Northeastern University has announced a new initiative that would offer students a 25% discount on tuition if they had a parent or sibling attend the University. The program is expected to begin in Spring 2016.
The program, officially titled the Lifetime Learning Membership, is an effort by the University to show families that they are looking out for them, writes Allison Pohle for Boston.com.
“We wanted to provide opportunities so they can continue to invest in their career goals and invest their lifelong learning goals,” said Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president of enrollment management at Northeastern, a private university of 20,000 students in Boston. “We don’t want to them to be delayed.”
The idea of tuition breaks for families has long been in use at other colleges across the country through family member discounts and legacy scholarships for alumni relatives. As tuition costs continue to rise, a number of colleges have begun to offer discounts to families that send multiple children to the same school.
For example, Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts offers students a $1,000 discount when siblings attend.
According to a representative for Northeastern, this is the first time the college is offering a break of this sort for siblings and parents. The reduction in tuition will be automatically applied after acceptance, reports Amy Diluna for NBC News.
The idea began as an effort by the school to help students afford the schooling necessary to keep up with changes in the labor force. According to data released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs requiring a master’s degree are the fastest growing in the country and are estimated to increase by 18% between 2012 and 2022 due to the growing health care industry.
The discounts will be available for use for most graduate programs at the school, including nursing, law, engineering and business. It can be applied to degrees earned online as well as in person, or as a combination of the two. However, some tiered undergraduate programs do not apply.
Tuition costs for graduate programs vary, with most degrees charging by credit hour. A master’s in engineering at the school is estimated to cost $45,000 for tuition and additional fees. Meanwhile, a degree in business administration comes with a total price tag of $94,500.
It is expected that around 1,000 students will use the discount in the first three years it is offered, costing the University $3 million each year in lost tuition revenue.
The program was created using a similar discount already offered by the school to alumni who return for graduate studies.
“We are proud to continue our commitment to meeting the needs of modern students no matter where they are in their careers or their lives,” Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun said in a statement.
Aoun announced the program last weekend during Parents and Family Weekend.