College used to be the dream for almost every ambitious American. It was thought of as the ticket to upward mobility and prosperity. Increasingly, that dream has lost its luster. More people are choosing not to attend college for many reasons but none more prominent than the elephant in the room: value. Is the rapidly increasing cost of higher education worth the investment? 

Over the years, attending college has become more expensive, directly contributing to the increase of students not attending a university after high school. Researchers from Georgetown University analyzed data from the U.S Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and National Center for Education Statistics. They concluded that from 1980 until 2019, the cost of college had increased a staggering 169%.

Even though these cost-driven doubts existed before the pandemic, COVID-19 heightened those concerns for many families. According to The Princeton Review’s 2021 College Hopes & Worries survey, the economic recession that occurred due to COVID-19 has forced parents to consider affordability more than ever.

John McKeith

Amidst a higher education landscape that seems to ever increase cost to consumer, a few universities have attempted to distinguish themselves by combining excellence with affordability. 

Park University is one of these few universities. Park University is committed to removing barriers related to cost and helping all students realize the professional and personal benefits of higher education. . As a result, Park University’s tuition rates come in at a low $453 per credit hour. By comparison, according to statistics gathered by educationdata.org, on average, non-profit, 4-year institutions charge $1,223 per credit hour. 

In addition to providing students with affordable tuition, Park offers financial aid for eligible students. The University also provides students with different grants, including the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III), the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant. Each grant has specific eligibility requirements, but Park University’s primary focus is to ensure that its education is affordable for all.

Park University goes even further for active-duty military and their dependents, offering discounted tuition of $250 per credit hour instead of the regular $453 payment, a 44.8% tuition discount.  

Park University also aims to broaden educational opportunities for working adults who did not attend or did not finish college fresh out of high school through its Access to Education program. In particular, the University partners with various employers to expand educational benefits to their employees. By providing tuition discounts to employees at these partner companies, Park University makes itself more attractive as an affordable route to a college education. In addition, the University helps the sponsoring employers more competitive in offering employee benefits.  

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Besides financial aid, the availability of scholarships play a significant role in what college a potential student selects. Park University offers students a variety of scholarship opportunities, including:

  • Start Right Scholarships for New Student Enrollments
  • Buccaneer Achievement 33
  • Maricopa Transfer Scholarship
  • Charter Choice Scholarship
  • Buccaneer Achievement 17
  • Homeschool Choice Scholarship
  • Buccaneer Transfer Scholarship
  • Buccaneer Achievement Scholarship

Each of these scholarships has specific eligibility requirements that have been designed to recognize students’ academic, athletic, and community service accomplishments.

As college tuition continues to increase, attending a university becomes less of a financial reality for many potential students. By providing plenty of benefits for their students, Park helps families shoulder the financial commitment of higher education. Whether that comes from affordable tuition, financial aid, discounted tuition for active duty and dependents, corporate partnerships, or scholarships, universities should follow Park’s lead in offering as many financial benefits as possible. When selecting a higher education institution, find an institution where a quality education does not require absorbing undue financial risk so you can achieve the best value for your investment. 

About Park University: Founded in 1875 in Parkville, Mo., a suburb of Kansas City, Park University is a nonprofit, private institution that is a national leader in higher education. In 2000, Park achieved university status and currently serves more than 13,250 students at 41 campuses in 22 states and online, including Parkville, Independence and Kansas City, Mo.; Lenexa, Kan.; Gilbert, Ariz.; Barstow and Victorville, Calif.; Columbus, Ohio; Austin and El Paso, Texas; and 31 military installations across the country. www.park.edu

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