Excellence Within Reach

October 4, 2017

In today’s competitive economy, nothing is more important than getting a college education.  But as the price tag for a degree increases at a breakneck pace, the cost is taking a toll on too many qualified students who perceive higher education to be financially out of their reach.  
While colleges nationwide struggle to fix a broken tuition model, Canisius is taking a leadership role on the issue of affordability. Through a new initiative called Excellence Within Reach, Canisius will lower its current tuition of $34,966 to $27,000 for all full-time undergraduate students beginning in fall 2018 – a reduction of 23 percent.  This is before any additional financial aid or scholarships are applied. This decrease will set the published tuition rate back to what it was a decade ago.  In addition, Canisius is lowering residence hall rates by $2,000.  
“A lot of people think that higher education leaders are turning a deaf ear to parent and student concerns about the costs,” said Canisius President John J. Hurley in announcing the new initiative to the campus community on Monday, October 2.  “But we’ve listened very carefully.  We need to take a big step forward and make Canisius accessible and affordable to a greater number of students.  And we’re doing that.” 
Hurley explained that the current tuition model followed by most private institutions publishes inflated tuition prices only to substantially discount that price with equally inflated grants and scholarships.  It’s a model that has proved confusing for students and creates a roadblock for many who assume that a private education is out of reach based solely on its sticker price.  National research supports this, indicating that 55 percent of families do not even consider a private college due to perceptions of high cost.  
“Students and their families are understandably anxious, frustrated and confused with high rates of tuition and high discounts, and not knowing what they’ll pay,” added Canisius Vice President for Enrollment Management Kathleen B. Davis.  “Before taking these steps, the cost of a transformational Canisius education was very reasonable and competitive with SUNY when you factored in our financial assistance and scholarships.  Now it will be even more affordable,” Davis continued.
Lower tuition means that students who qualify for state and federal awards, such as Pell and TAP will see those dollars go further, reducing a larger percentage of their out-of-pocket costs.  Lower tuition also means that returning students will save in future years because annual increases, which typically range from 2 to 4 percent, will be set from a lower base price.  
“Reducing tuition puts the value of a private college education at a Jesuit school within reach for many more students,” said Amelia Greenan ’18, president of the Undergraduate Student Association.  “This is an extremely positive action that will allow us to welcome more Griffs to Canisius.” 
The tuition reset, coupled with the reduction in the college’s residence hall rates, makes Canisius one of the most affordable four-year private institutions in the Northeast.  
Freshman Anna Gullo was elated to hear about the reduction in tuition. “I come from a really big family - I’m the oldest of five – so my parents can’t afford to send us all to college.  Any reduction in tuition is really exciting to me.”
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to stay here after this year,” said Emily Howell ’19.  But now, with Excellence Within Reach, Emily said she can finish her education at Canisius. 
Patrick Sullivan ’20 adds, “Knowing that it’s possible now, that I can stop working all the time to pay for college and that my education is now within reach – it means everything to me.” 
As a result of the Excellence Within Reach initiative, returning students will not experience the standard increases in tuition and residence hall rates anticipated in 2018-19, which could amount to more than $1,200 in out-of-pocket costs.  Instead, under the tuition reset, they will see an adjustment to their institutional aid and all returning students will see some level of savings based on individual financial aid packages. 
 “We offer an outstanding education at Canisius that is grounded in the liberal arts – and provides students with the opportunity to go in lots of different directions,” concluded President Hurley.  “Through Excellence Within Reach, we’re making what is already an outstanding value – an even greater one.”  
Canisius is proud to be the first school in Western New York and the first among the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. to make this important commitment to students.  
To learn more about Excellence Within Reach, visit canisius.edu/withinreach.