Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuition Cuts for Study Abroad Programs

Buried deep in a story from the July 9 edition of Inside Higher Education (so deep I just found it this morning) is this study-abroad recruiting innovation from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln:
Nebraska is offering its students a 20 percent discount on summer study abroad programs this year in hopes of bolstering enrollment despite steep room and board rates for foreign study. While students are flocking to summer classes at the Lincoln campus, [Director of Summer Sessions Paul] Savory said he was initially nervous that study abroad numbers would drop off this year because of the economy.

“I think it’s helped with the recruitment, definitely,” Savory said of the 20-percent fee reduction. “When you look at the overall cost of these trips it doesn’t add up to a whole lot, but it’s helping students make that decision.”

The tuition break will amount to about $110 for in-state students taking a three-credit course abroad, and more than $300 for out-of-state students — admittedly, Savory said, a relatively small discount compared to the $2,500 in airfare and lodging expenses students will face for their trips. Still, Savory is optimistic that 2009 enrollment will match the headcount from last summer, when the University of Nebraska sent more than 300 students abroad for summer programs.

“We’re trying to expand internationally, and we’re using the discount to help that out,” Savory said. The tuition break benefits cash-strapped students, and the escalated interest in finding an alternative to summer employment helps the college’s international efforts, he said.
Nebraska is running 19 study abroad programs this summer.

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