Office of University Communications & Marketing

UNA Announces Tuition Changes

Jun. 20, 2019



Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at meubanks@una.edu, 256-606-2033 or 256-765-4392 

 

FLORENCE, AL – The University of North Alabama today announced a move toward a transparent, true cost-of-attendance tuition model for students and parents that includes a drastic reduction in fees (from seven to one); fee inclusion in overall tuition cost; and a “truth in advertising” methodology, which sets UNA apart from many peer institutions. 

“UNA is extremely conscious of and sensitive to a total cost-of-attendance for our students, evidenced by the comparison to our peers, all of whom receive significantly more funding from the state to provide essential services,” said Dr. Ross Alexander, UNA’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. 

UNA is ranked 9th out of 14 in total cost-of-attendance, which includes tuition plus fees, in Alabama. Further, UNA receives between $10 million and $20 million less annually in state funding compared to peers with enrollments between 5,000 and 8,000 students. University officials have created “Project 208” – named for the distance in miles from Florence to Montgomery – in an effort to highlight the need for fairness in funding for UNA. 

“Despite continued and chronic underfunding from the state, the University remains committed to both a competitive and transparent total cost-of-attendance model and an unparalleled transformational student experience,” Alexander said. 

The impact of the new plan on students will vary depending on course load. Some students will see little to no change in overall expenses, while others will see an increase. The maximum increase for students taking 15 hours will not exceed 4.1 percent, and officials expect UNA to remain 9th out of the 14 public universities in Alabama in total cost of attendance for the upcoming school year. 

As UNA moved toward “banded tuition” in the 2018-19 year, there was no tuition increase. The “banded tuition” model was part of the “Finish in Four” initiative, which was focused on student success, timely progress toward graduation, and an increased graduation rate. 

Already, in its first year, the “Finish in Four” initiative has resulted in a 20 percent increase in the students enrolled in 15 or more credit hours, and UNA has experienced a two percent increase in its graduation rate, which is unprecedented in University history. 

“While UNA is sensitive to total cost-of-attendance for our students, a modest increase was necessary this year,” Alexander said. “I commend our Board of Trustees for their vision and foresight in implementing a banded tuition last year, with no tuition increase. After only one year, ‘Finish in Four’ is proving immensely successful, with a two percent increase in graduation rate and a more than 20 percent increase in the number of students taking 15 or more credit hours per semester. Both the board and the administration are committed to student success and the reduction of debt burden for our students.” 

The lag in funding from the state continues to reverberate across the University campus, particularly in deferred maintenance needs. “With more than $160 million in deferred maintenance and immediate capital needs, the lack of funding from the state affects everything we do,” said Evan Thornton, UNA’s Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs. 

UNA President Ken Kitts notes that impact of the funding deficit extends to the region. “Over the last decade, UNA has missed out on hundreds of millions of dollars that should have come to this campus,” Kitts said. “And that translates to fewer jobs in the Shoals, fewer contracts with local businesses, and less tax revenue for local governments.” 

About The University of North Alabama 

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professionals. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. UNA Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Big South Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks