|Undergraduate tuition will increase by $750 per semesterInspire and full scholarship students unaffectedUniversity remains best value in Delaware|
|The University announcement reads:|
Today we announced that undergraduate tuition will increase by $750 per semester beginning this fall. The increase, which is the first since 2017, will not affect Inspire Scholars or those on full scholarships, and students whose families earn less than $30,000 per year will actually experience decreased cost of attendance.
“We have been, are, and will continue to be the best return on investment in higher education for students and their families,” said President Tony Allen, noting that since 2017 the University has experienced significant enrollment growth and has successfully navigated a global pandemic, completed the historic acquisition of Wesley College, and benefited from an outpouring of public and private support.
“After six years of constant growth, it is time to ensure the long-term financial sustainability necessary to continue to deliver on our promise of a high-quality, high-value college education,” Allen added. Chief Financial Officer Anas Ben Addi explained that, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University faced a nearly $20MM deficit due to lost revenue on all sides—from having to evacuate the campus in spring 2020 and return to on-campus operations that fall with a reduced residence hall footprint. “Our horizon could have included decreased enrollment, significant workforce reductions, continued rising costs on infrastructure improvements, and other headwinds that have changed the landscape for higher education nationwide,” Ben Addi said. “But like many of our sister institutions, we received a reprieve in the form of one-time capital infusions and increased philanthropic support, which allowed us to continue expanding and investing in our future.” That support also included raising nearly $2 million in private support for the Student Emergency Relief Fund and forgiving more than $10MM student debt for the graduating classes of 2021 and 2022.
Ben Addi added, “We’re now operating in the ‘new normal’ for institutions of higher education and making the thoughtful decisions necessary to continue our growth trajectory while delivering on our promises to our community. Those promises range from facilitating necessary upgrades to classrooms and residence halls to investing in signature academic programs.”
Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management Antonio Boyle pointed out that “Delaware State University has been 37% less expensive than the next least-expensive four-year university in the state and 73% less than the highest. In terms of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, we’ve held the line while our peers have been increasing their tuition by 19-20%,” Boyle said.
University officials stressed that the Inspire Scholarship remains a full-tuition scholarship, which means that those students will not see any tuition increase. In 2022, 67% of incoming Delaware freshmen were Inspire Scholars. Likewise, tuition expenses for students with Presidential Scholarships or fully-funded athletic scholarships will not change. Lastly, modifications to scholarship formulae will ensure that students from the lowest-resource families will experience a reduction of up to $1,000 in total cost of attendance. The University raises about $5MM per year in direct scholarship support and is the conduit for millions more specifically targeted to HBCU students from institutions like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, https://www.tmcf.org/students-alumni/scholarships/.
“Delaware State University is the anchor HBCU in the state and among the best HBCUs in the nation. The most critical aspect of our mission is to extend opportunities to more students to prepare them for a faster, smaller, and more connected world. In the end, the students are at the center of everything we do,” Allen said.