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Ouachita offers financial plan to maintain costs over 8 semesters

ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (BP)–Ouachita Baptist University is offering a financial plan aimed at eliminating student concern over annual cost increases in tuition, fees, room and board.

Under the Baptist-related university’s “guaranteed fixed cost plan,” all incoming students, including freshmen and transfers beginning this fall, will pay $7,050 per semester for tuition, regular fees, room and board. This cost will be guaranteed for eight semesters.

A new monthly installment plan also is being introduced.

“We are excited about this new concept as an opportunity to help families plan for a Ouachita education,” said Andrew Westmoreland, president of the 1,600-student university in Arkadelphia, Ark. “By taking the guesswork out of the cost of Ouachita over a student’s four-year stay, we believe families will be able to plan more effectively.”

Rates next fall for returning students will vary depending on when he or she entered Ouachita as a full-time student. Students who have attended the longest will have the greatest price break though the fewest semesters at the guaranteed price.

“It’s important to remember that the cost levels are not based on academic classification,” said. “Students progress through academic classifications at different rates because they’re based on hours taken and passed. This system, based on when a person enters Ouachita as a full-time student, allows equal treatment to a cohort group.”

Compared to projected increases equal to Ouachita’s 10-year average of cost increases, both returning and new students will save money with the new plan if they stay in school. Students who entered last fall will have a one-year increase higher than Ouachita’s 10-year average increase, but they will pay less than the projected cost in the following two years and graduate with a savings estimated at $1,298. Those planning to graduate in 2001 or 2002 will save an estimated $332 and $676, respectively.

The guaranteed fixed cost plan applies only to tuition, regular fees, basic room and board charges for fall and spring terms. Summer school, May term, external programs and additional charges are not affected by the new fixed cost plan.

Richard Stipe, vice president for administrative services, said he expects many families also to take advantage of a new 12-month payment plan. Families can divide the annual cost of Ouachita into 12 equal payments due June through May. They may choose to either begin payments in June or make a single three-month payment by Aug. 10, followed by subsequent monthly payments.

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