BRISTOL – Roger Williams University has frozen tuition rates for the second year in a row, finding higher retention rates more than covered the revenue lost by not raising tuition last year, school officials announced Thursday.
On his blog and in prepared statements, university President Donald J. Farish explained that foregoing a tuition hike of 3 percent means not collecting about $1.5 million.
RWU tuition for the 2013-14 academic year is priced at $29,976.
“Too many American families do not have the resources necessary to pay for a high-quality educational experience for their children,” said Farish in a statement. “At Roger Williams, we will continue to do all in our power to increase educational quality while reducing the costs borne by students and families.”
This year, the freshman-to-sophomore retention rate at RWU reached 84 percent, the highest in the school’s history and 6 percentage points higher than last year’s retention rate of 78 percent.
The $1.8 million in added revenue gained from the jump in retention actually exceeded what revenue the university would have generated through a 3 percent tuition increase, Farish said.
The latest tuition freeze for the 2014-15 academic year is part of the university’s Affordable Excellence Initiative, which aims to cope with rising college costs, increased debt and graduates’ job-readiness.
Farish has also pledged to continue the tuition freeze for as long as it is feasible for the university. For any year tuition is frozen, the university guarantees no year-to-year increase for the four years afterward that a student is continuously enrolled.