Lindenwood freezes tuition for next year

Matt Hampton, Editor-in-Chief

Lindenwood University announced Wednesday it will not increase tuition or room and board fees for the 2020-21 school year.

Instead, tuition will stay at the current level of $18,000 per year and room and board at $9,200.

This comes after Lindenwood decided in April to slash its summer tuition from $450 to $50 per credit hour.

It’s a common practice to increase tuition for the university. Previously, Lindenwood increased its annual undergraduate tuition by $1,100 in 2019, by $600 in 2018, and by $628 in 2017.

“We want to support our students and keep higher education accessible in these trying times,” University President John Porter said in an announcement on the Lindenwood website. “Lindenwood is already one of the most affordable private institutions for higher learning, and we are holding the line on costs to better serve those who wish to further their education.”

Terry Whittum, senior vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Engagement, said Monday that in terms of retention, the number of returning students for fall 2020 is about 2% ahead of last year, but new student enrollment is down 10%.  However, Lindenwood has extended its tuition deadline to June 1, and he expects enrollment will improve by then.  

“My sense is that once we’re able to announce how we’re opening in the fall, that students will then make their final decision whether they’re coming entirely, whether they’re going to defer for a semester, or whatever they’re going to do,” he said.  

As of Monday, Lindenwood is still working on plans for re-opening campus.

Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Breanne Simkin said that though the university is not changing merit-based grants, staff are being more pro-active about encouraging students to seek financial aid.  

“Now more than ever, we want to make sure students know they have the right to ask, and at least let us help them walk through the possibilities,” she said. 

Students can get financial assistance during COVID-19 from CARES Act grants and from the Lions’ Relief Fund.