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SUU looks to cut tuition prices for online students

SUU is one of few universities looking at tuition decreases for online students. Photo: Getty Images

CEDAR CITY, Utah — Southern Utah University is presenting a plan to slash tuition prices for their online programs this week.

According to a memo from the Utah System of Higher Education, the university’s plan will reduce prices for online-only undergraduate students by an average of 23%. The new prices will also provide a 12% decrease in tuition for online-only graduate students.

The updated pay structure will have a simple cost-per-credit format. This is different from the current model, which includes variable student and tuition fees.

For example, taking 12 undergraduate credits currently costs $3,888.75. With the new fee of $300 per credit, the cost comes out to $3,600 — a savings of $288.75. Meanwhile, graduate tuition will be $355 to $485 per credit, depending on the program.

The online programs will also continue to follow a plateau model. In this model, an undergraduate student taking 13 credits will pay as much as a student taking 25 credits. This model encourages students to take more credits and finish their degree faster.

SUU President Scott Wyatt sees this change as an opportunity to give part-time and non-traditional students greater ability to finish degrees.

“This is part of an overall strategy to increase the number of degrees and decrease the cost with the hope we can reach one of our leading goals,” Wyatt told the Deseret News.

Currently, the university offers 20 programs through SUU Online. These programs range anywhere from associate degrees to MBAs.

The plan will be voted on by the Utah Board of Regents during their meeting on August 1 and 2 at SUU. While the changes have not yet been voted on, David L. Buhler, commissioner of higher education, recommends the board authorizes the changes in the memo.