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Navigating a pandemic is new territory for everyone, Taylor included. But in the midst of uncertainty, Taylor is holding steady.
We are holding steady in our commitment to Christian academic discipleship and in our mission to equip student leaders marked with a passion to minister Christ’s redemptive love and truth to a world in need.
Holding steady is an active process—adjustments to business as usual are necessary to stay the course. In recent years, tuition has increased by less than 5% annually. But for the first time in Taylor’s recent history, tuition will stay the same for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. Room, board, and fees will increase by a total of 3.5%, or $395, for students on the full meal plan and participating in J-term and both Fall and Spring semesters.
“This is the right thing to do for our students and for our families,” said Interim President Paige Comstock Cunningham. “More than ever before, it’s absolutely critical that holding steady to our mission had to look different this year.”
The move to freeze tuition for the 2021-2022 school year was approved by the Senior Leadership Team and the Board of Trustees after a thorough review of tuition pricing options, taking into consideration University budget requirements.
Holding steady also means we are maintaining the strength of our academic programs. At Taylor, students learn more than just how to hold a specific career; our liberal arts education lays a strong spiritual foundation for them by integrating our shared faith and values into every class, preparing them to shape our fast-changing world—as well as to live and work in it.
With 98% of graduates employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation, it’s clear that this approach is valuable. Employers aren’t the only ones seeing it, either—Taylor has been rated in the Top 3 Midwest Colleges by US News and World Report for the last 24 years, and has received recognitions from Forbes, Princeton Review, and Open Doors.
With these outcomes, the fact the average Taylor graduate completes their degree in 3.8 years (rather than the national average of 5.1 years) becomes even more significant: they graduate with less debt and are able to begin their career earlier. 58% of Taylor’s 2019 graduates had an average debt of $26,009. For comparison, across the nation, 62% of private college graduates had an average debt of $28,950.
Holding steady carries over to our commitment to affordability, as well. Opportunities like merit-based scholarships and need-based aid are instrumental in this. In fact, 99% of incoming students receive financial aid, and last year, the Financial Aid Office awarded over $51 million across the student body (of which more than $32 million were Taylor resources).
“We are profoundly grateful to our donors who continue to invest in students through scholarships,” said Nathan W. Baker, Vice President for Enrollment Management. “These resources make it possible for our students to pursue their calling and minister Christ’s redemptive love and truth to a world in need.”
Taylor’s 89% retention rate shows students have confidence in the education they are receiving. Even when Taylor was forced to transition to virtual learning in Spring 2020, students continued to report high levels of satisfaction as they studied remotely. Professors modeled Christian virtues in Zoom-based classes, communicating their care and concern for students, helping them outside of class, and effectively integrating Biblical truth into the classroom content—just as they do every day when classes are in session on campus.
“It was inspiring to see how our creative faculty and staff rose to the occasion knowing our community is not defined by geography,” said Baker.
As they got a front-row seat to their adult children’s college education like never before, parents noticed the Taylor difference, too. In fact, according to a parent survey, 97% of them would support their student’s choice to attend Taylor again.
At the root of it all, Taylor is holding steady to its strong Christian foundation and model of academic discipleship. The University’s foundational documents affirm our commitment to a learning environment that is rooted in faith, where God’s truths are proclaimed in every major.
Every student is asked to share their story of how God is at work in their life when they apply for admission, and 100% of our faculty report a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ. This means discussions of faith and discipleship are integrated across campus, from the classroom to chapel to residence halls. For nearly 175 years, Taylor has stood by our commitment to this and challenged each generation of students to integrate faith with learning and to follow Christ’s calling.
“We pray that this tuition pricing “freeze” is a blessing to our students and families in the midst of this tumultuous year,” said Cunningham. “We remain committed to living life together in an unashamedly Christ-centered academic discipleship community.”