Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota announced last week an expanded program to provide free tuition to students from lower-income families starting in 2024.
The new initiative, called the Concordia Promise, aims to make private liberal arts education more accessible by covering full tuition for 4 years for newly admitted students whose families earn under $90,000 per year in gross income.
Expanding Access Beyond State Lines
The Concordia Promise goes beyond Minnesota's own North Star Promise, which provides free tuition at public colleges for state residents with annual family incomes under $80,000.
Concordia's program has a higher income threshold and is open to all U.S. students, not just Minnesotans.
The program will reduce the financial barriers that may have put a Concordia education out of reach for many students.
Targeting Tuition Costs
While competitive for a private college, Concordia's tuition has been on a downward trend in recent years as part of increased fundraising and restructuring efforts.
Tuition decreased 24% from 2020 to 2021 alone, from $41,566 down to $23,189 currently.
The new program will cover the full tuition costs through federal, state, and existing Concordia grants and scholarships. However, it does not include room, board, fees, and other expenses.
Hoping to Boost Enrollment
Concordia has seen declining enrollment numbers in recent years, dropping from over 2,000 students in 2019 to 1,868 in 2023. Administrators hope the Concordia Promise will help increase enrollment by 10% year-over-year.
With expanded access and reduced tuition costs, the new initiative aims to open Concordia's doors to lower-income students nationwide and revitalize enrollment.