LINCOLN — It might sound like a deal on a game show, but Lincoln College officials are hoping their new “Price Match Program” will grab attention and attract more students to the school.
Under the program, the college will match the financial aid package of another qualifying college or university and might add an additional $1,000 per semester to the Lincoln College package.
To be eligible, freshmen must have an SAT composite score of 1020 or ACT composite score of 20 and a cumulative high school GPA of at least 2.85 on an unweighted 4.0 grading scale. New transfer students must have a cumulative college GPA of 3.0 on an unweighted 4.0 grading scale.
Students must be a U.S. citizens and provide a copy of their financial aid award letter from another U.S., regionally accredited baccalaureate degree granting college or university.
Additional information is available at lincolncollege.edu/price-match-program.
“It's a way for us to really attract a different type of student, one who is cost conscious but also wants to have their merit recognized,” said Lincoln College President David Gerlach. “The reality is … we're the most affordable game in town.”
He said the cost of attending Lincoln College is competitive with most public, four-year schools and is “by far” the lowest priced private college.
Tuition and the student life fee are $18,600 a year at Lincoln College and room and board charges are $7,700. But 100 percent of the college's traditional, full-time students receive some form of institutional financial aid, according to the college.
Even if a student is not eligible for the Price Match Program, there are other merit and need-based scholarships and grants that will continue to be available.
“We in higher education need to do better” as far as affordability, said Gerlach, adding another goal of the program is to attract students who otherwise might go out of state.
“One of the challenges a lot of college presidents in Illinois are trying to tackle is the out-migration,” he noted.
Lincoln College considers itself to be a hybrid institution, offering two-year associate's degree programs as well as four-year bachelor's degrees. It also offers an Accelerated Bridge to Education program for working adults in Normal, Lincoln, East Peoria and Oglesby. However, the ABE program is not part of the price-match initiative.
Gerlach said the Price Match Program was under consideration for several months and the thought that other institutions might match Lincoln's match has crossed his mind.
However, he said, “this is not about us trying to create a trade war. … It's our commitment to affordability.”