Access & Affordability

Committed to access and affordability, Lenoir-Rhyne lowers tuition


LR's tuition reset reduces tuition by 30 percent from $43,000 to $30,000 beginning in fall 2023.

Students walking to class across campus

Lenoir-Rhyne University announced today a tuition reduction of 30 percent. The $13,000 drop in published tuition — from $43,000 to $30,000 — will apply to all new and returning, full-time undergraduate students beginning in fall 2023.

“We know students and their families are concerned about rising costs of higher education and inflation,” said Dr. Fred Whitt, university president. “We think this significant reduction in our tuition will help more families understand that an LR education is affordable and offers incredible value.”

The tuition reset will bring the published tuition price closer to what students actually pay after scholarships. The net price may be lowered even further for students through federal, state and institutional financial aid. This year, 100 percent of undergraduate students will receive some level of need or merit-based aid, and the university will provide more than $38 million in scholarship and financial aid.

The new tuition will go into effect with the start of the 2023-24 academic year. While tuition will decrease 30 percent, the cost of room and board will stay the same, as it has for the last three years. Each student also will pay a $450 fee per semester, which will be used to pay for enhanced student services such as faster Wi-Fi in the residence halls and expanded mental health and medical health services on all three campus locations.

The LR Promise, which offers 50 percent off tuition for eligible students will remain in effect. Financial aid and scholarship packages for returning students will be adjusted so that they will pay close to the same net tuition they are paying now. Students also will save money over their time at LR as future tuition increases will be based on the reset rate.

“We know that our published tuition turns some prospective students and families away before they ever discover how affordable an LR education can be,” said Madeleine Dassow, chair of the board of trustees. “Lowering our tuition makes a strong statement that we want students from all backgrounds to consider LR.”

The board of trustees voted unanimously to approve the reset at its August meeting.

This is an exciting time for LR, which has unveiled a number of new initiatives and changes over the last year, all tied to its strategic plan. The university has added five new high-demand majors; reorganized its admission offices, student life and academic affairs to better serve students; unveiled new partnerships with local community colleges; refinanced university bonds; and improved or renovated facilities. In addition, LR had a record fundraising year in 2021-22, demonstrating the LR community’s confidence in the direction of the university.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is Lenoir-Rhyne resetting tuition?

    We have heard from students and their families that our published tuition is so high that some students won’t even consider LR—even though we offer large discounts that make it far more affordable.

    This tuition reset makes it clear that we want students of all backgrounds to consider us and find out what a special community this is. The new, lower tuition will make us competitive with other private and public institutions in our region and encourage more students and their families to explore LR.

    In addition, the new, lower tuition will save students money over time. Future annual tuition increases will be on a lower base so the dollar increase will be smaller.

  • What is Lenoir-Rhyne doing with its tuition reset?

    Lenoir-Rhyne University has announced a tuition reduction of 30 percent. The $13,000 drop in published tuition—from $43,000 to $30,000---will apply to all new and returning undergraduate students beginning in fall 2023.

  • Does the tuition reset affect room and board?

    In addition to lowering tuition by 30 percent, room and board for fall 2023 will not increase. The cost of room and board has not increased in three years. It will be $12,900 for the 2023-24 academic year. There also will be a $450 fee per semester ($900 for the academic year). The fee will help pay for enhanced student services like faster Wi-Fi in residence halls and expanded mental health and medical health services.

  • Is the LR Promise affected?

    The Lenoir-Rhyne Promise launched in 2020 and guarantees that eligible students receive scholarships equal to at least half the cost of tuition. The LR Promise will continue as is under this new tuition model.

    Eligible students are North Carolina residents who are first-year undergraduate students with a minimum 3.5 high school GPA at the time of admission. The LR Promise is also open to transfer undergraduate students who are transferring from an accredited North Carolina community college and have more than 30 earned credit hours from that institution and a 3.5 GPA at time of admission to LR.

  • I will be a freshman or transfer student in 2023-24. What does this mean for me?

    Tuition for full-time undergraduate students (whether first-year students or transfer students) will be $30,000. The out-of-pocket price may be lowered even further for students through federal, state and institutional financial aid like the Lenoir-Rhyne Promise.

    A student eligible for the LR Promise will pay only $15,000. Federal financial aid would lower the out-of-pocket cost even more. For students who are eligible for Pell Grants, the cost could be as low as $6,000 per year.

    This year, 100 percent of undergraduate students will receive some level of need or merit-based aid, and the university will provide more than $38 million in scholarship and financial aid. LR’s commitment to scholarships and financial aid will remain unchanged.

    Additionally, future tuition increases will be based on the new, lower rate. For example, a 3 percent increase on $30,000 is $900, compared with a 3 percent increase on $43,000, which is $1,290.

    A student’s cost is always dependent on a number of factors, including family income, academic performance and scholarship eligibility. The first step for all students is to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2023-24 academic year. Students and families are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss their specific circumstances.

  • I will be a returning student in 2023-24. What does this mean for me?

    LR’s financial aid and scholarship packages will be adjusted for returning students so that they will pay close to the same net tuition they are paying now. This will be a net savings for returning students, as tuition has historically increased 3 percent to 5 percent annually.

    Additionally, future tuition increases will be based on the new, lower rate. For example, a 3 percent increase on $30,000 is $900, compared with a 3 percent increase on $43,000, which is $1,290.

    A student’s cost is always dependent on a number of factors, including family income, academic performance and scholarship eligibility. The first step for all students is to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2023-24 academic year. Financial aid packaging for returning students takes place in the spring semester after registration week is complete.

    Students and families are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss their specific circumstances.

  • I am a returning student-athlete. How does this affect me?

    For undergraduate student-athletes who are issued an athletic scholarship renewal for fall 2023, the athletic aid award will be adjusted down by the exact same equivalent percentage as your current award.

    For more clarification on how to calculate, the equivalency is calculated by dividing the current athletic aid award by the current direct costs of attendance (tuition, room and board, books). See the example below for a point of reference:

    Fall 2022 Athletic Aid of $5,000 athletic scholarship / $56,700 (includes current tuition cost of $43,000, $12,900 room and board, $800 book allowance) = 0.11 Equivalency

    Adjusted Fall 2023 Athletic Aid of $4,720

    Calculation Summary: 0.11 Equivalency X $44,600 (includes new tuition cost of $30,000, $900 fee, $12,900 room and board, $800 book allowance)

  • What exactly is a tuition reset?

    Many colleges implement a high tuition/high discount tuition model. This means that the “sticker price” for tuition is higher than what students actually pay. Students are then offered large discounts through scholarships to bring the cost down. This model can be confusing to students and parents.

    Through a tuition reset, both tuition and scholarships are decreased so that students pay about the same but there is less discounting. The result is a lower and more accurate “sticker price” and an easier to understand financial aid model.

  • I am a part-time undergraduate student. How does this affect me?

    Part-time students pay a per credit-hour rate. The per credit-hour rate will remain at $1,660.

  • I am a graduate student. Does this affect me?

    The tuition reset applies only to undergraduate tuition. Tuition for graduate programs is being reviewed for 2023-24 will be set later this fall.

  • I still have questions. Who should I contact?

    Current, returning or prospective students with questions about their personal financial aid package should contact the Office of Financial Aid.

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