Robert Morris University announced a new scholarship program Monday tying expenses including tuition, fees, room and board to the average cost of attendance at Pennsylvania’s flagship public universities -- and undercutting their average price.
The program will be available for students admitted to the main campuses of the University of Pittsburgh or Penn State and who are also accepted to Robert Morris, a private college outside Pittsburgh. Robert Morris promises to match those students’ cost of attendance on its campus against the average cost of attendance at Pitt or Penn State, then add an additional $3,000 in annual scholarships.
A student attending Penn State or Pitt main campuses can expect to pay an average of $34,018 for tuition, fees, room, board, books and other expenses, according to Robert Morris. That means under the new Robert Morris program, called Public Price Match Plus, that student would pay $31,018 before federal, state or other forms of external aid.
Freshmen enrolling in the fall of 2019 will be eligible for the program, provided they can show they were accepted to Penn State or Pitt’s main campus. The program is only open to Pennsylvania residents who live on the Robert Morris campus in Moon Township, Pa. Scholarships will be renewable for students maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and award amounts will be recalculated each year.
The program in some ways echoes other pricing programs tried in recent years by universities hoping to get more attention from students who otherwise might gravitate toward public flagships. Oglethorpe University in Atlanta last week unveiled a non-need-based scholarship connecting tuition to prices at flagship universities across the country. The University of Maine in Orono has in recent years run a similar program aiming to enroll new students from out of state.
Robert Morris’s program is different from other efforts in several ways, notably that it is based on total cost of attendance and because it specifically aims for rates coming in below its flagship competition.