Tuition Transparency

Tuition Reduced Arrow Down $32,000 for 2019-20

Tuition Transparency FAQ

A: The traditional practice of high tuition and high discount is confusing to students and families. National studies report that more than 50 percent of high school seniors and parents surveyed say that a high “sticker price” will cause them to eliminate a school from consideration during their college search. Although the College has consistently worked in past years to make an E-town education affordable by funding scholarship and need-based grant aid programs, we believe that the Tuition Transparency program will provide a clearer picture to students and their families.

Tuition Transparency means that you will know the real cost of tuition at Elizabethtown College. The College will reduce the cost of tuition by 32 percent to $32,000 for the 2019-2020 academic year – the approximate tuition 10 years ago. Families considering Elizabethtown should not be discouraged, based on our “sticker price.”

The College will continue to provide merit-based scholarships and need-based grants but at an amount proportional to the reduced tuition cost.

A: For prospective students: For you, Tuition Transparency lowers tuition by 32 percent to $32,000, with scholarship and need-based aid awarded by the College based on the lower cost.

For currently enrolled students: For you, Tuition Transparency results in a change to the tuition cost and to the amount of scholarship and need-based aid that you will receive from the College in 2019-2020. As a result, if your eligibility for scholarship and need-based aid continues at the same level that exists for 2018-2019, you can expect to pay the same out-of-pocket amount for tuition in 2019-20 that you paid in 2018-2019, in effect, freezing your out-of-pocket tuition cost for 2019-2020.

A: Elizabethtown College will implement Tuition Transparency in the 2019-2020 academic year.

A: The College will continue to award merit scholarships and need-based aid based on the lower published cost.

A: Elizabethtown College will send an email to the campus email address for all current students to announce Tuition Transparency. The email will be followed by a letter to your homes. Both will provide you with a sample of how, under this program, most students will pay less than you would under the previous tuition, and no student will pay more, provided their expected family contribution remains the same or is less in 2019-2020. In addition, Elizabethtown College invites all students to attend a Sept. 13 information session, in which the College will explain Tuition Transparency and answer questions.

Elizabethtown College will adjust scholarships and need-based grants for current students to compensate for the reduced tuition level.

Current students whose expected family contribution for 2019-2020 is similar to or less than the amount calculated for 2018-2019 will not see an increase in their out of pocket tuition cost (i.e., payment and/or amount borrowed).

In early November, all students will receive a letter that details the projected costs and financial aid for the 2019-2020 academic year.

You are encouraged to make an appointment with your financial aid advisor who will be happy to address any questions.

A: As is always the case, a student’s eligibility for need-based aid is assessed annually. Eligibility is based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated from information submitted by the student and, for a dependent student, parents on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If the EFC changes significantly from the previous year, this can result in a change in aid eligibility. In addition to a change in income and/or asset levels, your EFC can be impacted by a number of other changes including, but not limited to, household size, number in college and extraordinary expenses that can impact a family’s ability to contribute. These changes can result in either an increase or decrease to your aid eligibility and out of pocket expenses.

A: Scholarship offers made up to and including those for the 2018-2019 academic year were based on a higher tuition amount. With a 32-percent reduction in tuition, the amount of the scholarships and overall amount of funding from Elizabethtown also must be reduced. Under the existing tuition model, while Elizabethtown College scholarships would remain the same from one year to the next, increased tuition costs in subsequent years would result in higher out of pocket expenses. The lower rate under the Tuition Transparency, including the lowering of Elizabethtown College scholarships, will result in no increase in out-of-pocket cost to students for tuition in the 2019-2020 year. In addition, students who continue to the 2020-2021 year will see a smaller out of pocket expense since the prior year’s tuition, upon which an increase will be calculated, will be lower.

Below is an example of the financial impact of continuing with the current tuition model, under which the existing scholarship amount is maintained, and the impact with the new Tuition Transparency model.

Tuition Cost and Aid Eligibility   2018-2019   2019-2020 Tuition
Traditional Model
  2019-2020 Tuition
Transparency Model
TUITION    $46,940   $48,348   $32,000
ECS (scholarship and/or grants)   $29,000   $29,000   $14,060
Out of Pocket Cost   $17,940   $19,348   $17,940 
Change in out of pocket expense for tuition from 2018-2019      $1,408   $ - 


For residential students, room and board will increase for 2019-2020 no more than 3%.

NOTE: If a currently enrolled student wanted to maintain their current scholarship amount, the College would have to apply the higher traditional tuition model.

A: Students only need to follow the normal application process for need-based financial aid. Prospective students will be considered for merit scholarships on the basis of our published guidelines.

A: A number of factors influence decisions concerning future years’ tuition levels. If tuition increases take place, the increases will be set as a percentage of the lowered tuition rate, which will result in students paying less.

A: For residential students, room and board costs will increase for 2019-2020 no more than 3%.

A: You can find additional information concerning E-town’s Tuition Transparency at

A: Prospective students: Contact the Office of Admissions at 717-361-1400 or

Current students: Contact the Financial Aid Office at 717-361-1404 or

A: In the summer of 2017, College President Carl Strikwerda engaged an external review to assess the possibility of lowering the tuition at Elizabethtown. In the fall of 2017, the Board of Trustees made a recommendation – and approved – the consideration of a more transparent and lower tuition cost. After extensive examination and consideration, the Board approved a 32-percent reduction in tuition from the 2018-2019 rate to be adopted for the 2019-2020 academic year.

A: The College is reducing tuition by 32 percent. The College is not reducing room and board.

A: For every continuing full-time undergraduate day student, Elizabethtown College will lower the tuition “sticker price” from the amount that you have been assessed this year (2018-2019). The tuition price of $32,000 means that you will pay less in 2019-2020 than you would have paid after a typical increase (which, over the last five years, was at an average of 4.2 percent), assuming no significant changes occur in a family’s financial circumstances.

A: In addition to a longstanding dedication to providing institutional merit scholarships and need-based grants to students (currently more than 90 percent of students receive funding from the College), beginning with the class that enrolled in fall 2018, Elizabethtown created a Four Year Graduation Guarantee, under which students, who qualify and meet the requirements of the program, are guaranteed to graduate in four years or the College will pay for up to an additional 16 credits.

A: The tuition model for our School of Continuing and Professional Studies and Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in Peace Education is different and therefore the tuition reduction of 2019-2020 does not affect it.