New tuition structure keeps FPU a good investment

By wayne.steffen on November 15, 2013 @ 12:16am

"Quality and affordability can go hand-in-hand in higher education," said Jon Endicott, FPU vice president for enrollment management. "We at Fresno Pacific University recognize that university study is an investment, and we make it worthwhile by working to contain costs while increasing services and improving facilities."

Traditional undergraduate tuition for 2014-2015 will be $26,250, up 3.6 percent from the current $25,334. Room and board will rise 4.9 percent to $7,360. Bachelor's degree completion tuition will rise $10-15 per unit, depending on the program. Graduate tuition for the MBA and MSN programs will remain the same for 2014-2015, while other programs go up $15 per unit. Seminary tuition programs will increase $10 per unit. The new rates take effect in August 2014.

Keeping costs down Careful planning continues to keep FPU's undergraduate tuition at less than the national average of $29,000 in 2012-2013 (the latest figures available), according to the College Board. Fresno Pacific has limited increases to just over 2 percent over the last five years—including freezing the rate for 2010-2011—while average annual raises have been 3.5-4 percent. The 3.6 percent rise for 2014-2015 is expected to be in line with national averages.

"Private, nonprofit colleges and universities have been and will continue to be positive investments that pay big dividends," said David L. Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. "Nearly eight-in-ten students who earned a bachelor's degree from a four-year private institution did so in four years, graduating with manageable debt and prepared to succeed and contribute to the workforce and society." More at naicu.edu/news_room/page/private-college-tuition-increases-at-lowest-rate-in-four-decades

FPU's four-year graduation rate is the highest in California's Central Valley, and in 2009 the university introduced a four-year graduation guarantee. More than 97 percent of traditional undergraduates receive state and federal financial aid, and Fresno Pacific offers almost $14 million in institutional grants and scholarships. "This means FPU students have access to over $26 million in aid," Endicott said. Academic scholarships, for example, range from $5,000-11,000 per year, and awards are also available for music, drama and athletics.

Improving programs and facilities New degree programs and improved facilities greeted students this fall. Classes for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) began at FPU's North Fresno Center. The 51-unit, five-semester program prepares students for licensure as nurse practitioners and nursing educators. The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with a preliminary multiple or single subject credential is open to students enrolled in the FPU teacher credential program, or who have completed their credential at FPU in the last five years and are teaching full time.

Over the summer FPU renovated 20 homes occupied by juniors and seniors at a cost of $500,000. Improvements included interior and exterior painting, stucco and roof repair, new carpet and linoleum, remodeled bathrooms, new cabinets and kitchen appliances and extra closet space.

Another project unveiled in 2013 was the Fitness Center, located in the former weight room and racquetball court areas of the Special Events Center on the main campus. The 3,200-square-foot space includes equipment for cardio, strength and body-weight exercise as well as open floor spaces and music/TV entertainment.

"We have the programs, faculty and facilities students need to succeed, and students have a commitment from us that we will do all we can to continue being an affordable option in independent higher education," Endicott said.