The University of Memphis sent an email to the campus community revealing details of new plans to make the university more affordable for incoming students.

“Among the core values of the University of Memphis are student success and access, along with diversity and inclusion,” said UofM President M. David Rudd in the email. “The University of Memphis’ commitment has always been, and always continue to be, one of the delivering high-quality educational programs to all of our students at the lowest possible cost.”

In his email, Rudd listed three new plans that is all part of their Memphis Access Initiative. The first one is called the Guaranteed Tuition plan, which assures first-time incoming freshman to enroll for eight consecutive semesters as long as they take at least 12 hours per semester. The second is the Tuition Cap, which will let resident undergraduates only pay for 12 credit hours and additional hours be free and also allow resident graduates to only pay for 10 hours and additional hours to be free as well. The last one is the Uniform Tuition Rates, which will give on-campus and online classes the same tuition rate. 

Rudd said 86 percent of last years’ first-time freshmen students come from households with an income of $50,000 or less had their tuition and fees fully covered by Pell grants, Hope scholarships and institutional aid. He also said it was the intent to expand positive progression over the coming years and the hope to be able to cover all tuitions and fees for the qualifying students by Fall 2021.  

The University of Memphis has an in-state tuition cost of $7,680, which is among some of the lowest costing public colleges in the state of Tennessee according to the United States Department of Education’s 2017-18 IPEDS Survey. Memphis also has the lowest tuition increase out of the major colleges in Tennessee.

Sophomore Erika Goyer said she thinks this could have a positive effect on many students who in most normal cases would not go to college at all. For her, she almost did not go to college after high school because of the cost.

“This could change a lot of minds and potentially a lot of futures,” Goyer said. “Many high school seniors on the edge of whether they’ll attend college will most likely attend at this point, which is great because it gives them more options on what they want to do with their lives.”

Pablo Navarro, a freshman, ssaid the new plans on top of the many scholarship and grant options make Memphis a great place to go to school because it does make a legitimate effort to make it as affordable as they can be. 

“For incoming freshmen to have all the options they have now is great,” Navarro said. “Granted, I wish I had some of the same options when I was coming in, because it would have helped a lot. But in the future, I am sure better plans will be introduced which is great for students that want an affordable education. It’s nice to know that our school isn’t all about the money.”

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