JBU Students Celebrate Free Tuition

Siloam Springs, Ark. (March 19, 2009) — John Brown University students were reminded this week that each class period they attend from now until the end of the school year is free to them. As part of its second “Tuition Freedom Day” (TFD) celebration on Thursday, JBU explained to students that the tuition they paid for the 2008-2009 school year covered the cost of their education only up to this week. The $4000 per student cost of education for the remaining 5 weeks of the semester is paid for not by the students, but by outside gifts to the university. The actual cost to educate each student at JBU for the 2008-2009 school year— for tuition, fees, room and board—was $28,646. The amount that each student was charged to attend JBU was only $24,646. The $4,000 difference was covered by the university in the form of an unpublished subsidy to each student, regardless of financial status or scholarships they receive. Funds for the subsidy are raised by JBU in the form of financial gifts from alumni and friends of the university. This is the second year that JBU is publicly celebrating the annual gifts that fill the tuition gap, even though similar subsidies have been consistently applied to student accounts throughout JBU’s history. In celebrating Tuition Freedom Day, JBU is letting students know that they are getting a more valuable education than the price tag suggests. “Taking things for granted is a human tendency,” said Jerry Rollene, director of Alumni and Parent Relations. “The TFD celebration is an important reminder to students that yearly donations by those who have gone before them, and those who love JBU, help to make their education more affordable. We hope that spotlighting the generosity of others will cultivate a spirit of gratitude among our students.” Through a TFD web site, students have an opportunity to learn more about the subsidy and the generosity of donors and to submit thank you notes to those who give to the university. Students also had the opportunity to win prizes for guessing the number of people who gave financial gifts to JBU last year and the number of gifts given in all.