“A Priceless Education that is Affordable”

ADRIAN, Mich. – Adrian College Vice President for Enrollment, Frank Hribar, spoke to high school and community college counselors from throughout the state on the merit and affordability of a private college education in Michigan at the Michigan College Foundation’s Collective College Fair. This event was open to professionals assisting students in their undergraduate and graduate educational goals and was positioned to educate attendees on the opportunity and value at Michigan’s small, private higher education experiences.

“Value is something I am extremely passionate about,” Hribar said in his speech regarding the 14 MCF institutions. “I know, first-hand, the transformational impact these institutions have on the lives of their respective students and families.”

Hribar presented on the financial feasibility of attending a small private college, and the outcomes of its education. He noted the assumptions that many make in reviewing private colleges.

“I am troubled when families “write-off” these institutions too early,” noted Hribar. “They make erroneous assumptions that a higher sticker price ultimately means higher family cost; that the difference in learning outcomes and experiences are small or non-existent; and finally that true value can only be afforded by those with the monetary means.”

Hribar went on to note the aggressive financial packages offered at any of the fourteen Michigan College Foundation schools.

“Adrian College meets 100% of established need as a packaging practice. We package scholarships, need-based grants, and student loans to reduce the direct costs to meet the students’ expected family contribution.”

“We have distributed over $21 million in institutional discounts to assist families in making our college affordable during this fiscal year,” Hribar discussed as an overview of the financial packages offered at Adrian College.

Through aggressive fundraising efforts and resource development, as well as comprehensive partnerships, Hribar went on to say that schools like Adrian College can discount tuition at a rate to make them affordable to even the most need-based students. He went on to indicate that the State of Michigan provides specific and direct support to students attending private institutions in the form of the Michigan Tuition Grant.

“Student populations at the 14 institutions that make of the Michigan College Foundation are as demographically and socio-economically rich as any other institutional type,” Hribar said during his presentation. “I’ve been on every MCF campus, and they are as culturally and socially diverse as any other campus I have been to- of any type and size.”

Hribar continued to emphasize the meaning to students considering these educational experiences. He stated that, on average, students pay about one-half of the “sticker price” at an MCF institution. He also noted the recent accolade earned by Adrian College as one of only five colleges and institutions (of all types) in the Midwest of placing the least amount of debt load on its students upon graduation. The recognition by U.S. News and World Report is the 2nd in this category for the College in two consecutive years.

“This outcome allows students to pursue a career path based upon their passion- not their initial paycheck.”

Also discussed was the total impact of tuition costs over the course of a student’s entire educational experience.

“Most parents assume that their child will graduate from college in four years, but statistics tell a different story,” Hribar said. “As a whole, students at independent colleges and universities graduate in four years at twice the rate of their peers at other institutions.”

The overall impact of the ability to graduate in four years was emphasized by the increased costs, changes to financial packages, and the value of this proposition. Beyond the direct economic impact of a student exceeding the four-year educational plan, Hribar noted the direct impact of a student’s inability to begin earning a salary while still accumulating additional education costs.

“When you factor in lost income each year and compound that by factoring the value of delayed salary raises over the remainder of a career that are lost due to entering the workforce a year later, the impact is startling.”

Hribar discussed the benefits students receive based on their education. He reviewed the data utilized to assess learning effectiveness. One such example is a College’s Placement Rate (employment or graduate school). Another indicator is through the National Survey of Student Engagement which measures: Level of Academic Challenge, Active and Collaborative Learning, Student-Faculty Interaction, Enriching Educational Experiences, and Supportive Campus Environment.

“Research shows definitively that institutional scores on these benchmarks are strongly correlated with direct measures of such critical skills as reasoning and problem-solving. These private institutions had meaningfully higher mean scores on all five benchmarks when compared to their counterparts in higher education,” said Hribar.

Hribar concluded by evaluating the importance of the difference on an average educational experience offered at the MCF institutions as compared to other higher education options.

“You can unveil for many families the rich learning resources these colleges provide; and, you can enlighten families about how truly affordable and cost effective they are.”

Founded in 1949, the Michigan College Foundation (MCF) is a collective of 14 independent colleges and universities located throughout Michigan. MCF works to provide financial resources that support scholarships and operations and to develop collective initiatives that attract, engage and retain talent for the state. Some of these initiatives include the MCF Collective College Fair, The Third 90 Initiative and the Think Michigan Marketing Campaign for more information about the Collective College Fair and other MCF initiatives, please visit: www.michigancolleges.org.