MARSHALL, Tx. (KSLA) - Wiley College is helping its students breathe a big sigh of financial relief — by lowering its tuition 20 percent.
Dr. Herman Felton, the president of Wiley College, said this is an effort to address what he calls a “national crisis.”
“There are many people who are struggling to make ends meet and have families — Wiley College is no different,” Felton said. “We believe that we are a premier liberal arts institution and we thought about looking at the amount of debt that students were carrying.”
Right now, according to Felton, it costs just under $22,000 per year to attend Wiley. He said tuition will be dropping around $3,500.
“Our students are coming from a disadvantaged, distressed environment,” Felton explained. “The reason students are stopping out now is because of price and affordability.”
Angelique Cooper, the Student Government Association president, as well as a senior, said this move is momentous for her peers.
“When you graduate college, you want to be in the best position possible, it tells me Wiley truly cares,” she said. “We are on the right track.”
Felton believes lowering the cost attending Wiley will keep the small school of around 800 students in class.
“My first year here, we had over 70 students who could not come back,” Felton noted. “They don’t have to now make a decision whether or not to stay or leave.”
According to 2017 data, the retention rate for first-time college students was 74 percent. Wiley College’s retention rate, per schools officials, is 43 percent.
“We will be the most affordable, regionally accredited institution in the state of Texas,” he added. “This allows our students to focus on what’s really important.”
Cooper said the effort to make the school more affordable will have a positive ripple effect throughout the institution.
“Graduating college with a lower amount of debt, you’re able to pay it off,” Cooper said. “You’re able to be a sustainable person in society.”