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By Rebecca Keister
PBN Staff Writer
BRISTOL – Roger Williams University has launched its Affordable Excellence initiative, which will include a tuition freeze for all undergraduate students for the 2013-2014 academic year, as part of an effort to confront the increasing tuition costs and high debt associated with attending college.
University President Donald J. Farish outlined the initiative during his annual state of the university address on Wednesday.
“Ten years ago, it was inconceivable that our political leaders, national media outlets, and students and families across the country would question the worth of a college degree,” Farish said in a statement. “But America has stated very clearly that it requires higher education to be both more effective and more affordable.”
The initiative also is focused on addressing the job readiness of graduates. The plan calls for ensuring that all graduates emerge with at least example of experiential, project-based learning.
With the tuition freeze, all currently enrolled students as well as those who enter RWU in the 2013-2014 year will pay the same tuition rate they pay now for four years. That is for continuously enrolled students.
Farish also will initiative a dialogue within the Roger Williams community and the broader public realm on access to and affordability of college and how schools can help to prepare students for sustainable post-graduation careers.
The initiative follows the university’s decision earlier this year to make standardized test results an admission option.
“Roger Williams cannot single-handedly rectify the challenges facing the entire higher education enterprise,” Farish said. “But we can do the right thing by our own students and their families by controlling our costs, limiting debt and ensuring that our graduates have the skills necessary not only to obtain a well-paying job in a bleak economy, but to lead a successful and fulfilling life.”