Alaska Pacific University cuts tuition by 30 percent

ANCHORAGE — A private liberal arts college in Anchorage is lowering its tuition by more than 30 percent, with a goal of making a college education more affordable for Alaskans and boosting enrollment, the president of Alaska Pacific University said.

The school’s board last week decided to reduce tuition by nearly $10,000 per year, from $29,600 to $19,950, KSKA reported. University President Don Bantz said that will make Alaska Pacific more competitive with out-of-state colleges.

“Affordability is the number one issue in higher education today. There’s a lot of talk about student debt and questioning the value of a higher education,” he said. “We’re trying to make private, quality, liberal arts education affordable for Alaskans. And the $29,000 sticker price turned a lot of people off.”

The university has been giving students discounts on tuition for some time to make school more affordable, Bantz said. Rather than continuing to discount, the board decided to reduce tuition to what students actually were paying, he said.

The university, which has a current enrollment of about 600 students, would like to grow but intends to keep class sizes small, Bantz said.

Tuition at the University of Alaska Anchorage, which is public, still is cheaper than what Alaska Pacific would offer: around $4,000 for Alaska residents and $14,000 for out-of-state students.

The tuition cut at Alaska Pacific will apply to undergraduate tuition and take effect beginning in the fall of 2014.