Tuition Stabilization Plan (Pre-payment)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the Skidmore College Tuition Stabilization Plan (TSP)?
A: TSP allows a student to prepay tuition for future semesters, and the college guarantees that the student's tuition rate will not increase over the entire prepaid period.
Q: How long can I prepay?
A: Prepayments are accepted for a minimum of four semesters (two years) and a maximum of eight semesters (four years) of full-time academic study.
Q: What happens if a student prepays, but subsequently leaves the college?
A: In the event a student leaves the college, any tuition paid for semesters not begun will be refunded. If a student leaves during a semester in progress, the refund for that semester will be based on the college's refund policy as published in the college Catalog.
Q: If the student subsequently leaves after prepaying, will interest be paid on the refund?
A: No, interest will not be paid on any refunds of prepaid tuition. In order for the college to offer this plan, it must invest the prepayment proceeds. The interest earned offsets the foregone tuition increases. Accordingly, it is not possible for us to pay interest on refunds.
Q: What fees are covered in the prepayment?
A: The plan covers basic tuition only. Miscellaneous instructional charges, room, board and miscellaneous fees/fines are not covered by the plan. These charges are due and payable per the college's published billing policies.
Q: How is this prepayment amount calculated?
A: The "total stabilized tuition" is equivalent to the tuition rate in effect for the first semester times the number of semesters prepaid. For the Fall 2017 semester, the full-time tuition rate is $24,858. Thus, four years (eight semesters) of prepaid tuition will be $205,824 (8 x $25,728).
Q: Can I make partial payments toward the prepayment?
A: No, the college can only accept payments in full.
Q: Is the college recommending a particular financing method for the plan?
A: The college is not recommending a particular financing method for the plan. Each family may obtain financing for the plan that best fits their needs. Typically, this is done by liquidating investments or borrowing against existing equities.
Q: I understand that I have until September 6, 2017, to participate in the plan. If I intend to do so, do I still have to pay the tuition due on August 15, 2017, for the fall 2017 semester?
A: Yes, you must pay all fall 2017 charges by August 15, 2017 including tuition. If you subsequently elect to participate in the plan, you would deduct the amount of the tuition previously paid from your prepayment amount.
Q: Are there tax benefits associated with this plan?
A: Yes, there may be, depending on your circumstances. If you fund this plan by borrowing from the equity in your home, the interest on the home equity loan may be tax-deductible. You may wish to consult a tax professional.
Q: Will prepayment preclude the student from applying for and receiving financial aid?
A: No, students covered by the plan may still apply for and receive financial aid from the college, state, and federal sources.
Q: Can summer school courses be prepaid?
A: No, summer school study is not included in the plan. Summer school tuition is due and payable per the college's billing policies.
Q: May the prepaid tuition amount be transferred to other students?
A: No, the benefits of this plan are not assignable to other students.
Q: May a student in the plan take a leave of absence?
A: Yes, as provided for in the college Catalog, a student may apply for a leave of absence for personal, medical or academic reasons. For the semester(s) the leave is taken, a refund will be calculated based on the college's refund policy as published in the college Catalog. Often, leaves of absence are approved in advance of the actual leave period. The refund of prepaid tuition will be made at the onset of the leave period on a semester-by-semester basis. If the student's leave extends beyond two consecutive semesters, the plan shall be canceled and all unutilized prepaid tuition will be refunded. If the student subsequently returns and wishes to re-enter the plan, they will be able to do so at the tuition rate then in effect.
Q: What if my student does a semester abroad?
A: Students studying abroad are still charged Skidmore's tuition rate. If you have prepaid the semester the student is abroad, you would be charged the prepaid rate for that semester.
Q: What happens if my daughter/son wishes to graduate early?
A: Upon their graduation, a refund of their unutilized prepaid tuition will be made. Generally, permission to graduate early is obtained a semester or two in advance of the contemplated graduation date. A refund under the plan will not be made until the student actually earns their diploma and graduates.
Q: Your refund policy in regard to leaves of absence and early graduation seems somewhat inflexible ... Why?
A: Unfortunately, the underlying economics of the plan force us to maintain a stringent refund policy. To offer the plan, the college must be able to invest the funds to earn the maximum interest possible in order to offset the loss of the foregone tuition increase. Said more simply, we have to keep the money working for us in order to make the plan pay for itself. If you believe your son/daughter may wish to graduate early or take an academic leave of absence (e.g. attend another college's study-abroad program), it may not be in your financial best interests to prepay all four years of undergraduate study. One alternative is to prepay two years now and two years later (at the rate then in effect) to allow some flexibility for your son's/daughter's educational plans.
Q: What happens if a student changes to part-time status for a semester?
A: If the student changes their registration to part-time status, the tuition charge will be reduced accordingly, and a refund will be made.
Q: What have the tuition increases been for the past few years?
A: The tuition rate for previous years have been:
- FY 2010–11, $20,175 per semester
- FY 2011–12, $20,760 per semester
- FY 2012–13, $21,569 per semester
- FY 2013–14, $22,410 per semester
- FY 2014–15, $23,195 per semester
- FY 2015–16, $24,012 per semester
- FY 2016–17, $24,858 per semester
- FY 2017–18, $25,728 per semester
If you have any questions regarding the information provided on these pages or if you would like to discuss the plan to determine if it's right for you, please contact the Skidmore College Bursar's Office at (518) 580-5830.