Subject: Update on Initiatives Underway at Morehead State University
Morehead State University has a long tradition of providing high quality academic programs while maintaining the lowest possible tuition rates. We are committed to continuing this tradition of academic excellence and affordable tuition rates. To help keep the costs of higher education as low as possible for the benefit of our students and their families, we are implementing some exciting new initiatives starting with the 2010 fall semester:
- Incoming freshmen will be enrolled under a revised General Education framework developed by our faculty to ensure that students can complete requirements for most baccalaureate degree programs with 120 student credit hours. This change will not only reduce time-to-degree but also overall costs of the degree.
- An online eAdvising system that will provide students with quality academic advising and the ability to develop a four-year course plan. This will help ensure that students have access to the classes they need each term in order to graduate on time.
- A textbook rental program for selected courses that will help reduce the total cost of attendance.
In addition, MSU’s scholarship program remains one of the most generous in the state with over 12 percent of our educational and general budget allocated to student financial aid. In fact, in the fall 2009 semester, the average full-time undergraduate student paid only $85 of the $3,343 average tuition billed after scholarships, grants and waivers were applied. Finally, we continue to implement numerous cost-saving strategies to offset cuts in state appropriations and cover rising operating costs that help minimize our need to increase tuition.
An initiative that will impact students in your school system is the decision to revise our tuition policy related to high school students enrolling at MSU while still in high school. In 2000, the University adopted a policy that enabled high school students to enroll in “empty seats” available in existing MSU course sections and have their tuition fully waived. We have been extremely pleased that the demand for this benefit has grown substantially each year. However, with that growth we were soon unable to accommodate the demand using only “empty seats” in existing course sections and, therefore, limited the benefit the past two years to six credit hours and to seniors only.
In response to your concerns regarding these limitations, I am pleased to announce that beginning this fall we are expanding access to the high school program to include both high school juniors and seniors who qualify academically without limiting the number of credit hours attempted. To fund this change, high school students who enroll in courses taught by MSU faculty at the main campus in Morehead, one of our regional campuses or online during the fall or spring semester will be assessed tuition at 40 percent of the current undergraduate rate for their courses. Students who enroll in courses instructed by teachers in your school system will continue to receive a full waiver for the total cost of tuition since MSU does not incur any costs for the instructional delivery of these courses. We will gladly work with you to identify courses and qualified instructors to offer these in-school courses. High school students will continue to be exempt from completing an MSU enrollment application and paying an application fee to register for these courses regardless of the source of instruction.
The decision to change the tuition policy for high school students was made to provide MSU a way to fund the additional course sections necessary to meet the growing demand from regional high school students who want to get a head start on earning a university degree. It also is designed to provide academically qualified high school students the opportunity to earn high-quality, university-level course credit at a substantial 60 percent discount during their junior and senior years. It is our plan to continue efforts to expand and enhance the opportunities provided to high school students including the development of a need-based scholarship program to assist students that you identify as quality candidates for such a program but are financially unable to participate. We plan to consult with many of you working in the schools to help us determine how to manage such a program.
Additional information on the high school program will be made available in print and on MSU’s Web site at www2.moreheadstate.edu. I hope you will share this information with students in your school system that you believe are academically prepared to get a jumpstart on earning an undergraduate degree at less than half price while still enrolled in high school.
Should you desire to have an MSU representative visit your schools and discuss the revised high school program, please let us know so we can arrange that opportunity. We are in the process of searching for a date that will fit the various school calendars to host you on our campus again this year. These sessions provide a wonderful opportunity to share information and get your feedback on how we can partner to better meet the needs of the students from our service region. Please watch your mail for more information on that event.
Wayne D. Andrews
Morehead State University
202 Howell-McDowell Ad. Bldg.
Morehead, KY 40351-1689