With more than one week of the new school year down, Rider University has announced a significant tuition cut for new undergraduates starting next fall.

Rider will reduce its base undergraduate tuition from $45,120 to $35,000 for new students beginning in fall 2021.

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The change in tuition price does not mean lower net costs for students, according to Rider spokeswoman Kristine A. Brown when asked to clarify whey the change would not impact current students.

"The initiative changes Rider's high tuition, high discount pricing model, which creates a significant hurdle for students and families who believe the sticker price immediately puts a Rider education financially out of reach," Brown said in a written statement.

The "Lifting Barriers" initiative also has a goal of connecting 95% of all students, beginning with the Class of 2025, with career preparation experiences such as internships, guided research and fieldwork, according to the school's press release.

As part of the initiative, current students will benefit from such increased access to career preparation services, discounted rates for both summer sessions and the term between fall and spring semesters, known as " J-term and other enhancements to services and facilities, according to Brown.

According to the university, 99% of all students currently receive Rider-funded scholarships and financial aid — a percentage that is not expected to change under the new model.

The statement noted that new students who pay the lower advertised tuition are expected to have a reduced need for financial aid, which will be adjusted accordingly, so that "out of pocket costs" will remain similar to current levels.

"Because the net price is remaining stable, applying the new tuition rate to current students would have no effect on their cost of attendance, which is why Rider chose not to apply the new rates to current students," according to the same press release.

On July 1, Rider University signed new program-to-program transfer agreements with Mercer County Community College and Brookdale Community College, involving the transfer of credits toward a bachelor’s degree at Rider. Both agreements also provide guaranteed admission for students who earn an associate degree, provided all academic and other requirements are met.

The 2020 fall semester began on Aug. 31, with classes being delivered as the pandemic continues in three primary formats: fully remote, fully in person and a hybrid model that blends the two options.

Students living in on-campus housing also have been spaced out whenever possible, to maximize access to single rooms, according to a June press release.

On-campus instruction will wrap on Nov. 24, with residential students moving out of residence halls prior to Thanksgiving break, after which the semester will wrap with 1 week of remote instruction following Thanksgiving.

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