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June 2009

Southwestern keeps Christian education affordable

In the current economic climate, families with college-bound students are keeping finances at the forefront. Southwestern Adventist University is committed to offering excellent Christian education at an affordable price.

“Our tuition increase this year is the smallest increase we’ve had in the last 10 years,” says university president Eric Anderson. “And we are implementing financial aid strategies so that students aren’t overburdened with financial worries.”

One such strategy, according to Patricia Norwood, assistant vice president for Financial Administration, is to offer matching funds for qualified student employment during the summer. Another is a four-way matching scholarship that the school will match each semester up to $500.

A renewable scholarship for incoming freshmen and transfer students is also available. Based on a combination of test scores and GPA, students can receive up to $5,000 per school year for four years.

Southwestern will also be extending payment plans from 8 months to 10, in order to give students more time to pay their bills.

Gary Temple, vice president for university advancement, says the school tries to ease financial burdens for students through the solicitation of scholarships from donors.

“Southwestern has one of the highest number of donor-given scholarships in the North American Division,” he says.

Temple also says an appeal letter is sent out between semesters on behalf of current students who are in danger of not returning due to financial need. The school has regularly pulled in nearly $100,000 that is applied directly to student needs.

His office also raises money to pay for current operations that include campus maintenance and capital improvements. That means university needs that are funded won’t contribute to a tuition increase.

“Southwestern strives to be fiscally responsible,” says Larry Garrett, vice president for financial administration. He says that in order to save the school money this year and contribute to the smallest tuition increase at Southwestern in 10 years, the school is negotiating new electricity contracts.

Anderson says, “Every department at Southwestern is doing what they can to help students get a great Christian education, and that includes taking care of them financially.”

Jessica Lozano, SWAU director of marketing and public relations

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