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SOURCE Wilson College
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa., Oct. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wilson College is offering prospective students a rare opportunity in the increasingly expensive world of higher education – a chance for students to reduce their debt by up to $10,000 through a unique debt buyback program.
Under Wilson's student debt buyback plan, among the first of its kind in higher education, the college will pay up to $10,000 toward a student's federal Stafford Loan debt if the student meets prescribed academic and service requirements.
The debt buyback program will be available to students entering in fall 2014. To qualify, students must be a first-time college student and earn a diploma in four years or less of continuous, full-time enrollment at Wilson College.
Wilson's debt buyback plan, which was drawn from corporate practices, recognizes the need to make college more affordable and creates a strong value proposition for the institution.
"It provides an innovative form of support for Wilson students while serving as a powerful incentive for academic success, service to the community and participation in the life of the campus," said Dr. Barbara K. Mistick, president. "We want to encourage students to take full advantage of the college experience, while reducing the burden of student debt."
The debt buyback program was approved by the Wilson College Board of Trustees last January as part of a bold series of measures aimed at rejuvenating the college by significantly increasing enrollment, strengthening programs and facilities, addressing issues of educational cost and value, and ensuring financial sustainability in the future.
In addition to creating the debt buyback plan, Wilson's trustees voted to reduce tuition by $5,000, or 17 percent, to $23,745 for the 2014-15 academic year. A year ago, the board agreed to freeze tuition for 2013-14 at $28,745 for the third year in a row.
The buyback program will begin with the incoming class in fall 2014 and the first eligible students will graduate in spring 2018.
Wilson officials expect the plan to cost up to $100,000 a year, depending on variables. The college will fund the plan through additional revenue generated by increased enrollments and retention of students participating in the program.
"It's a proverbial win-win – for both students and the college," Mistick said. "We are very hopeful that students and parents will see the value in our debt buyback plan and take advantage of it."
Some specifics of the debt buyback program:
The measures approved by Wilson's Board of Trustees last January include expanding coeducation at Wilson across all programs. Traditional-age male students were admitted as commuters for fall 2013. The college will admit male residential students in fall 2014.
Founded in 1869, Wilson College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college offering bachelor's degrees in 34 majors/concentrations and master's degrees in education, the humanities and accountancy. Wilson is committed to providing an affordable education that offers value to its students beyond graduation.
Located in Chambersburg, Pa., the college has a fall 2013 enrollment of 662, which includes students from 20 states and 14 countries. Visit www.wilson.edu for more information.
CONTACT: Cathy Mentzer, Manager of Media Relations
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