How to Receive a Discount on Out-of-State Tuition in New England
Host Jonathan Hughes discusses student loan repayment for graduating college students with co-host Julie Shields-Rutyna. They then dive into the MEFA Mailbag and answer a question about to how to get a student motivated about the college process. Finally, Jonathan talks with Jonathan Gowin, Director of Tuition Break, about the New England Board of Higher Education’s Tuition Break program that allows New England residents to receive a discount on tuition if they attend an out-of-state New England public college or university and major in an academic program not offered in their home state. They discuss how the program works, how students can participate, and the average student cost savings. If you enjoy the MEFA Podcast, please leave us a review.
Resources Mentioned in the Episode:
Learn about Tuition Break webinar recording
Learning More about Tuition Break
How to Manage Student Loan Repayment
0:52 Loan Repayment
10:25 MEFA Mailbag
14:38 Tuition Break with Jonathan Gowin
Jonathan Hughes: Hello everyone and welcome to the MEFA Podcast. My name is Jonathan Hughes.
Julie Shields-Rutyna: And I'm Julie Shields -Rutyna.
Jonathan Hughes: And we have a great show for you today, as always. Later on in the episode, you're going to hear my talk with fellow Jonathan, Jonathan Gowin from the New England Board of Higher Education, and he's going to talk to us all about a program called Tuition Break, which is a tuition discount program designed to help students in New England save on the cost of college.
So if you have a student in New England who's getting ready to go to college or considering it, you really should listen to this cause it can save you a lot of money. So Julie, before we get into that, what are we going to talk about first?
Julie Shields-Rutyna: Yes, well, we're going to talk about loan repayment and the reason we're going to talk about loan repayment is because graduation is right around the corner, and so students should now become knowledgeable about a plan and figuring out how they're going to pay off their loans.
Jonathan Hughes: Well, congratulations Julie, you have a graduating senior yourself?
Julie Shields-Rutyna: I do. So my daughter's going to graduate in about three weeks, and yeah, it's an exciting time.
You can be sure over the summer I'll be making sure that she is prepared with this topic as well.
Jonathan Hughes: So let me ask first, what is happening to these students who are graduating? What is the status of their loans right now?
Julie Shields-Rutyna: Well if they've had loans in college, they've probably been in an in-school deferment.
And that's where they have not been making payments while the student is in college. So then the student has six months after graduation called the grace period before they have to start repaying, but usually they have to start repaying six months after the date of their graduation. So they should be notified by their servicer that, oh, your loans are entering a grace period and here will be your first due date. That's how that should work.
Jonathan Hughes: And who's the servicer then? And we talk about that for just a second.
Julie Shields-Rutyna: Yeah. So the servicer is the company that handles the repayment part of the loan process. Probably they will reach out to the student via email. And I guess the first thing is to just be on the lookout for that, to know that that is coming either in your mail or in an email.
You might not know who your servicer is. You can go to student aid.gov and find it, that's one place you can find out who your servicer is, but you might just hear from them right away anyway.
Jonathan Hughes: Okay, so first piece of advice, be on the lookout. Read your mail, read your email. Second piece of advice?
Julie Shields-Rutyna: Yeah, it's a good idea even before your servicer gets in touch and tells you, is to know what you have borrowed.
Because you need to have an idea of what you've borrowed and what the payment is going to be once you have to start repaying. And so then you have to start thinking about, how am I going to make that happen? Now the good thing is you have some time to do that, right? So you have time to get a job set up, you know? What are you going to do post-college?
But you want to make sure that you are factoring in the fact that in six months you're going to have a loan payment. Now, when the servicer reaches out to you, they're going to give you a lot more detail about what, you know, loan repayment options and when the first payment is due.
We always tell people that if you took all of the federal student loans while you were in college, that's the federal direct student loans, you'll graduate with roughly $27,000 in loans, which under a regular repayment plan would be about $300 a month. But you have many choices about repayment plans, and so you get to choose the repayment plan that is best for you.
So you want to think about that as you're thinking about, you know, being able to pay and many of the repayment plans that you're going to be able to choose are tied to income. So they really allow for you to have an affordable payment.
Jonathan Hughes: Yeah, and I'm glad you mentioned the federal loans too, because we've been talking thus far, really about the federal loans, and a big important thing to know is the difference, especially in repayment, right? Between federal loans and private loans. So the fact is that a lot of students, in addition to these federal loans, might have private loans. So what can you tell students about those private loans?
How do they know if they have private loans and what do they do to find out more information and their options about those?
Julie Shields-Rutyna: Yes. Well, they can't always check in with the financial aid office at their college at this point, and I know Jonathan, you love to say that we always want people checking in with the financial aid office, but also, if they have private loans, the servicer for those private loans will also be getting in touch.
So for example, MEFA is one of those private organizations that sometimes, you know, a student and a parent will have a loan and they will also receive communication from private loan servicers.
Jonathan Hughes: Right. And so, I think it's important to discuss too, we mentioned some of the options available on the federal loans, and that's different for the private loans, right?
Julie Shields-Rutyna: Yeah, most of the time with the private loans, you're going to see this is how much I owe, and this is my monthly payment, and this is when it's due. Also many times, six months after your graduation date, and in general, you don't get to choose your repayment plan, you just pay that off. But if there is any problem, if you have any problem, do contact your servicer on those private loans as well.
But just know they don't have the variety of repayment options that the federal student loans do.
Jonathan Hughes: Yeah, so check your email, check your mail, know what kind of loans that you have, how many loans that you have, what's your outstanding balance, et cetera. Um, what else?
Julie Shields-Rutyna: Yeah, so I guess just then doing that planning, right?
So, you know, I guess the big piece will be students will be trying to figure out what's their next step. Maybe trying to land a job. Maybe they already have one or they have a plan to start in the summer, but to start to figure out, you know, what that monthly, and they'll do this over the course of the six months.
Figure out what income do I have coming in every month. And then what expenses do I have? So that's sort of like, you know, creating your budget and tracking your expenses. But that really is key because what you need to do is make sure that by the time you have to start paying the loans six months later, that you're in a situation where you have enough money coming in that you're able to pay your expenses you need to pay, whether that be a cell phone, a car payment.
I don't know what the other things could be. You know, it could be an apartment, whatever, that you have enough space for your loan payment. And if you don't, then you have to kind of figure out, all right, what can I give up here? How can I create a life where my income is enough to pay for my expenses, including my loan payment?
Jonathan Hughes: I'll throw in a plug here too about setting up auto debit or having your payments automatically deducted from your bank account, cause that is something that is very, it's something that servicers offer, as an option to how you can sort of conveniently repay your loan.
So I will be very candid as I always am on this point. When I graduated college and my loans went into repayment, I was terrible at repaying my student loans at first when I actually had to sit down and write out a check and mail it in, and my repayment record was very bad. Luckily, I was able to get it together enough to get on an automatic withdrawal, and I didn't miss a payment, you know, for years and years until I paid my loans off.
Why is it a good idea? To make your loan payments on time?
Julie Shields-Rutyna: Yeah. Well, the good thing about it is that if students make loan payments on time, that actually goes on your credit record as a positive, so that that will give you credit and positive credit, which is a good thing to have in life if you go to get another loan, a car payment, a car loan, or a mortgage to see that you have a good credit score.
And that's a whole other webinar. But just repaying your loans on time is good for your credit record. And it's really great for a young person to be able to establish that early on in a year or two by paying student loans.
Jonathan Hughes: What will, you know, what can happen if you don't?
Julie Shields-Rutyna: If you don't pay your student loans, then yeah, life can just get messy.
That’s going to look bad on your credit. And you know, the federal government is going to try to make sure they get their money. So you just don't want to get into that situation. You just want to pay and on time. And I love your idea about making it convenient and setting up that automatic payment with your servicer.
But then let's say someone might be afraid to set up that automatic payment in case they're nervous if they have trouble down the road. The key is stay in touch with your servicer always. And if you need to make a different, you know, join a different repayment plan, change your repayment plan, anything like that.
Stay in touch with your servicer. Be proactive about it so that you keep paying your loans and can then have that be a positive on your credit record.
Jonathan Hughes: Now it is time for the MEFA mail bag, and these are questions that have come into us over the past weeks and that have been answered by our college planning team.
So remember, if you have any questions, you can email us at email@example.com or you can call us at 1-800-449-MEFA, or you can reach us over social media on Facebook at MefaMa, on Twitter @mefatweets, On Instagram @mefa_ma. Our question today comes to us from a customer who wrote to us,
“My daughter will be a senior in high school next year. She has almost zero interest in going to college, won't start researching them online, won't go on any visits. The only glimmer of hope is that she said she wants to major in chemistry, which suggests that college is somewhere in her mind, but she won't even talk about it. Do you have any suggestions on how to motivate a student who doesn't seem to want to go to college? We know we can't make her go. Is a gap year better than her going and not liking it or working at it?”
Julie Shields-Rutyna: Yeah. I'll even share if I had a nickel for every time I have received a question like this, I would be a rich woman.
I think what you are experiencing is very common. You know, juniors in high school are busy being juniors in high school, and they're interested in everything that they're doing right now and to try to get them interested in something that's going to happen a year and a half from now can be hard.
There are always those superstar students who've known since ninth grade what they want to do, and they're on top of everything. But what you are describing is very normal. So that's the first thing I would say. Don't worry too much about it. One nice thing is that as the high school begins to share more and more information with students about making the plan, the students will be carried along with that a little bit.
And I think here or there, you could, you know, maybe suggest something specific. I know you said your student really didn't want to go on a visit, but if it fits in, you're driving by someday. You know, you could hear or there have a conversation about it, but it sounds like in your case you might want to just, you know, back off a little and know that there's a whole year to pull this together.
And again, as more of your students friends and peers and seniors in the high school are getting involved in this, your student will as well. And I think the real message to your student is just that. Yeah, they'll want to make a plan for after they graduate and they want to keep their options open.
So when it comes time when students are applying to college, starting in senior year, it's not a bad idea whether they're going to go to college or not go to college right away, or to perhaps apply to a couple of colleges. Again, just to keep options open. But they can also explore jobs and other career paths, or as you say, maybe they'll decide when it comes to Senior Spring that they're more interested in a gap year.
So all of it is good. And I think you can continue to have conversations, but maybe fewer and maybe more spread out and take that pressure off, and I bet the interest will happen in time.
Jonathan Hughes: All right, Julie, well thank you. One more time. Remember, if you have any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The phone number is 1-800-449-MEFA, and our Facebook is MefaMa, Twitter is @mefatweets, and Instagram is @mefa_ma.
Now let's go to my conversation with the Director of Tuition Break, Jonathan Gowin. Jonathan Gowin has had a dynamic career in higher ed, beginning as an Admissions Associate for Trinity College in Hartford, and then an Assistant Director of Admissions for Carnegie Mellon University.
Last year he moved up to Boston to become the Director of the New England Board of Higher Educations Program, Tuition Break. I'm not going to say too much more about that. I'll let him do that. So welcome Jonathan Gowin to the MEFA Podcast.
Jonathan Gowin: Thank you very much, Jonathan. Good to be here. And with another Jonathan no less.
Jonathan Hughes: I know, and we started this show actually with another Jonathan as the host. So it was the MEFA Podcast with Jonathan and Jonathan and he moved on, and now it feels good to have another Jonathan back in the show again. So thank you. Of course. Feels very auspicious. Yes. Yeah. So I mentioned NEBHE, the New England Board of Higher Education.
Why don't you tell the folks listening. Who is NEBHE and what do they do to help students?
Jonathan Gowin: It's a great question. It's a great question cause we do a lot here. So the New England Board of Higher Ed is what's classified as an interstate compact organization. So we are, we're very interesting in that we occupy, quasi-public space.
We were formed about 70 years ago when all six governors of the New England States came together. It was in the post-World War II Eisenhower era of interstate collaboration, and the governors got together and said, you know, there's really a lot of room for collaboration in higher education in New England.
We're a small state with a lot of colleges and universities. Let's see what we can do to work together. The New England Board was formed to be the organizational development of this mission. And so we were built to fulfill that mission. Now Tuition Break actually was the first program that was founded when NEBHE began to take shape.
So we have an incredibly long history of success, when it comes to the work that we do directly for students. Tuition Break is really front and center of that work. We've been providing discounts on tuition to students for over 70 years. Of course, we've been, we've expanded into other avenues. We have been very active in the workforce development space, really focused on helping to support the development of relevant credentials.
We've been involved in the distance education space as well, making that process easier for institutions and then by extension students. More recently we've been supporting pathways through transfer from community colleges to four year universities. But certainly Tuition Break has really been the tip of the spear in terms of our student facing work.
Jonathan Hughes: You mentioned workforce development there, and I didn't know that that was something that NEBHE does a lot of. Is that something that you think, you know, an area whose time has come in a sense of that there's, we're seeing more workforce development?
Jonathan Gowin: Absolutely. Absolutely. And you certainly see a lot of this.
I follow a lot of higher education news outlets, you know, everything from The Chronicle and Inside Higher Ed to some more niche news providers as well in this space. And there's a ton of ink being spilled right now about really what should the relationship between higher education and the workforce be like?
I think it's made all the more pressing by rising costs and, you know, what really can only be described as sort of shaky public faith in higher education. If you look at the results of many surveys that have been done over the last couple of years, you know, folks are really beginning to wonder, you know, what purpose does a college degree, what purpose does higher education serve?
And so, you know, there's certainly major workforce implications here as we think about, you know, what do we need as a nation? What do we need and our states need and regions need as economies? And what sort of talent and training will we need to have to fulfill these things?
And of course, you know, higher education is the primary pathway for credentialing at the moment. And so, you know, we've really been as an organization, you know, connecting with a lot with legislators and policy makers around what that relationship could look like. Most recently we've done some great work in the state of Connecticut as it relates to the tech talent sphere and digital skill sets. Working to forge relationships between institutions and with private entities.
Jonathan Hughes: So let's bring it back to the tip of the sphere, as you call it, which is Tuition Break. And you are the Director of that program, so I wonder if we could cover what Tuition Break is and then what's your role there as Director?
Jonathan Gowin: Yeah, absolutely. So first things first, Tuition Break is, the way I describe it is an opportunity for New England residents to save money on their tuition when they enroll at an out-of-state public college. So the great thing about tuition break is that we really exist to support New England students that want to go to a New England institution.
Now, primarily what we do, is we do that by providing a discount on the out-of-state tuition rate when a student enrolls outside of their home state. So, for example, Massachusetts residents listening in today, if they have any interest at all in studying still within the region, but outside of Massachusetts.
So anywhere in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Connecticut, there are opportunities through Tuition Break to save on their tuition costs. So that's really the critical elements of why we exist. There are some more layers to it, in terms of the discount is in many ways freely predicated on academic major choice.
And we do work solely with the public institutions versus the private institutions in the region. But certainly a really wonderful opportunity for students to save money. And we can certainly unpack the process and the steps as well. In terms of my role here, my main job is to, the way I see it is to be a resource to parents and the public.
That's goal number one, to ensure that, you know, they have the information they need about Tuition Break and are aware of the opportunities. Of course there's also a significant administrative management of the program that's required. As I said, the discount is in many ways, dependent on the student receiving the discount rather, is in many ways dependent on what academic major they choose.
And so we have several, or we have a major annual process every year that is reviewing all of the academic programs through which tuition discounts can be gained. And so that's a fairly labor intensive process.
And then we do a robust level of data analysis and reporting as well, so that we can go back to the public. We can go back to legislators and say, look, you know, here's really the extraordinary benefit of this program. And we're really proud of the fact that we can point to really impressive statistics.
Last year alone, we saved the residents of New England on the order of about $164 million total in tuition. So, you know, we certainly have some really good statistics and data to back up our work and that's an exciting layer to the job as well.
Jonathan Hughes: I'm curious. You know, this is a program that, you know, allows students to study a certain major in a public university in a different state in New England for a reduced rate.
Are there particular programs that are sort of perennially very popular?
Jonathan Gowin: Mm-hmm. It's a great question. And I will say, so when the program was founded, when we were first created, it was really, it was aimed at providing students opportunities to save money when they wanted to enroll in an academic major that wasn't available in their home state.
So that's really how the program got started, is that it was about making sure that students who knew they wanted to study that one particular thing, but didn't have access to in-state tuition, didn't have access to, in other words, the most affordable college tuition of the day. And so that was why the program was created.
And so therefore, many of the programs that have been staples of Tuition Break for many years are those that are particularly unique. You know, they may not be the only one in the region, but they may be one of only two or three. And so, the very common ones that we see, for example, Homeland Security at the University of New Hampshire is particularly popular.
We've seen, while these programs have expanded a little bit, they've become slightly more popular. Their academic programs in the realm of sustainability and very niche, sort of ecological areas have been very, very popular as well. The same has been true actually of the broader engineering space.
Of course, many institutions over the last couple, over the last decade or so have expanded engineering offerings with the demands of sort of modern workforce. But for a long time, for many, many years, highly specialized engineering pathways were, and still are in many ways, a staple of Tuition Break as well.
Jonathan Hughes: Can you tell me about the flexible program?
Jonathan Gowin: Yeah, absolutely. So what I just described before is how we classify what are called our specialized programs. You know, that means the discount is available to students when they don't have that same academic program available in their home state.
That was, like I said, it's the way that the Tuition Break was founded. It's the way that we operated for about 60 of our 65 years. But several years ago in the late 2010s, we were doing some analysis of the programs, assessing reach, assessing how students were getting connected to it, and just generally trends in enrollment across the region.
And really what we decided to do was expand the parameters of the program, give institutions, our colleges and university partners, some more flexibility and also give our parents, families and students more flexibility as well, which spawned, as your question suggests, the flexible programs category.
So unlike our specialized programs, which are predicated on an academic major not being available in the student's home state, the flexible programs model allows our partner universities to say, actually, I'm going to offer this academic major or program to all residents of New England at a discount, you know, making it immaterial if that program is available in the student's home state.
This is something that, it launched formally in the fall of 2019 and really has taken off. In fact, many, there's a good number of colleges and universities across New England that have decided to offer all of their academic programs as flexible, meaning that the Tuition Break discount is available to all New England residents.
And so it's certainly, it's expanded very rapidly in the last four years, and especially even through Covid as well. I'll say that by fall of 2023, so by this fall, about a full third of our institutions that participate will be offering all of their academic programs as flexible.
So really it's allowed us to expand very, very significantly just the volume of programs that are available at the discount and be able to really raise our impact on the region.
Jonathan Hughes: So thinking about this, the way that a family would actually interact with the program or a student would interact with the program, when do students, well, what do they need to do in order to take advantage of the program?
Do they need to apply for it or sign up for it or inquire in any way about this?
Jonathan Gowin: You know, Jonathan, I'll say this is one of my favorite aspects of Tuition Break is that the barrier to entry is so extraordinarily low relative to many other, you know, financial aid opportunities that are out there.
The first step is students have to be a resident of New England, period. You live in New England, you live in one of these states, and as well, you have to have at least some interest in studying outside of your home state, right? So those are the first two things to accomplish: live in New England, have an interest in studying outside of your home state at a public university. Or community college.
The other, the second step then, is to apply for admission to that university. Now the brilliant thing about Tuition Break is that we don't have a separate application of our own. We don't require students to reach out to us and indicate interest or submit in the paperwork.
None of that really, it's just the only step to receiving Tuition Break is applying for admission at the institution. So utilizing the Common Application, if that college uses it. Or submitting their own, the application of that university, whatever process a student would ordinarily have to take to apply, they do that as planned.
Now the third step really is not so much a formal step, but certainly one that I highly recommend, and really emphasize with every student and family member that I talk to, is to communicate as much as possible. To reach out both the admission counselor at their college or university of interest, even to us here at NEBHE as well.
Just to really say, look, I understand that this program exists. I understand that there are opportunities to save money. You know, have I done everything that I need to do? Am I all good to go? You know, that's something that, again, it's not a required part of the process, but I really can't emphasize enough for students and families that, you know, that kind of due diligence is really, really beneficial. Especially because with Tuition Break, as I said, there is an academic major component to this in many cases, and so it's always a good idea to say, to reach out to especially your admission counselor at a college or university and, you know, communicate and make sure you fully understand how Tuition Break works at that institution and that the majors that they're interested in are available at that discount.
Jonathan Hughes: When do families or students usually find out about this program? Do they know beforehand when they're applying to certain colleges that it's within Tuition Break? Or do they find out after they've been accepted that they're eligible for this?
Jonathan Gowin: It's a really, it's a good question and truthfully, it really does depend.
I will say one of the great benefits of the program existing for so long here, we've got 70 years of momentum behind us. And so therefore, you know, there is a lot of word of mouth, that goes around the region. And so most folks, whether they know it or not, are aware of Tuition Break or perhaps by our other name, which is the New England Regional Student Program.
So many folks are aware of us. However, one of the things that we're really here at NEBHE striving to do more of is to communicate more earlier and more often with families to give as much understanding about this process as possible. I think that Tuition Break, while it's a great benefit that we don't have a separate application, we don't have separate paperwork, it saves students and families time.
But it also means that they may not know before they apply for an institution and then receive a discount because our institutions are factoring all of this in when they're making their admissions decisions and calculating financial aid award letters.
And so there are, you know, cases where families may not know about the Tuition Break discount until they receive their award letter. And it's certainly, it's a nice surprise. But it's one of those things that we want to do more of as an organization, is really get out in front of folks and say, look, you should know about this.
We don't have any skin in the game. Like I said, we don't require applications or any of that, we are simply out here, you know, evangelizing about the benefits of the program and, you know, if it works for a student and family, great. But if not, and they find other financial aid avenues, that's also great.
You know, we're really here to put the message out there and for the students for whom it's a good fit, and to support that pathway and that information sharing all the way up to the time of their enrollment.
Jonathan Hughes: Well, hopefully this helps a little bit and I know that's something that we always like to talk about when we're doing our financial aid presentations is Tuition Break.
It always does spur some interest. So we're happy to do that of course. The next question I have, and it may be delicate, I'm not sure, but I'll ask it anyways. On average, what kind of savings, you know, people pay a reduced rate, a Tuition Break sort of rate, to go to colleges. They're eligible for discount.
What kind, somebody who's listening to this may be interested in this, what level of savings do students typically see? I don't know if that's something you can answer or not.
Jonathan Gowin: Absolutely, absolutely not an indelicate question at all. We're, this is a key statistic for us to keep track of and one that I'm happy to report.
So on average, and this figure that I'm going to give is from last year, our most recent data analysis. So last year on average students, each student participated, got an average of about $8,600, close to $9,000 a year in savings. So fairly substantial. I will say that this depends on a number of factors.
Depends on what institution they're attending. Depends a bit on sort of also as well, what state they could be coming from as well. They may see sort of different benefits. But I will say, you know, we've seen that number continue to go up and we're really proud of the way that both we've been able to get the word out and also really happy to see the high level of engagement our partner colleges and universities have with us as well.
You know, we're a key part of their communication with students as well. And so they're supporting this good word getting out there.
Jonathan Hughes: If anyone is hearing this now and they're sort of thinking about what colleges they want to apply to and they're compiling their list and they're interested in what you've said about Tuition Break so far, what would you want them to keep in mind while they're doing that search?
Jonathan Gowin: There's a couple things that come immediately to mind. The first is, I want to reemphasize the point I made earlier, the importance of communication. And it really, I can't stress enough, reach out, ask questions, either of myself or of the admission officers at the institutions that you're applying to.
You really communicate. Never hesitate to ask a question. It's really important to make sure you've got all the information that you can. The second point, more specifically, especially about the operation of Tuition Break and receiving the discount at most of our institutions.
While we spoke about the flexible programs and how that's proliferating and growing across the region, the majority of our institutions do utilize our specialized program model so that the ability to receive the discount will depend, will vary across the university. It will vary depending on students home state.
And so that's really where, you know, it comes to my second piece of advice, which is really think critically about what you're thinking about in terms of academic program of choice or major of choice. I will say, the Tuition Break discount, it's really compelling, right?
The opportunity to save money. College is getting expensive and more expensive as well. So it is really compelling and it is a wonderful opportunity. And at the same time, it also, you know, because it could be predicated on academic major choice, it's important to go into those things totally eyes wide open.
And I really encourage folks, you know, to think about, you know, if they're unsure exactly if they want to go into a particular major, you know, be wary of, you know, yes, the discount is a really wonderful thing, but, you know, it's better to go into that fully sure than to potentially change your major later on in, in which case you could potentially lose the Tuition Break discount as well if you move out of that major.
So it is an important consideration and I really urge students whenever I speak to them to spend some time with that and think, you know, is this something that you really want to study? Is it something that you can foreseeably, you know, see yourself pursuing down the road? And what could some other options look like?
I'll say I totally sympathize with students who are unsure and undecided. I was very much an undecided student when I was in college. And I changed my major several times. So I empathize with those students. And in fact, if the cost is a major factor, and if Tuition Break really seems like something that could be positive, and a major difference maker in your decision making, and maybe consider some of those institutions that do offer all of their programs as flexible, because that inherently gives, as it suggests, a little bit more flexibility in terms of that major choice.
Jonathan Hughes: And just to reemphasize too, all these participating colleges in New England. They are public colleges or universities, correct?
Jonathan Gowin: That that is correct, yes. In fact, we're really proud to say that every single one of the public community colleges and four year universities in New England do participate in Tuition Break.
So that is one thing that, it's a really strong point of pride for us to be able to say we've got complete participation across the region.
Jonathan Hughes: Yeah. That's fantastic. So, I guess the final question, if anybody has any questions about the program, how can they find NEBHE and how can they interact with you?
Jonathan Gowin: Yeah, please feel free to reach out whenever you have questions. Our website is nebhe.org. That's nebhe.org. Our specific website has a slash tuition break after that. We also, the best place as well to get your questions answered would be to reach out via email as well. That would be email@example.com. It's the best way to reach us.
I'll also say we are, as I suggested earlier, we're doing everything we can to communicate and get the good word out there about Tuition Break. So on our website, you'll see a lot more information about other webinars and programs that we put on, more information about the academic programs that are available, and more information about what our various partner institutions are up to.
So please check out our website, reach out with any questions, and we look forward to talking to you all in the future.
Jonathan Hughes: Yeah. I know you did a webinar with us a short time ago, and we can and will put a link to that in the show notes. Well, thank you so much, Jonathan. This is a real pleasure.
Jonathan Gowin: Thank you very much, Jonathan. I am proud to be here and happy to spread the good word.
Jonathan Hughes: All right folks, so that about wraps it up. I want to thank Jonathan Gowin for being here. And folks, if you liked what you heard today and you want to know more from us on planning, saving, and paying for college and career readiness, you can follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, wherever you get your shows.
And please remember to review us. It helps us to keep doing what we're doing and to keep getting this show out to folks like you. Once again, thank you. Thank you. I want to thank Shaun Connolly, our producer and A.J. Yee for his assistance in posting the show. Once again, my name is Jonathan Hughes and this has been the MEFA Podcast. Thanks.