No Tuition Increase for 2014-15 School Year


Students enrolled in Bethel’s College of Arts and Sciences traditional programs for 2014-15 will see no increase in tuition from the 2013-14 academic year according to Interim President Walter Butler. Many of Bethel’s other programs have also kept tuition the same for the coming year.

     “The Board of Trustees felt that student costs for a higher education have been going up nationally at a very fast rate,” Butler said. “And they wanted to do what they could to make college as affordable as possible and to help keep student debt down.”

     Bethel University has long been one of Tennessee’s most affordable private 4-year institutions. Of the 31 private 4-year member institutions in the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA), Bethel was bested by only five other schools with lower tuition during the 2013-14 school year. Tuition and fees for Bethel during 2013-14 was $15,714 which is well below the $22,683 average of TICUA member institutions.

     A story published in October 2013 in U.S. News and World Report stated that the price index for college tuition grew by nearly 80 percent between August 2003 and August 2013. That is nearly twice as fast as growth in costs in medical care, another area widely recognized for fast-rising prices. It’s also more than twice as fast as the overall consumer price index during that same period.

     The same article said that tuition growth is beginning to be slower than in recent years. However, tuition rates are still growing faster than household incomes.

      “Keeping our tuition the same for another year doesn’t mean the value of our educational product is any less,” Butler said. “We are committed to giving an affordable product that also meets the highest academic standards.”

     Bethel, established in 1842, is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and it offers bachelor’s, master’s and associate degrees through a variety of learning platforms. Many of its programs are recognized for academic excellence. Most recently, the school’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program was recognized as one of only two programs in Tennessee to achieve a 100% pass rate on the National Council Licensing Exam (NCLEX) in 2013. The program was one of only 22 of the 704 BSN programs across the U.S. to achieve a 100% pass rate, and one of 67 of the 1,844 nursing programs across the U.S. to achieve a 100% pass rate.