College reduces tuition and fees by 35%; offers free summer courses and paid internships

In recent years, Hiram College has been a front-runner in designing and implementing bold academic changes under a model aptly known as the New Liberal Arts™. The College is now taking steps to make its New Liberal Arts more accessible through a new tuition model that will reduce the published tuition and mandatory fees by 35 percent, starting in fall 2020, and roll out other changes as well.  

The model reduces Hiram’s current list price of $37,710 for tuition and mandatory fees to $24,500. The lower list price will reduce the sticker shock that makes private college seem out of reach for many prospective students and their families. The new tuition model is about much more than lowering tuition. It has two unique components that have not been featured in models developed at other colleges or universities: free summer courses and expanded opportunities for paid internships. 

“A number of private colleges have lowered their published tuition in recent years in an effort to be more accessible. The model designed by the leadership team at Hiram, however, is truly novel. It goes beyond the financial benefit to offer students academic and career benefits as well,” says Richard Ekman, Ph.D., president of the Council of Independent Colleges, an association of more than 600 colleges and universities. “This new tuition model is just another step in the innovative change process that President Varlotta and her team have implemented over the last few years. CIC will continue to watch these innovations closely.” 

Hiram students will now have the option to take up to two free summer courses each year, allowing for the acceleration or deceleration of studies during the academic year. Some students may opt to take up to 36 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters and 8 credit hours during each summer to complete a degree in 3 years. Others may use the summer to catch up on courses they either dropped or postponed taking during the regular year for no extra charge.  

Free summer courses allow students to pursue their studies at the specific pace that suits their individual circumstances. “Students who wish to take one less course while their team is in season or while they work on a major research project can now make up those hours at no cost in the summer. And those who wish to accelerate course work to graduate sooner and potentially save a semester’s or year’s worth of tuition can do so,” explains Lori Varlotta, Ph.D., president of Hiram College. “In addition, students who wish to add a second major or minor can enroll in free summer classes that help them achieve that goal. These features make Hiram’s new tuition model stand apart from reset models that are designed primarily to lower an institution’s sticker price. Our model offers real financial and academic benefits to students.”  

Moreover, the new tuition was designed in a way that further enables opportunities for experiential learning. Thanks to a substantial gift made by a generous donor and graduate of Hiram, the College has been able to substantially expand the number of paid internships it offers. Starting in summer 2020, Hiram will add dozens of new internships to the existing array of experiential activities available on campus, at the James H. Barrow Biological Field Station, and at approved off-campus sites around the country. These internships will allow students to earn the experiential credits they need to graduate and the cash they need to help pay for college expenses throughout the year. 

“Hiram can offer this new model because we are constantly seeking ways to better educate our students,” says Judy Muyskens, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College. “We have a rich history of graduating students who contribute to society in important ways, prosper in their careers, and become lifelong learners. And our excellence in this area has earned us national acclaim this year.” 

The 2019 edition of Washington Monthly’s College Guide and Rankings recently listed Hiram College as #4 in the country among colleges and universities that award bachelor’s degrees almost exclusively. Rankings consist of three equally weighted portions: social mobility, research, and promoting public service. To be considered a top-ranked institution, colleges must be excellent across all measures rather than excelling in just one. Hiram has also fared exceptionally well in the latest U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges rankings, placing #14 among Midwest regional colleges, #5 for social mobility among Midwest regional colleges, and #6 for best value among Midwest regional colleges.  

Hiram expects the new tuition model to attract and retain an increased number of students, to enhance students’ learning opportunities, and to pave a pathway from college to career. Students and parents can learn more about Hiram’s new tuition model by visiting