your major can add a year of school and $1,000 of debt to your bill. Central is transforming our students—just as it did you.

The next time you doubt Central’s commitment to affordability or the worth of a college degree, the next time you consider recommending Central College to a friend but then hesitate because of price, consider what students get from their investment:

  •  96% of grads are employed in a field of their choice, enrolled in graduate school or completing long-term service within a year of graduation
  • 96% of students who graduate do so in four years or less
  • 76% of students complete at least one internship
  • 50% study abroad
  • 40% participate in athletics


How can I help make Central more affordable?

Consider donating to the Journey Scholarship Fund, which is devoted exclusively to student scholarships. Many who receive a Journey Scholarship couldn’t afford a Central education otherwise. Visit www.central.edu/alumni to learn more about giving.

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