MEFA Institute: Everything You Need to Know about Tuition Break

Did you know that New England residents can enroll at out-of-state public colleges at a discount? In this webinar, presented by Jonathan Gowin, Director of Tuition Break for the New England Board of Higher Education, earn more about Tuition Break, a savings program specifically for New England residents that can save families approximately $9,000 per year. Over 2,500 degree programs are available.

Download the webinar slides to follow along.


Please note that this transcript was auto-generated. We apologize for any minor errors in spelling or grammar.

Julie Shields-Rutyna: Okay, I think we'll get started. Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Julie Shields Rutina, and I'm the Director of College Planning, Education, and Training at MIFA, and I'm pleased to welcome you to our webinar this afternoon about tuition break, and I'm also pleased to introduce our, our terrific, uh, presenter, Jonathan Gowan, who is the Director of Tuition Break, and, uh, he's going to share All about this wonderful program.

And, uh, I know that's going to be a help to all of us. So just a couple of logistics, uh, you will, um, we, I'm recording this webinar. So I will tomorrow send you the recording and the slides, if that's okay, Jonathan, if we send the slides along. And if you have a question, please use the question and answer feature on your screen, and I'll be monitoring that and we can make sure all your questions are answered.

We, we love questions. So, um, we want, we want to make sure that, um, that you feel free to ask questions. Put those out anytime and if you need closed captioning, you can press the live transcript button on your screen and you'll be able to see the words that we're speaking across the screen. And again, because we're recording this, you don't have to take too many notes.

You will have the slides and you'll have the recording sent to you tomorrow. So with that, Jonathan, I'm going to let you

Jonathan Gowin: take over. Thank you so much, Julie. I really appreciate it. And it's wonderful to be back online with MIFA and back online with some excellent school counselors from across the state.

So thank you all so much for joining, whether you're here live or watching the recording, it's real, it's a real pleasure. And I'm also thrilled to be sharing a bit about tuition break as well. And so Uh, tuition break, also known as the regional student program, a wonderful savings opportunity for residents of New England when they attend public institutions.

Uh, so I will say just a little bit about the presentation here to start. I've structured this as a kind of, as a frequently asked questions. I'll start with. A bit of an overview about how the program works about the organization that I work for that overseas and administers tuition break, and then I'll start to dive into some of the very common, very specific questions and circumstances that come up around tuition savings when it comes to reciprocity programs, as I find that that for counseling folks.

That's generally, those are generally the most helpful pieces of information. It gives you very specific scenarios that oftentimes can come up when you're counseling students. So, um, as Julie said, please don't hesitate to ask questions. I don't mind being interrupted, drop them in there. Uh, this is not an exhaustive list of frequently asked questions.

So I'm sure that there will be more so by all means, feel free. So to dive in a little bit more, I want to start by talking about just what is tuition break overall. So I've, I've said a few key words already right off the top of the hour. I've talked about, I've called it tuition savings. I've talked, I mentioned reciprocity.

The important thing to know about tuition break is that we are a program, we've been around about 70 years, and we exist to serve New England residents. when they study at an out of state public institution. Uh, now, as you well know, when a student goes to an in state institution here in Massachusetts, they're going to get in state tuition.

It's, it's going to be that, the best tuition rate that they can get. But, as you also well know, there are, there are going to be those students who say, no, UConn is the place for me. URI is the place for me. University of Southern Maine. That's, that's where I want to go. So Tuition Break exists to help students who are looking outside of their home state, but are really, uh, but are looking also at a public institution that's also in New England.

So a few key points there. We exist to serve New England residents. When they go to a New England institution that's outside their home state, and how it fundamentally works is that it's a tuition discount. So that's an important distinguishing factor as well. One of the things I often like to talk about and as I think it's one of the great strengths of the program.

Is that the tuition break discount is just that it's not a scholarship. It's not alone. It's not a grant. It's an it's an immediate and first line of defense. What I usually say in terms of bringing a student's cost down so that other forms of financial aid like scholarships like grants like Loans can also come into play.

After that, and they can work together with tuition break to help students save money. Now I will say Um, there are a couple other important points to know. The first is that I, we do work exclusively with public institutions. We do not work with private institutions because their private institutions don't have the differential tuition rate for residents.

Uh, but one of the important things to know about the public institutions that we work with is that we haven't, we have complete participation for, with all of the public institutions in the entire region of New England. And I'll say we define New England as the states of Maine. New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

So oftentimes does come up in questions when interacting with students do do does New York count at this point? No, New York is not part of New England as we define it. However, every single public institution within those six states that make up New England does participate in tuition break to a greater or lesser extent.

And that extent of participation is where the second important piece of information I want to talk about comes into play, and that is eligible academic program. So while the first things to consider and know for a student who may be eligible for tuition break, the first thing is They have to be a resident of New England.

The second thing is they have to be attending an out of state public institution. The third is they have to be enrolling in an eligible academic program. So I'm going to get into that in a moment. There's a couple layers that I want to break down for you, but that's a broad overview of the program and why, why it exists for students.

So I also want to talk a little bit as well here about This organization called the New England Board of Higher Education. That is the organization I work for. It's the organization that administers tuition break and has been administering tuition break for nearly 70 years. So we've been around a long time, and I'll say this just as a little bit of background.

The New England Board of Higher Education, we are a compact organization, which I like to say is going to wear a A nonprofit policy think tank meets a government agency focused on higher education. So our main mandate is to serve the residents and institutions of New England and look for opportunities that bring together state legislators, state higher ed executives, institution leaders, Faculty members and everyone else involved in higher education, bringing people together to help find solutions to a lot of the problems and challenges that face higher ed across the decades, I will say, in more recent years as we've been developing a new strategic plan, a lot of this is really focused on affordability, you all well know how.

cost is affecting students, um, relationships with higher education and how they see it's valuable or, or perhaps not. Uh, we also have taken on in the last couple of years, um, a big focus on workforce development as that becomes a bigger part of the. And then lastly we do some other miscellaneous projects as well.

If you're familiar with the New England transfer guarantee, that's another project that has come out of Nebby, as we've also been very active in the last two years with prison, higher education programs as well, helping to serve folks who are currently or formerly incarcerated on their journey. to and through higher education.

So lots of cool things that we do. I say this just for a little bit of background about who we are, why we do what we do. We care about students, we believe in higher education, and we want to help get students to and through their degrees. And so tuition break is certainly a big part of that, especially in this era of greater cost consciousness.

So, Now back to tuition break, the actual, the actual topic of today. This is where I want to dive into some more of those academic program pieces that I was talking about. So to revisit what I said before, there are, there are three main things that students need to, uh, three main, uh, steps that students need to achieve to, in order to be eligible for the tuition break savings opportunity.

The first is they need to be a resident of a New England state. The second is that they need to be attending an out of state public institution. And then the third is that they enroll in an eligible academic program or major. Now how, now that academic program piece is what I want to break down because we broadly sort all of the various eligible academic programs that are available through Tuition Break.

into two broad categories. And this is a very extensive list. I'll say that we have, at this point, we have over 2, 700 academic programs that are available at reduced tuition around the region. That includes, uh, degree levels at, or degrees at every level, from associate degrees at our two year community colleges, all the way up to PhD graduate level, uh, courses and degree programs as well.

We also do, uh, we have some institutions that have certificates available through the tuition break program as well. So I, while I assume the vast majority of you are counseling undergraduate students, this is important to know as, as more and more folks ask questions about. The various alternative pathways that exist to a credential and as they even consider what their path may be beyond four year to year bachelor's or associate degree as well.

So it's important to know that tuition rate can be something that stays with the student well beyond just their initial undergraduate degree, but Back to these program categories, the first is specialized is what we call the specialized programs, and the second is what we call flexible programs. Now the specialized programs category this has been around for just about well actually it has been around for the entire existence of tuition break.

And for those of you who may know about tuition breaker, or may know us under our older more formal name is the New England regional student program, you'll probably be familiar with this. The specialized programs category means that in order for a student to be eligible for the discount and enrolling in that program, they have to be from a state where that academic program or something that is deemed to be similar enough to it is not available in their home state.

So it's called specialized because at the time of the program's founding, there were, uh, there were fewer academic programs that existed. And unique programs were just that. They were a bit more unique. They were a little bit harder to find across the various regions of the U. S. And so Tuition Break was initially created to serve this need of students who said, I can only access this academic program if I leave my home state.

This particular thing I want to study is only available in Massachusetts. I live in Maine. I have to pay out of state tuition. That's not particularly fair because I can't study that here in Maine. And so Tuition Break was created to help alleviate some of the cost pressures for students who wanted to cross state lines and go and study in some of these more highly specialized, fairly rare academic programs.

This has remained a pillar of the program, the specialized Uh, programs category has remained intact and still is how a solid number of our programs operate. I will say this is particularly common at our flagship institutions, the six flagship institutions, which are University of Massachusetts Amherst, the University of Connecticut, the main campus and stores, that is University of Rhode Island, University of Vermont, University of New Hampshire, uh, and the University of Maine and Orono.

And so primarily those institutions do offer the programs that they do through tuition break as specialized, which is to say the discount is available to students only if that academic program is not available in at a home state public institution. Um, so you'll probably, you're probably familiar with that.

This is a, it's a fairly common model for tuition reciprocity programs and has been the historic model for tuition break. The flexible programs, on the other hand, this is a different category and a relatively new category for us. Um, this was something that was launched back in 2019, just before the pandemic, and the flexible programs policy was created as we saw, as maybe saw a few things taking place.

The first being that, um, of course, students are becoming more and more cost conscious, rapidly more cost conscious as they consider their higher education. We also saw that there has been a pretty stark proliferation of various academic programs across the region as well, a fair amount of program duplication where many students are many academic programs rather are available in multiple, if not all of the New England states.

And while we honor the original intent of the program to provide. very focused, um, tuition break opportunities for these specific specialized and rare academic programs. We also want to recognize that nowadays we, we see how important campus fit campus culture or the institutional culture is for a student when they're making the decision.

And so Seeing both of those factors, rising cost consciousness, recognizing the importance of fit in a student's college decision making, we decided to expand our program categories and build in this flexible option. So what flexible means is that an institution can decide to offer one, one or more or all of their academic programs at the reduced tuition rate.

regardless of whether or not that program is available in a student's home state. Um, and so, and what we've seen is that many institutions in the region have adopted what I have come to call a fully flexible model, which is to say they offer all of their academic programs at reduced tuition for the entire region of New England.

I would say about the majority of our community colleges or the community colleges across New England. um, have adopted this policy. And I'd say about half of our non flagship four year institutions have done this as well. So what this means for you as your counseling students is that it's important to know that by and large, there are excellent tuition savings opportunities for students if they're thinking about going out of state to a two year or four year institution.

So the addition of the flexible programs policy has expanded by about, oh, actually nearly 400 percent the number of academic programs that were available at reduced tuition. Before flexible, that number was around 800. Now it's up over 2700, actually fairly close to 2800. So we're actually nearly at a 400 percent expansion since the adoption of the flexible programs.

And it's, it's led to many thousands more students. being able to save on their out of state tuition costs. So really has been a phenomenal addition. And I will say, as counselors, the addition of flexible programs makes it a lot easier to communicate about a program like tuition break, because there isn't this contingent factor of academic program enrollment that's really, or state eligibility that's involved.

when students are considering tuition rate. Um, now, not every institution is flexible. Like I said, at the flagship institutions across the region, they've largely, uh, they largely still hold to the specialized model, but flexible is a really important card to keep in your pocket as you're, uh, counseling students who are certainly very cost conscious, who are certainly looking at Uh, looking at a public institution in the region, um, and certainly thinking about going out of state as well.

So moving forward, I want to talk practically about the process. So I've gone through all of this background about what the program is, why it exists, some of the nuances about the, the logistics, or about the structure. Now I want to talk about the logistics. I want to talk about how does a student actually go from being an applicant to having the tuition savings.

Well, in their pocket. So a few important key steps. The first I've I've said once twice, probably three times already, the student has to be a resident of a New England state. The second then is that I always recommend you students do their research into what tuition break programs are eligible. at the institutions they're interested in.

So I will say this, this large list of programs I've talked about already, this 2700 plus list of eligible academic programs is available on our website. We do have a searchable database on there. It includes all of the programs sorted by degree level. It also indicates state eligibility. It'll list the program.

It'll list what states are eligible what and therefore what, uh, what residents are eligible for that discount. We also have some information in there about, uh, current tuition rates and contact information for those institutions as well. So if it is, if a student is really saying I'm, I'm definitely interested in Eastern Connecticut.

They're able to go in, search for our Eastern Connecticut listing, see the contact information for our, uh, for our contacts at that institution, and see a bit more information as well. And not only, I've been talking about this from the student perspective, not only is it helpful for them, but it's also an important tool for you all as counselors as well, as you're, as you have, uh, interactions with students who express interest in one institution or another, or are looking for a very specific academic program.

So on our website. Searchable database. It's got all of the programs. It's got all of our partner institutions listed out. So definitely recommend checking that out. The third step. And this is where, uh, frankly, I think is one of the greatest strengths of tuition break really lies. The third step is The student simply has to apply for admission to the institution they're interested in.

We do not require any other paperwork. We do not require any other documentation. There's no separate application. Students have to create no additional portals, no additional paperwork. There's no, uh, there are no other hurdles to tuition break. It's not dependent on, uh, any test scores, any GPA, any merit of any kind.

It's not based on income. It's not. It's not based on anything except those things I've already listed, which are residency. attending an out of state institution and enrolling in an eligible academic program. So there's no, there's no other logistical interaction that needs to happen with the student with us, uh, which I think is really, uh, is really a great benefit as the college search process has become more stressful, more challenging.

There's, there's just more moving parts now than ever before. And so we're really glad that students can just submit their admission application. And then the admission and financial aid offices at our partner colleges and universities, they will determine the students eligibility and make sure that it is automatically incorporated into their students financial aid letter, and their student account.

Now, all of that being said, I always always always recommend whenever I talk to students and families I always say. There's nothing we need from you in terms of an application. There's no, there's no other engagement that you have to do to access tuition break. However, I always recommend, uh, that students really speak with their admission counselor at the institution that they're applying to that participates in tuition break, because it never hurts to say, to reach out and say, Look, I know that this program exists.

I know that there's this, there's a savings opportunity. I want to make sure I fully understand how it works and the implications for it on, on my student account at this institution. Um, now there are not, there aren't any other steps to the application, uh, at any of our partner institutions that they require for students to access tuition break.

But it is important, I think, is important for students to ask that question because, um, just so that they know how to read their award letter when it comes out, that they understand how tuition break is being factored into that, and then that so that they fully understand the implications of what it means to be enrolling in the eligible academic program and how that can and will affect their careers.

Tuition savings as they progress through that over the years, and I'll talk a little bit more about that in particular in a moment, but all to say It's great for students to interact with the admission counselors with those folks, just so that there's one, that flow of information, and so that they're dotting all their I's, they're crossing all their T's.

So, now I want to actually move into the FAQs portion of this. I've given all of this background, now I want to, I want to talk through several scenarios, things that I commonly see come up, questions I frequently get from counselors that I speak to, from students and families that I speak to. Um, so. One of the things I've already covered so far is tuition break available for advanced degrees or certificates?

Absolutely yes. A good portion of our eligible academic programs are graduate degrees. We've got over 650. We also have a substantial number of certificates available as well. So if you're interacting with students who are saying, you know, I'm not quite ready for a full on degree program, but I'm really interested in getting certified in X, Y, or Z, but only this particular out of state institution has this certificate that I want.

This is really important for you to know, as these certificates, if they are tuition based, they can be available at that reduced tuition. And that is something important to know. Every institution is a little bit different in how they construct their funding model for certificates and even graduate degree programs as well.

So if they are a tuition based certificate, then they are, uh, then a program or an institution can put them into tuition break. So something important to know there, but the, the upshot of this to take away. Is that there are several hundred certificates available, many hundreds of graduate degrees available as well.

If you're even working with students who have long since graduated but are going through an undergraduate degree program and reaching out to you and saying, Look, I want to go on to an advanced degree, but I need a little bit of help. This is something else to keep in your back pocket. This is actually, this is a really, uh, this is a slide I really love to talk about, because this is a common question that I get, especially from parents, um, which is, can I combine tuition break with other kinds of financial aid, cost savings opportunities?

Absolutely, yes. Uh, so as I said before, tuition break being a discount, not a scholarship, not a loan, not a grant, means that it can work in tandem with all of those other kinds of financial aid. And like I said before, I often explain it to families as tuition break being the first line of defense. So if you've got your cost of attendance at this level, tuition break is going to come in and bring it down to here.

And then after that. The institution will apply scholarships, they'll apply Pell grants, they'll, they'll go through the process as they do of assigning all of the other kinds of aid that the student has been deemed eligible for. And so that's really something important to know is that they do work together.

A few important points in this, um, of course, a bit of a sore subject recently, but, um, we certainly, we always, uh, beat the drum on the FAFSA and encourage students and families to be, uh, filling that out. I've already made the point about tuition break being a discount and not a scholarship. Uh, and I will say the last piece about this is that While tuition break does work in tandem with other scholarships, it is important to know that tuition break, uh, scholarships will sometimes be adjusted by institutions when tuition break is applied as well.

So you may, uh, students, and this is a common question I get, students will sometimes express concern when They see that a scholarship amount has been perhaps lowered because a tuition break discount has been applied. That's merely because the scholarship represents a proportion of tuition that's being covered.

And so if a portion of tuition is being, uh, if tuition is being reduced by tuition break, then that overall raw scholarship number will be reduced so that the proportion of what's being covered will remain the same. So that is something that sometimes comes up in conversations that I have with students.

Um, they'll, they'll ask about that. And so as counselors, as folks who are no doubt having questions from students about their award letters, that's something that I like to share with you is that you can, so that you can anticipate. Those questions may be coming around. I also want to talk about some what if scenarios as well.

So things again, these are just more common questions, issues that may come up. So, students will often ask me, you know, I live in this state, I want to go to that college or university, how do I actually know if I qualify. So, Again, it's all the same things I've said before. I won't belabor this too too much.

They're a New England resident, they've done their homework into our list of eligible programs and participating institutions, and then confirming the program opportunity with the college university. This all goes back to what I was saying before about students engaging with their admission counselor with the folks that are representing that institution.

So no need to belabor that one anymore. Uh, but this is where, and now I'll, I'll start to get into some of the more common than in the nuancy kind of questions that I get a lot. So chosen major, it's not offered in my state. It's not this, this major that I want to study is not offered in any of my public institutions where I live.

And I see that it's not listed as a tuition break program at the schools that I'm interested in. What does that mean? And so I will say that, um, one of the common misconception that does exist out there about the program is, and this comes from the days of it being strictly about the specialized programs, where tuition break was based on whether or not a program was available in a student's home state.

The common misconception is that Um, uh, there some folks believe that, uh, the institutions in the receiving state are compelled to offer a program at reduced tuition that is not available in another state. Um, which is not, uh, unfortunately, I think in many cases is not how, is not the case? Every institution, it's every institution's prerogative to decide these are the programs that we'll put forth.

for tuition break eligibility. These are the programs that we will not. And so even if a program is is very unique or is not offered at any public institution in another state, that, uh, that, that other institution is not compelled to offer it at reduced tuition. They can decide to, and I will say to the great credit of many of our institutions, they do so.

They recognize This is a very unique program. This is something that doesn't exist in many places. We're going to do, we're going to do the right thing. We're going to offer it at reduced tuition. Almost all of our institutions do that. Many of them do. Uh, it's just, there are some cases where not every program is offered through tuition break, uh, even if it is particularly unique.

And so I do like to point that out because sometimes a student will look at what's available in their home state, say Connecticut, and they'll look at what's available in another state, say Rhode Island, and they'll say, wait a second. I don't have access to this, but I don't see that it's available here.

And in those cases, it's, it's very likely that the homans or the other institution has simply just decided that they will not offer it at reduced tuition. So something again, very important to know as students, uh, are perusing our database and, and trying to understand what's available at reduced tuition across the region.

So two scenarios here about changing majors, right? Because we know students change their major. I'm certainly guilty of this. I changed my major several times when I was an undergraduate student. Um, and so this is, uh, this is, uh, these are two very, very common scenarios. The first being, What happens if a student shifts from being in a major that's eligible for tuition break, where they're receiving the discount, into a major that's not eligible for tuition break, either because the institution has decided not to offer it at all, or because that program is simply not eligible, or that student is not eligible because of the state that they're from originally.

In that case, when a student moves from the tuition break major to the non tuition major, their tuition rate From the time that they transfer will return to the typical out of state level, so they will see a rise in their tuition. So this is something I do. I am very as open as I possibly can be whenever I talk to students about this, because it's definitely something to be certainly very aware of as students who are are going through the process and maybe are attracted to tuition break because it is a wonderful savings opportunity, but aren't entirely certain about the major that they're going into.

Um, this is just, this is important to know, um, as they consider, you know, how dedicated they are to choosing one major over another. The other situation is just the opposite of that. What if they go from a major that is not a tuition break program into one that is tuition break eligible for their state?

And in that case, almost all the time their tuition will go down and be lowered to the tuition break rate. I say almost all the time or usually because It's very, very important that the student goes through the right channels and the due and does their due diligence to talk to all of the, all of the appropriate folks on campus, so that they they're speaking with the registrar, they're speaking with the folks in financial aid to make sure that it's appropriately represented on the student's account.

And I will say that it typically will go into account. the semester, um, immediately following that time of major declaration. So, uh, and I also say usually because there are some programs at some institutions in the region that do place restrictions on when a student can access tuition break at their, during their journey.

Through the undergraduate institution. It's fairly rare, uh, but there are a very small handful of programs that, uh, only begin to offer the tuition break discount when the student gets to sophomore year or junior year. And so, again, it's not particularly common, but it's important to know as well as students consider changing majors, um, that while it may be a tuition break eligible program for their state.

There may be a restriction about when it will actually kick in. So that's the only reason I put the usually in there. Um, so very important context to know, nonetheless. Now all this talk about discounts and savings, what does this actually look like? How much of a discount, how much savings are we practically talking about here?

Um, I will say we're very proud of the fact that our, the average tuition per student saved is about 9, 200. per student, per family, and that's annually. So you think about that over the course over the lifetime of a four year degree, that's 40, 000 saved over the course of that if they graduate in four years.

So really substantial savings, an incredible opportunity and the way that it works, the way that the discount is actually applied is that the tuition break rate usually sits in between What is the in state rate and what is the out of state rate? So tuition break effectively adds kind of a third tier of tuition is a good way to think about it.

So, um, this example over here on the right hand side of the slide is, um, just is just explaining that. So say hypothetically in state tuition is 6, 000. out of state is 18, 000 tuition break typically will fall in between in this case at about 10, 500. Um, so very typically what happens is institutions will decide at what level do they want to, uh, set to the tuition break rate.

I'll say that it can be set anywhere between 100 percent of in state tuition, which is to say that. the tuition break rate is is just the same as in state. That is, uh, it's not the most common. There's a small handful of institutions. I would say four or five institutions that do that. Um, but in addition to or what is more common is that in addition to setting it at 100 percent of in state tuition institutions can set it at 125 percent of in state 150 percent or or up to 175 percent of in state tuition.

So. That level does vary from institution to institution. Some will put it at 125 percent of in state, so it's just a little bit more than in state. Others will be up on the higher end at 175. Um, that's, uh, that's more, that's more inside information, but important for you to know as you consider context, as you consider, um, counseling students.

I like to, I like to share as much as I can. Second to last slide here as I start to wrap this up and I'm excited to answer some questions and and engage with you more directly. I just want to drop a few quick numbers in here, things that we're proud of talking a little bit about our impact as both an organization and as a program.

Uh, like I said before, we're up to saving students at about 9, 000 a year. So again, very substantial. Um, and it does make a significant impact for students who, like I said, like I've said 100 times, who are very cost conscious, who are thinking about how can I get a credential and an opportunity that's going to take me to where I want to be, but also Allow me to do so in a way that won't saddle me with an undue debt burden and so on and so forth.

So the fact that we're able to save students almost 10, 000 a year, something we're really proud of and we see is particularly substantial. Uh, I'll say again, we offer over 2700 academic programs at the reduced tuition as well. So I'll say that it's some students will often ask, well, what if you don't have my program listed?

I'll say very typically. We have nearly every academic program under the sun that, uh, are offered through tuition break. There are a very small number of academic programs that don't exist anywhere in New England. Um, although I'll say for the number of colleges in our region, that's pretty rare. Uh, and speaking of the number of colleges, we're really proud of, again, that full participation across the region.

There are 68 public colleges and universities in New England. All 68 participate with us. They are tuition break institutions. And so we're really proud of that partnership. Um, and I'll say as well, all of you are probably aware of some of the recent public institution mergers that have happened in the region, notably in Vermont, in Connecticut, in the community college system in the latter, and with the four year university system in the And, uh, former.

And so I will say that we communicate very frequently with our partners at our institutions. And so all of our academic program listings are updated to reflect the newly merged institutions as of last summer. So for your, uh, for your current seniors, for your rising seniors, um, know that the database that I've mentioned that lives on our website is It is up to date with the mergers that have taken place.

So certainly important for you to know as students are looking ahead. And then lastly, in terms of raw numbers, uh, we serve about 9, 000 students per year. 9, 000 students from across the whole region of New England representing well, fairly evenly all six states, uh, given population. So we're really, we're really proud of that fact as well, is that we have a fairly extensive reach.

We also are very evenly distributed across the states as well. Proud of the number of students that we're able to serve. But as I bring my presentation component here, uh, to a bit of a close, I do want to, I'll leave this slide up. This is something that I welcome you to take a picture of, take a screenshot of it, write this information down.

This is just my contact information. Um, I will say. Well, I've tried to cover most of the frequently asked questions and the what if scenarios that students can encounter is not an exhaustive list. So please feel free to take this information. If you have any other questions, if you've got hyperspecific circumstances or situations where you're like, I don't know what tuition rate could mean for this specific student, or, or even if you're like, I really want to know what institutions offer this academic program.

Cause I'd like, I have a student who's interested in this subset of things. Let me know. I and my team are happy to help. So don't hesitate to reach out.

Julie Shields-Rutyna: Thank you so much, Jonathan. And I'll give I'll give you all a moment in case you want to ask any questions. I do have one may I share that we received a question this week.

Yeah. Um, where someone asked if I am You know, in a program and I'm receiving tuition break and I decide to take a break and I decide to, um, step out of school for a semester or a year. Um, how how would that

Jonathan Gowin: work? Absolutely. That is a phenomenal question, especially because we were seeing a rise in this trend around the country of pauses and stops.

And so the important thing is to know that again, this is a Transcribed by https: otter. ai I can't say 100 percent yes all the time, but I can say the vast majority of the time. Yes, there are no policies that prevent that. Um, I will say it's going to be incredibly critical for students to be in communication with the admission office and the registrar's office and everyone else about their journey and about where they're at.

Uh, but there are no limitations at all on age or progress as it relates to, um, or duration. Our policies specifically state that if a student is enrolled and if they're making progress towards the degree, they're going to continue receiving tuition break. Even if, you know, even if there's a pause in the middle of that, as long as they're making progress, um, you know, if they, and if they stop out and they take that year off, but they come back and they resume that progress, they're going to be able to continue to get tuition break.

That's great. Great

Julie Shields-Rutyna: news. Thank you. Well, I don't see any other questions. Um, you know, we know what that means. It's all very good, clear information. It really is a terrific

Jonathan Gowin: program. I hope that it was able to be as clear as possible. But I will reiterate again, please, please, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Happy to engage in a phone call. Happy to share whatever we can. And I'll say as well, I know this is quite a bit to digest. If you're thinking to yourself, you know, it would be great for my counseling colleagues to hear this. It'd be great for my students to hear this more, um, feel free to reach out to us as well.

We've got a small team here at Tuition Break and at NEBI, but we do get on the road quite a bit. We do spend some time at college fairs and at college nights and other awareness events. And so if there are, if there's an opportunity to engage with your staff or students, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

We can always, we can always, uh, prevent or, uh, present to those folks as well. Thank

Julie Shields-Rutyna: you so much, and thank you everyone for joining us, and have a great afternoon all. Thank you. Thank you, John. Bye bye.

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