The worth of a WCU education

Chancellor David O. Belcher. Photo taken by Jarrett Frazier

The Scorecard that Obama addressed in the State of he Union is already in effect for schools such as WCU.

President Obama targeted how this new initiative would be accessible to rising college students and parents on behalf of the Department of Education for determining the value, cost, and importance of each college. Each school can be searched by several categories which include school size, area, location, and etc.

The purpose of this program is to help future college students and parents of rising college students by providing them with the necessary information about colleges, and what certain colleges offer/don’t offer. Each scorecard provides: costs, graduation rate, loan default rate, median borrowing, and employment.

Chancellor Belcher believes this is a great tool to help potentials students realize that they are or are not compatible with WCU.

Western’s scorecard shows that our cost is around $9,128 per year and the average net price has decreased by 1.6% from 2007 to 2009. We have a 50.4% graduation rate of full-time students who received their bachelor’s degree within 6 years and 22.5% transferred to another institution. Chancellor Belcher commented on how the graduation rate has increased over the past couple of years, however he would like to work on the two classes in particular for better retention, the freshmen and the seniors.

The loan default rate is at 6% for WCU, way bellow the 13.4% nationally. The typical amount borrowed for a student’s undergraduate study on a national level is around $160.09 per month; families typically borrow around $13,911 in Federal loans for a student’s undergraduate study.

WCU's Scorecard provided by the Department of Education

“I believe that this tool can benefit students that are looking into Western because they will have all of the major information on a single page, and won’t have to dig for it. When I was researching colleges, I found it hard to find a website where everything was provided to me about that college on a single page. I would think that colleges would make this information more accessible so people won’t have to inquire about it. I came to the realization that if I couldn’t find it, maybe they didn’t want me to attend their institution,” explicated Nia Adams, WCU student who A WCU student who watched the presidents State of the Union and knew about the scorecard.

WCU's Scorecard provided by the Department of Education

North Carolina’s funding resources from the state have decreased, therefore the only funding comes from enrollment, and whether the school initiates external resources for funding. Although WCU is still one the the most affordable college, the increase still doesn’t change that fact said Belcher.

The chancellor realizes that current students are already struggling to pay for college, where parents are losing jobs, and students are forced to work and attend school at the same school.
“I’m optimistic that states will begin reinvesting in higher education again”

Chancellor Belcher would like to keep tuition costs down because he’s concerned that students won’t be able to afford the price as it increases, which will make some potential students not attempt to go to college. The state has provided a great deal of funding for NC but they have decreased their funding for all schools because the state hasn’t has doesn’t have as much money as they did prior to invest in higher education. WCU is looking for alternative sources, that aren’t funded by the state which won’t include tuition fees; this funding can bring in streams of money for example holding conferences on campus to raise money for the university.

“What I can pledge WCU is that we will invest those monies extremely carefully to get the best return on what we use that money for. The values of WCU are having outstanding faculty who are committed to the students which means you get a very rich connection and a real passion for making sure that students not only learn in the classroom but also get the real world learning experience. Professors are making sure that it’s applied in a real world setting. Our commitment to engaging in the external community,” said Chancellor Belcher.

See a spreadsheet on the latest financial information for the UNC schools 2013-14_UG_tuition_and_fees