By Audrey Davis, For The Miami Student
Jami Langham, mother of an incoming first-year, loves the idea of Miami's University's new Tuition Promise.
"I'm a planner, so knowing that, for four years, I don't have to worry about the cost of college changing is amazing," said Langham.
Miami's Tuition Promise was passed by the Board of Trustees in December and approved by the state in January. It will affect all incoming students, starting this fall.
The families of prospective students will now know the four-year cost for tuition, room and board. The tuition rate will be set the first year and will not change for the following three years.
Current Miami students will not be affected by the new policy.
First-year Briena Breckenridge wishes the same type of system had been put in place earlier so she could have benefited from it.
"I feel like I was gypped a year, but otherwise, that's pretty exciting," said Breckenridge. "It kind of feels like an unfair advantage that the incoming freshmen will have. It's like only giving computers to freshmen and leaving the upperclassmen to hang."
When told the incoming class of 2020 will be the first to benefit from the Tuition Promise, Langham felt fortunate.
"I finally got lucky for once," said Langham. "The cost of college is always changing because of inflation, so I think this is just fantastic."
The university's website has already been updated to show information about the Tuition Promise, answering common questions that parents and students may have about the new policy.
Andrew Boehm, associate director of campus visits and events, said that families are already being informed about the Tuition Promise during campus tours.
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"We've presented it a few times and always see positive looks on [parents'] faces," said Boehm.
Boehm said the real benefit of the Tuition Promise is that by knowing the rates for four years, families can plan out their investments for the entire time the student attends Miami. Boehm said that the Tuition Promise will also allow students' merit scholarship opportunities to hold their values.
"I think this is simply another benefit to add to what is already a great college experience," said Boehm.
Mike Blue, guidance counselor for Hicksville High School in Ohio, also praises the idea, but has a few concerns. After reading Miami's trustee report, Blue said first-year students will see a spike in costs their freshman year no matter when they begin attending Miami, but there will not be any change for the following three years.
"The initial spike, I hope, stays standard," Blue said. "I hope it doesn't become something like a nine percent spike, so if they can keep that spike from being too much, then this is good good news for everybody, and I see other schools following suit."
From a parent's perspective, Blue said he really appreciates that Miami is addressing the issue of college costs. He added that he hopes financial aid will not decrease in students' sophomore, junior and senior years because of the new policy. He said that as long as everything stays stagnate, the promise will be great.
Boehm said the admissions team is excited to present the Tuition Promise to more families at "Make It Miami" events this spring.
"We think it's something that not a lot of colleges are doing, especially in Ohio," said Boehm. "This is just another way that we can present Miami as an incredible value in terms of what's out there for collegiate experiences."