Cornish College in Seattle cuts tuition fees, helping students decrease loan debt

SEATTLE -- As the cost of going to college continues to rise each year, a college right here in Seattle is giving students a break on their tuition. School officials say the reduction not only helps more students afford college but also helps students decrease their debts.

Students are borrowing more and more to pay for college and now some institutions are looking for ways to make it more affordable. It’s called Tuition Reset, and Cornish College of Arts in Seattle is one of the first private colleges in the Pacific Northwest to make a cut in its fees.

“So making Cornish education available to students across the spectrum, expanding the opportunity to middle income families as well as lowering the debt burden for students to be able to get a Cornish Arts education,” said Cornish College President Raymond Tymas-Jones.

Tymas-Jones says that at least half of the nearly 600 students currently enrolled will benefit from the tuition cuts. He says Cornish has already received about 50 additional applications since the reduction, which is music to some students’ ears.

“I actually had a conversation with my mentor for musical theater earlier this year about making the outreach more widespread and just helping to have a more diverse community at the school, and I think that’ll really help it,” said Amaya Barmickel Watson, a Musical Theater major.

Cornish’s President says an increase in enrollment will offset the tuition reductions, but some students we spoke to say enrollment and tuition aren’t their only concerns.

“Our scholarships also got lowered in this so out-of-pocket cost is the same. So, I think there’s going to be a lot of conversations between students, enrollment and financial aide about how to keep the students here,” said Performance Production major Ryan Peacock.

Though making money stretch can be a challenge for some college students, Tymas-Jones says students know the value of getting an education at schools like Cornish, and that’s how it competes with other schools that cost less.

He says the goal is to make it easier for students to learn now and thrive, while owing less after graduation.