Block tuition

What is block tuition?

Block tuition is a program enabling full-time students to pay a single price for credits over a certain amount taken in a single university term.

Those schools that use this method typically charge a flat rate for a range of credit hours, for example between 12 and 18 credit hours in a semester.

Deeper definition

While not all universities use block tuition, those schools that use it view it as a way to help students to graduate in four years, and to make it easier for them to manage their money and get the most out of it in terms of their college costs.

While block tuition is optional at many universities, a growing number of states want to require it for full-time students. The reasoning is that to graduate with the required 120 credits in four years, students need to take at least 15 credit hours per semester, so making this amount more affordable will encourage students to take advantage of it.

Some universities offer a wider range of credits that fall under the block tuition model, perhaps as many as 18 credit hours per semester. While schools do this to help students save money and limit their debt after college, it also improves the university’s graduation rate, and therefore its image.

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Block tuition example

Jimmy is attending Oklahoma State University, which uses a block tuition model to charge student for classes.

Under the model, the cost of tuition and fees is the same for students taking 12 to 18 months per semester. Jimmy will pay the undergraduate block rate for residents of Oklahoma — $4,368.75.

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