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    As we come to a close of our third year of Affordable Excellence in action at Roger Williams University, higher education in America remains at a crossroads. As seen through the media on a regular basis, comments by government officials and more importantly the students and parents we serve, a college education must become more relevant, more accessible and more affordable. The decisions before us involve not whether to address the issues, but rather how to accomplish this task.

    Since the launch of Affordable Excellence initiative in Fall 2012, the University has made significant progress in addressing the issues of cost, debt and jobs. And while it would be fiscally irresponsible to promise that tuition will never increase at Roger Williams, our goal is to continue the initiative's signature tuition freeze and guarantee for as long as remains feasible.

    In the fall of 2015, we announced that for undergraduate students, tuition will remain frozen at the 2012 price for the class entering in 2016; in addition, the four-year guarantee will be applied as well. And following up on our January 2014 expansion of Affordable Excellence to the RWU School of Law, we announced that the reduced law school tuition and the three-year guarantee will extend to incoming class of 2016 law students as well. All of these measures translate directly to savings for our students and their families.

    I cannot promise that we will never increase our tuition price. We are taking things a year at a time. - See more at:

    "President Farish has committed …  to making college affordable and making the experience very practical [for RWU students]" -  U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)

    Plus, there's so much more to Affordable Excellence than the tuition freeze and guarantee, and the University is constantly striving to ensure student success. On December 2, RWU President Donald J. Farish offered a comprehensive overview of our success to date via his President's Blog -- you can read the post here. In addition, here are nine other things you should know about Affordable Excellence as we move forward:

    Nine Things You Need to Know

    1. Significant Savings – Guaranteed.

    Tuition for students first enrolling in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 is $29,976 each year. Considering that the national average tuition increase is 3 to 5 percent per year, this will result in a savings of up to $15,700 over four years!

    2. Opportunities abound.

    After an illustrious undergraduate career where she took advantage of multiple opportunities to practice journalism in the "real world", Lorin Richardson '09 put her experience to great use on News 12 Connecticut. RWU students, like Lorin, have tremendous on- and off-campus experiences and are able to formalize their work, leadership and extracurricular activities through an innovative co-curricular transcript.

    3. Community partnerships are thriving.

    One hundered and thirty-six projects, 80 partner organizations, 44 faculty members, 1,000 students and over 60,000 hours of work – those numbers offer a glimpse at the total impact that the Community Partnerships Center boasts to date, even as it begins just its fourth year connecting students and faculty with local non-profits and municipalities.

    4. Technology equals collaboration and cost savings.

    Thanks to a partnership with Samsung, RWU's newest technology (rCloud) is reducing costs for students and the University, boosting computing capacity across campus and allowing computer labs to become collaborative learning spaces.

    5. We impact the local environment and economy.

    In 2014, the University’s marine biology program celebrated 40 years of teaching and research. The Center for Economic and Environmental Development (CEED) promotes the environmentally sustainable development of marine industries with a particular emphasis on aquaculture.

    6. At RWU Law, experience is guaranteed.

    Hands-on, practical opportunities are at the heart of an RWU legal education; so much so that they're built into the curriculum and explicitly guaranteed to every qualified student. For many, the experiences are formative enough to inspire career choices. Now, every RWU Law student has that opportunity. Learn more about Affordable Excellence at RWU Law.

    7. Students abroad are not just tourists.

    Most schools can boast that they offer students the chance to study abroad and to travel and learn about another culture, but not many provide a multitude of experiential learning opportunities around the world. At RWU, study abroad combines culture, classes and hands-on opportunities.

    8. Our undergraduates are researchers.

    When small classes, access to faculty members and research opportunities for undergraduates all come together, our students win. Thanks to faculty support, students like Sam '14 (pictured) are applying to (and receiving) prestigious NSF grants and pushing themselves further than they thought possible.

    9. Diversity matters.

    Over the past few years, we've welcomed some of the most diverse classes in the school's history. The increase is due, in part, to programs designed to foster a sense of community; programs that inspired recent graduate and ILA scholar Tracy Smith ’13 to remain in Rhode Island after she landed a prestigious and highly sought-after fellowship at The Learning Community, a public charter school in Central Falls.