Wilberforce University in Ohio announced last week that it will reduce tuition by 15 percent for incoming in-state students.
The oldest private HBCU in the country is lowering tuition from $12,020 to $10,217 for the 2021-2022 academic year.
The tuition cut is part of the university’s “You Matter, We Care, You Belong at Wilberforce University!” campaign to boost enrollment. Wilberforce saw a marked decrease in student enrollment during the 2019-2020 academic year, falling still further with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students beginning graduate degrees and those entering CLIMB, the university’s accelerated adult degree program, will also receive reduced tuition rates.
“This is quality, affordable education,” Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, James Burrell, said.
This is not the first time students have benefitted from Wilberforce’s generosity. Last month, the university erased $375,000 in student loan debt for the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021.
The student loan forgiveness was made possible through financial support from the United Negro College Fund, Jack and Jill, and emergency relief funding through the Cares Act.
When President Elfred Anthony Pinkard made the announcement at the end of the commencement ceremony last month, students thought it was too good to be true.
“I couldn’t believe it when he said it. I can use that money and invest it into my future,” 2021 alumnus Rodman Allen said.
Other Tuition Cuts
Wilberforce is the most recent in a growing list of universities slashing tuition to bolster student enrollment.
Earlier this month, South Carolina HBCU, Clinton College, announced it will reduce tuition by 50 percent this fall to support families negatively impacted by the pandemic. Incoming students will also receive a brand new tablet.
Others such as the University of Illinois and National University have announced up to 25 percent tuition discounts for undergraduates while Lafayette, Spelman, and Princeton instituted a 10 tuition reduction for spring 2021.