Saint Rose joins tuition assistance program

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – One private college in the Capital Region has opted into a state program that could provide up to $6,000 a year to students.

With tuition at New York state schools now free for middle-class families, some private schools like Saint Rose are opting into a program that could entice students to choose private over the price tag.

Saint Rose 2017 grads Zackary Petker and Alyssa Palmer know college is expensive.

“Very expensive actually,” Petker said.

“Housing, meal plans, parking passes,” Palmer said.

Both found out during their senior year that college at SUNY schools will now be free for middle-class families.

“Graduating this year, I was like well that’s awesome,” Petker said.

Still, Petker says he wouldn’t have traded in his experience at Saint Rose for any amount of money.

Palmer agrees and that’s why she decided to stay at Saint Rose for graduate school.

“I did look at SUNY’s schools but overall Saint Rose had a better program even though it may have been more expensive,” Palmer said.

This year the $30,000 price tag will be up to $6,000 cheaper for New York students who qualify. The state will cover some of it and Saint Rose will match the rest.

“We didn’t want to take that opportunity away from students and families,” Mary Grondahl, VP of Enrollment Management & Marketing, said.

The college has struggled financially, making a series of staff and program cuts. Grondahl says the students have always been the focus.

“Making hard decisions also is an opportunity to serve even more students who want this kind of institution.”

And the numbers prove it.

Grondhal says their incoming class will be their second largest ever, showing students are willing to pay if the college is the right fit.

The school estimates about 900 current and incoming students could benefit from the tuition assistance.

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