No Fees at eVersity Totals $2.8 Million in Savings for Students

The University of Arkansas System eVersity has never charged student fees on top of its incredibly low tuition rate, saving its students more than $2.8 million in its first four years of operation.

With the cost of attending college consistently on the rise, a big part of the growing burden on families is attributed to hidden costs that institutions tack on to the cost of tuition. According to the New York Times, “The parade of fees on college campuses never seems to end. There are extra charges to start college, such as orientation fees and freshman fees, and extra charges to finish, such as senior fees and commencement fees.”  These can range from “nickel-and-dime fees,” the story says, like $10 to drop a class to as much as $3,000 for technology or program fees.

But at eVersity, which already has one of the lowest tuition rates in the nation at $175 per credit hour, students have never been assessed any additional fees and they never will.

“We don’t make students buy expensive books and we don’t make them pay to apply with us. We don’t even pass on the charge to acquire the necessary transcripts needed to enroll and receive credit for previous coursework,” said Michael Moore, Ph.D., chief academic/operating officer at eVersity. “It’s hard enough to budget for college, and we’ve found that one consistent and affordable tuition rate without running up the tab on students is something they love and makes their lives easier. And when students are happy, they succeed at much higher rates.”

Experts at estimate that students should budget $300-$500 each month for unexpected fees and costs related to college. The low end of that spectrum multiplied by the total number of enrollments at eVersity since launching classes in January 2016 means the 100 percent-online institution has saved its students at least $2,802,900 in fees on top of tuition savings.

“About half of college students run out of money because they didn’t budget for hidden college costs or because of an unanticipated expense or a change in family financial circumstances,” according to the story. “Some colleges nickel and dime families with additional fees. It’s a backdoor way for them to stealthily increase college costs while claiming that they’ve limited tuition inflation. Examples include orientation fees, student activity fees, health insurance and student health center fees, technology fees, printing fees and copying costs, lab fees, online course fees, club fees, athletic fees, library fines, academic transcript fees and graduation fees.”

The unique structure of eVersity not only offers an affordable tuition with no fees and no books, but students also take just one abbreviated class at a time for six weeks while earning a week off before starting their next class – seven times annually.

“I’m not going to go into debt for my education at 40 years old,” said Jim Tolly, an eVersity graduate. “One of the things I really like about eVersity is what I call ‘flat priced.’ It’s always so much per credit hour. My son’s in college right now and they fee him to death. I mean, there’s a fee for everything. The other thing I like is the tuition lock. As long as you’re continually taking classes, if it takes you five years and they had four tuition increases, you didn’t see any of those. I think that’s a key selling point.”


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