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McNally Smith Reduces Student Expenses and Expands Founders’ Scholarship for 2011-2012

McNally Smith College of Music is continuing its efforts to make music education affordable during an economic period that is slow to produce jobs and significant growth in the U.S. In November, college President Harry Chalmiers instituted a tuition freeze for all current students. Now, in response to ongoing financial concerns from prospective students and their parents, McNally Smith will be implementing the following programs at a time when the rising costs of education are making some families think twice about higher education.

“An economic downturn, however drastic, is temporary,” Chalmiers said in a November news release and on his blog. “Choosing a life in music provides challenge, opportunity, and deep satisfaction based on doing what you love to do. We want current and prospective students to still be able to follow their passion for music,” he stressed. “McNally Smith tuition — averaging roughly $11,000 per semester — is still substantially below that of other leading music schools like Berklee College of Music.”

According to Jeff Aalbers, MAFAA 2010-2011 President-Elect and Senior Director of Administrative Services at McNally Smith, the following adjustments are being made to reduce student expenses while increasing the Founders’ Scholarship for the 2011-2012 school year — an immediate 15% increase in the college scholarship budget.

“The college is providing the necessary changes to make a solid music education a reality for those who want it but need financial support in as many channels as possible,” Aalbers notes. “We think these adjustments will help provide relief.”

Adjusted cost-saving highlights include:

Minimal tuition increases for new students, a freeze for current students

  • 3% increase in actual tuition rate for 2011-2012 new students (compare to 8% average over last five years)
  • Saving equals approximately 4-6% increase in total cost of attendance
  • Full-time returning students eligible for tuition freeze at 2010-2011 rates

Room & board savings

  • Expansion of college-run affordable housing options near campus
  • Meal plan options at the on-campus Sound-Bite Café. Students purchasing meal plans are not charged sales tax on meal purchases with the meal plan card, realizing over 7% savings.

Overall Savings

  • Students attending full-time year-round (including the summer term) will have their tuition frozen at the 2010-2011 tuition rate, resulting in savings of up to $4000 over the course of a 4-year bachelor degree program.
  • Encouraging students to adopt the college’s Degree-In-Three initiative to get students through the program in less than three calendar years for a 4-year degree, saving a year’s expenses.

The newly adjusted Founders’ Scholarship for McNally Smith College’s highest financial need applicants

  • Provides a $4000-per-year scholarship for students with the highest financial need ($2000 for Minnesota residents eligible for the Minnesota State Grant).
  • The Founders’ Scholarship Program represents a 16% increase in the scholarship budget for the 2011 calendar year and a 30% increase over current funding levels in the scholarship budget for the 2012 calendar year.
  • All other college scholarship programs remain for 2011-2012, including half-tuition scholarships in the areas of Music Production, Music Performance, Music Composition, and Music Business
  • Returning student scholarships for students with the 30 highest GPA’s campus-wide remain for 2011-2012

For more information, deadlines and criteria for the Founders’ Scholarship and other financial assistance help, visit the Scholarships page.

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