The Tuition Guarantee Program
The University of Akron Tuition Guarantee Program provides fixed tuition, select fees, and room and board rates for each incoming cohort (defined in next section) of bachelor degree-seeking undergraduate students for four years of attendance, beginning with the fall 2018 enrollees.
The program provides all eligible students (defined in next section) and their families the certainty that resident Tuition, Select Fees, and Room and Board charges will not increase over the ensuing four academic year period from their enrollment as an eligible student in a Cohort. The program applies to all eligible students enrolling at the University’s Main Campus. Participation in the program is required for all eligible students admitted at the University in fall semester of 2018 and after.
The four academic years of the program include fall, spring, and summer academic terms and is guaranteed for full-time eligible students during that time.
Undergraduate resident tuition, select fees and room and board rates are set by the University’s Board of Trustees each academic year and will be guaranteed for four academic years for each entering cohort. Tuition for summer terms is charged separately based on the guaranteed cohort per-credit-hour rate, less any discount that is or may be approved by the Board of Trustees and implemented for summer terms.
Summer term start
Students whose first enrollment is a summer term will pay the prior cohort Tuition per credit hour rate for the initial summer term, but will be assigned to, and pay the tuition, select fees, and room and board associated with the entering fall semester cohort that immediately follows. Summer start students are typically students who have confirmed their enrollment and will be matriculating for the first time for the fall semester immediately following the summer term. By being assigned to the following fall semester Cohort, these students will receive the benefit of guaranteed Tuition and other applicable fees for four full years after completing the initial summer term.
Students moving from the University’s Associate Degree Program or Wayne College campus to the Main Campus
University students who transfer from the University’s Associate Degree Program or Wayne College campus to its Main Campus as a full-time bachelor degree-seeking student will be assigned to the lowest unexpired cohort for the duration of that Cohort. When the assigned cohort expires, the student automatically will be placed into the cohort that went into effect the year after their initial assigned cohort (cohort +1). The student will remain in that cohort for up to two years and if still enrolled after that cohort expires, will be placed into the next cohort (cohort +2) for the next year and so on until the student no longer is enrolled (up to the maximum permitted time under the program.)
Re-enrolling students who were admitted in a degree-seeking program at the University prior to fall 2018 are not covered by the program and will pay non-cohort tuition, select fees, other applicable fees, and room and board. When an eligible student originally assigned to a cohort seeks to re-enroll after any period of non-attendance and not more than four (4) academic years have elapsed since the eligible student’s initial degree-seeking enrollment, then the eligible student will be assigned to the eligible student’s original cohort for the balance of the cohort period. If four (4) or more academic years have elapsed, then the re-enrolling student is assigned to the oldest unexpired cohort at the campus to which they are re-enrolling.
Students admitted or enrolled as non-degree-seeking students are not covered by the program and will not be assigned to a cohort unless the student subsequently enrolls as a full-time undergraduate bachelor degree-seeking student. Non-degree students will pay cohort tuition, select fees, and room and board, set annually by the Board of Trustees. Non-degree students include those enrolled in College Credit Plus or Advance High School; exchange students, and students participating in pre-enrollment or postsecondary option programs. Once an undergraduate student is admitted as a bachelor degree-seeking student, the student will be assigned to a cohort based on the semester in which the student first enrolled as a full-time bachelor degree-seeking student.
Students enrolled at both Main and Wayne College campuses
In addition to students who take all of their credit hours during an academic year (fall, spring, or summer) on either the Wayne College campus or the Main Campus, respectively. However, some students take classes at the Main Campus, as well as the University’s Wayne College campus or another University location during the same academic term. Students enrolled for credit hours at the Main Campus and at the Wayne College campus or another University location will pay the lower of the cohort rate or the rate of the other University location for those credit hours taken at that other University location. However, if the credit hours for which the student is enrolled at the Wayne College campus or another University location would be included within the tuition plateau (no additional tuition cost to students for credit hours 12-18), students will not be required to pay for those credit hours.
Exceptions to standard length of cohort
The program is for four (4) academic years commencing with either the fall or spring semester. Some students may require additional academic periods beyond four (4) academic years to complete their baccalaureate degree and will continue to attend the University beyond their cohort period. When certain exceptions are met (as described lower on this page), students may extend their guaranteed cohort tuition, select fees, and room and board beyond their guaranteed cohort period. Students who do not complete their undergraduate degree requirements and are not eligible for an exception (as defined lower on this page) by the end of their assigned cohort term, will be placed into the cohort that went into effect the year after their assigned cohort (cohort +1). The student will remain in that cohort for up to one year and if still enrolled after that cohort expires, will be placed into the next cohort (cohort +2) for the next year and so on until the student is no longer enrolled (up to the maximum permitted time under the program.)
Rates included in the program
- For purposes of the program, Tuition is defined as the fee for instruction charged to all students. Non-resident students also pay a non-resident Tuition surcharge, and international students pay an additional international fee that are not part of the program guarantee. Full-time students pay additional Tuition at their cohort rate for over 18 credit hours enrolled per term. Tuition is set each academic year for four academic years for each entering cohort. Tuition for summer terms is charged separately based on the guaranteed cohort per credit- hour rate, less any discount that is or may be approved and implemented for summer terms. eligible students who reduce their enrollment to part-time status at any time during their enrollment at the University pay tuition on a pro-rated, per-credit- hour basis at the cohort rate.
- Select fees. For Main Campus, these fees include the general service fee and facility fee, technology fee, library fee, career advantage fee, administrative fee, and transportation fee. See descriptions of these and other applicable fees.
- Under the program, each incoming undergraduate resident cohort is charged its unique, guaranteed rate for four academic years. Full-time students pay additional Tuition at their cohort rate for over 18 credit hours enrolled per term. Tuition is set each academic year for four academic years for each entering cohort. Tuition for summer terms are charged separately based on the guaranteed cohort per credit-hour rate, less any discount that is or may be approved and implemented for summer terms. eligible students who reduce their enrollment to part-time status at any time during their enrollment at the University pay tuition on a pro-rated, per-credit- hour basis at their cohort rate.
Other student rates included in the program
The program is designed to provide a guarantee of the rate for completing an undergraduate bachelor degree at the University.
The following rates also are included in the program:
Housing rates (room)
The program includes a guaranteed rate schedule for housing that represents the various housing options available to undergraduate students. The rate charged to the eligible student is based upon the student's selected or assigned residence type and location. If a student changes from one room or hall type to another during the cohort period, the housing rate charged to the eligible student will be adjusted based on the guaranteed rate schedule that is in effect throughout the eligible student's cohort period. Student requests to reside in on-campus housing beyond the second year are subject to room availability. If space is available for an eligible student who already has met the residency requirement, the established cohort rate schedule for student rooms continues throughout the period covered by the guaranteed cohort rate.
Meal plan rates (board)
The program includes a number of meal plan options from which the eligible student may choose, depending on whether the eligible student resides on- or off-campus. A meal plan is required for students residing in University housing. A cohort menu of meal plans and rates is included as part of the cohort rate, and the actual meal plan rate will be based on the meal plan selected by the eligible student. While the meal plan rate will remain guaranteed during the cohort period, individual meal items and merchandise in retail locations are subject to rate changes. The menu of meal plan options and rates will be set for each new cohort consistent with the contractual obligations between the University and its third party service provider.
Other student rates not included in the program
Only undergraduate tuition, select fees, and room and board charges are included in the program guarantee. All other charges — including but not limited to undergraduate non-resident surcharge, international fee, specific course and service fees, program fees, student health insurance, textbooks, charges and fines incurred by students (such as late fees) and graduate and professional tuition and fees — are not included.
Cohort rates beyond the initial year
Once the initial cohort tuition is established, subsequent cohort increases in tuition will be based on:
The average rate of inflation, as measured by the consumer price index prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor (all urban consumers, all items), for the previous sixty-month period; and
The percentage amount the Ohio General Assembly restrains increases on in-state undergraduate instructional and general fees for the applicable fiscal year. If the General Assembly does not enact a limit on the increase of in-state undergraduate instructional and general fees, then no limit shall apply under this section for the cohort that first enrolls in any academic year for which the General Assembly does not prescribe a limit.
This rate of increase will be benchmarked against peer four-year residential research institutions' four-year rolling cost averages to account for the impact of the cohort pricing model on tuition changes. If the program falls significantly below these institutions, the University may elect to submit for approval by the Chancellor of the Department of Higher Education an increase in the forthcoming cohort Tuition pricing in excess of the stated limitation for Ohio residents.
Increases in cohort rate for Room and Board charges are not subject to the rates’ formula set forth above and the plan composition and rates will be determined by The University’s Board of Trustees.
Students who withdraw and re-enroll
If a student takes a leave, withdraws, or is judicially suspended from the University for one or more academic semesters, the four (4) academic year period covered by the guaranteed cohort rate will not be extended. As a result, the student will lose the term(s) of eligibility while absent within the four (4) academic year cohort period. When the student re-enrolls, if four (4) academic years have not lapsed since the student's initial degree-seeking enrollment, then the student will be charged the guaranteed rate based on their original cohort for the balance of the cohort period. If four (4) or more academic years have passed, then the re-enrolling student is assigned to the oldest unexpired Cohort.
Students enrolled in degree programs that require more than 120 hours to complete, as determined by the University, will receive, an automatic extension of the cohort period for one additional year to provide the time necessary to complete the degree program. Students requiring further time to graduate beyond the one additional year are required to follow the appeal process detailed in the next paragraph.
No later than one semester prior to the expiration of their guaranteed Cohort term, a student may request an extension of their guaranteed Cohort rate. Each case will be evaluated on its own merits to determine whether an extension should be granted and, if so, the nature and duration of any extension.
A Program Appeals Committee (the “Appeals Committee”) administered by the University Registrar, will evaluate requests for exceptions. The appeal must fall within extenuating circumstances established by the Appeals Committee as described below.
If the Appeals Committee finds that the student cannot complete the degree program within the four (4) academic years of the student's cohort due solely to a lack of available mandatory or required courses or space in required or mandatory classes provided by the University, the University will provide the student with an opportunity to take the necessary course or courses without requiring the payment of Tuition.
Other circumstances will be considered for an extension of the guaranteed cohort rate beyond the four (4) academic years depending on the validity and impact of the circumstances including:
- Enrollment in a degree program requiring more than 120 hours to graduate
- Illness or injury of the student
- Disability that necessitates a reduced course load as a reasonable accommodation
- Medical Leave of Absence
- Victim of interpersonal violence or crime while enrolled
If the Appeals Committee determines that the student has provided sufficient documentation of extenuating circumstances that were outside the control of the student and prevented the student from completing the student's program of study during the assigned cohort period, the Committee will determine the appropriate period of time or number of courses to extend the guaranteed cohort rate.
Any student who takes longer than their guaranteed cohort period to graduate due to service in the United States Armed Services will be given an automatic extension of their guaranteed cohort rate based on the number of academic terms impacted by the student's military service absence.