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Hiwassee College students react to lower tuition

11:56 PM, Feb 28, 2013   |    comments
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Sophomore Diego Vanegas decides to stay at Hiwassee College after it announced it will lower student costs by $6,000 per year.

Students at Hiwassee College are reacting to the news that the Christian-based college will decrease its cost of attendance by $6,000 per year.

The decrease will save students $24,000 for a four-year degree.

Tuition, room and board will cost $19,640 per year.

"Well college cost a lot and it's getting more every day but luckily here it's decreasing and everyone here is excited about it. It's the talk of Hiwassee right now," Freshman Carmen Conner said.

The Board of Trustees at Hiwassee College decided to lower tuition and fees for several reasons.

"One of the things the Board [of Trustees] considered, and certainly the [President's] Cabinet considered, was how we could best meet the needs of our students and at the same time increase our enrollment," said Dr. Robin Tricoli, President of Hiwassee College.

Around 400 students attend the college, including Diego Vanegas, a sophomore studying pre-physical therapy.

"I was trying to transfer to another school but then when I heard the news. It impacted a lot the financial situation I was in so it helped me out with staying here and making that choice," Vanegas said.

Besides increasing and retaining enrollment, another focus is helping middle-class students afford college, who do not qualify for financial aid.

"Somebody at some point has to take a stand and say, 'This is the right thing for the right reason,'" Dr. Tricoli said.

Director of Student Life Rudy Valentino is excited about the potential to plan larger events.

"As far as I know we're the only college in the area that has actually dropped tuition over the past several years so it's really going to put a competitive edge back towards Hiwassee's side," Valentino said.

New tuition and fee rates will begin in the fall semester of 2013.

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