Rasmussen College in Bloomington announced this week that it is cutting tuition for one of its most popular programs, a two-year business degree, from $26,850 to $13,500.
It’s the second time in two years that the for-profit corporation has cut prices in the face of an industrywide slump in enrollment.
In 2013, Rasmussen, which has 14,000 students in six states, cut its average tuition by 12 percent.
Officials say the latest price cut will apply only to students who already have an associate degree, and enroll in a two-year “degree-completion” program to earn a bachelor’s in business management.
The new rates, the company said, will make that program “one of the most affordable business degrees in the country.”
It said the total price tag would drop to $9,900 if students take six of their courses online, as part of the college’s Flex Choice option. Those courses require no teachers, and students complete them at their own pace.
Brooks Doherty, dean of business and general education at Rasmussen, said the changes are not a sign that the school is struggling to fill seats. He noted that business management is one of the college’s fastest-growing programs. But, he said, “we think that by maintaining quality and driving down the cost significantly, we will attract more students.”
Rasmussen saw a 33 percent drop in enrollment in Minnesota between 2009 and 2013, according to state data. Overall, the company says, its enrollment dipped slightly again last year, but in Minnesota its numbers grew by nearly 15 percent between 2013 and 2014.
Doherty said the college is responding to shifting pressures in higher education. “This is our responsibility,” he said, “to put students in a position where they can get jobs in the careers they want and be able to flourish with less and less debt.”
The college also announced that it will offer nursing students the option to take up to six online self-paced courses, at no cost, to fulfill general education requirements. It said the option would save those students 19 percent to 29 percent in tuition costs.