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Concordia University Cuts Tuition By 1/3

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(credit: CBS) Holly Wagner
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – At a time when many universities and colleges continue to raise tuition, a private Christian college in St. Paul — Concordia University — will cut its tuition by a third next year for undergraduates.

That’s $10,000 a year.

“Hearing a decrease by $10,000, I was shocked because I know tuition is going up every place else,” says Andrea Timm, a freshman at Concordia University.

The tuition will drop next fall from $29,700 to $19,700 for undergraduate students.

Timm is an elementary education major and is using loans, grants and scholarships to pay for school.

“Just going over everything financially, it is really stressful,” she said. “Being a teacher, you are not going to make tons of money, so this is going to help me for sure.”

She isn’t sure what these savings will mean for her as Concordia will also reduce its financial aid contributions to students.

So while tuition will be cheaper, the money available from the school will be less and will vary from student to student.

“Every student will be paying less next year, that’s a guarantee by the institution,” said Vice President Eric LaMott.

LaMott says the savings will likely range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. The idea to lower rates came up during the recession.

He said the goals are to make the school more competitive with state schools, increase enrollment, and make the cost more reasonable.

“Our mission is to serve more of a middle income, lower income family,” he said. “And at that high sticker price, no one even considers the institution.”

For Timm, she has three more years of school to pay for.

“That’s what I’m most looking forward to, even if it’s a couple thousand and not even the $10,000,” Timm said. “That’s fine with me. Every penny counts.”

LaMott said they’re following the lead of several other private colleges across the country in lowering tuition.

The discounts, however, may not make these colleges more affordable than public schools.

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