President cutting annual tuition from $23,000 to $9,875

Williamsburg, Ky. - September 4, 2018

University of the Cumberlands, a private, post-secondary institution in southeastern Kentucky, announced today that it will reduce tuition by 57 percent beginning next academic year. The goal of the tuition cut is to increase the affordability of a private education at Cumberlands while offering more transparency in the financial aid process for students and families.

Under the new pricing model, Cumberlands will offer the lowest tuition of any private university in Kentucky and also offer tuition comparable to every public four-year institution in the state. The tuition plan will impact all on-campus undergraduate students.

“We are making this change because we are committed to putting our students and families first by addressing the most significant hurdle to a college education, affordability,” said Cumberlands President, Dr. Larry L. Cockrum. “We want all students to know that with Cumberlands there is a clear and affordable path to a college degree.”

Cockrum made the announcement to Cumberlands students, faculty, and staff. The initiative, called The Cumberlands Commitment, is a component of the University’s mission to serve students and families throughout the Appalachian Region. Currently, 82 percent of Cumberlands students come from Appalachia.

The Cumberlands Commitment will:

  • Reduce tuition for the 2019-2020 academic year by 57 percent from $23,000 to $9,875
  • Reduce the total annual cost of attending Cumberlands from $32,000 to $19,175
  • Maintain a scholarship system for academic, athletic, and extracurricular awards

“The Cumberlands Commitment we’re making today means that out-of-pocket costs will not increase for any of our students,” said Cockrum. “We will continue to work each and every day to make tuition affordable to anyone who has dreams of higher education and greater opportunity.”

Under the tuition reduction plan, the average incoming Kentucky student is expected to save nearly $3,200, totaling $12,800 over their college career.

Cockrum provided an example of one current student from Kentucky with $5,500 per year in student loan debt. Under the new plan, that same student will save $3,873 and incur $1,627 of student loan debt per year. Upon graduation, that student could see a monthly student loan payment drop from $200 to $70.

Kentucky students, like the one Cockrum described, make up 53 percent of the student body at Cumberlands. The University began the 2018 fall term with 1,366 students on campus. On average, current students will see a cost savings of $1,298.

“As someone who speaks to students each day about college finances, including student loans and managing that debt beyond college, it is exciting to think of the opportunity our students and families have with this tuition reduction plan,” said Larry Rector, Director of Financial Aid. “From this point forward, this university can send college graduates into the world with the financial peace of mind not available to many of their peers.”

While cuts are being made to tuition, Cockrum pointed out there will be no cuts in programs or services provided to students. Additionally, there will be no reduction in faculty or staff.

“This university has done all the right things in recent years to make the student experience the best that it can be,” said Dr. Jerry Jackson, Vice-President for Enrollment. “We experienced growth this fall beyond our projections in undergraduate enrollment, and we have grown in that regard for the last five years. With a transparent pricing model that reduces tuition costs, we expect even more students to find Cumberlands the perfect fit for them.”

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. Learn more at