Answers for Current Students and Parents
On October 1, the Cedarville University Board of Trustees approved significant changes to Cedarville University's financial aid program as well as a transition to block pricing beginning in 2010-11. As is typical when colleges update their aid or pricing strategy, these changes will be phased in for new students beginning fall 2010. All existing merit and need-based programs that benefit our current students, including purchasing credits by the hour, will remain throughout this transition.
This new program continues to demonstrate the priority that Cedarville has placed on increasing its financial aid resources and making the Cedarville experience as affordable as possible. Nonetheless, you may have questions about the impact on your student. We've compiled a list of questions and answers to give you more information. Please don't hesitate to contact our office if we can assist you in any way.
How will the new financial aid program that starts next fall differ from the existing program for current students?
The new program is greatly simplified and is built around two primary awards: a merit scholarship (Academic Excellence Award) and a need-based grant (Cedarville Access Grant). The award amounts have also increased.
The new program continues to demonstrate the priority that Cedarville has placed on increasing its financial aid resources and making the Cedarville experience as affordable as possible. As demonstrated in the following chart, our financial investment has increased by more than 100% in the past five years.
During this time period, each new class of students has benefitted from these incremental increases. The average institutional aid package for freshman students has increased (on average) 19% per year for the past three years.
Why were continuing students not included in these changes?
To increase financial aid awards for both current and new students, a significant price increase would be required, but would not be appropriate in these difficult economic times. In this model, the increased financial aid investment for new students will be covered through increased freshman enrollment rather than spreading that cost among all students.
What is block pricing?
Starting fall 2010, new full-time students will pay a set tuition price to take a block of 12-17 hours.
Note that current students will not be converted to block pricing and will continue to be billed by the hour. This provides the opportunity for many students to take fewer hours, especially as juniors and seniors, to reduce their costs.
Will current students benefit from the new financial aid and pricing strategy?
Although current students are not eligible for the new Academic Excellence Award and Cedarville Access Grant, all existing merit and need-based programs that benefit our current students will remain.
It should be noted that some existing programs that benefit current students will not be available for new students (e.g., legacy and ministry grants, departmental awards, leadership scholarships, etc.). Current students will continue to also benefit from the opportunity to increase the amount of their academic scholarship based on their Cedarville GPA. This advantage will not be available to new students.
Further, the University's commitment to the church matching grant has been reduced for new students. Current students continue to benefit from a $1,000 match. And donor-funded and endowed scholarships are targeted primarily toward current students as well.
Although the price increase for 2010-11 has not been set, we are anticipating a very limited adjustment, likely favoring current students.
What if I have a current student at Cedarville as well as a new student planning to come in 2010 (or later)?
Your new student would come in under the new financial aid and block pricing model, while your current student would continue with the existing aid programs as well as paying for credits by the hour.
The Legacy Grant (which has been available to students whose parent or sibling previously attended Cedarville or who have a sibling co-enrolled at Cedarville) is a unique situation. If you have a current student at Cedarville who is the first in your family to attend Cedarville (therefore not currently eligible for the Legacy Grant) and a sibling enrolls in 2010 (or later), then your continuing student WILL receive the Legacy Grant because of two students enrolled at the same time. Although the new student would not directly benefit from the Legacy Grant, their enrollment benefits the older sibling who can still participate in the program.
If a student were to take a semester off and return to Cedarville as a readmitted student, would that student be eligible for the new aid?
Financial aid awards are based on the student's original start term; just like their academic program requirements are based on the catalog in place when the student enrolled for the first time at Cedarville.