University Announces Tuition Reduction, iPad® Integration

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (April 26, 2013) – For higher education students, tuition communications are rarely good news these days. By contrast, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences sent an email this week to its students that both surprised and pleased them. First, the University will lower tuition by 1 percent, a concept that is virtually unheard of in higher education and particularly among medical schools. Second, KCUMB will provide all students with an Apple iPad or iPad mini, stepping into a small and elite group of medical schools that fully integrate tablet technology into the curriculum.

According to Marc B. Hahn, D.O., executive vice president for academic and medical affairs, provost and dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, these are two moves that are essential to helping the University’s students be successful, now and in the future.

“KCUMB is examining approaches to help reduce student debt,” Dr. Hahn said. “Tuition reduction is an obvious tactic, but one that is difficult for colleges of medicine to implement, particularly during an economy such as exists today.

“KCUMB is committed to balancing our students’ needs with the nation’s need for physicians,” he continued. “A particular concern is the shortage of primary care physicians. The realities of the ever-changing health-care landscape can, at times, make that choice a difficult one. Reduction of tuition and, ultimately, graduates’ debt load, provides students with the ability to pursue the specialty that best aligns with their interests.”

According to data from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), no private medical schools and only two public medical school lowered tuition for the current academic year.

For Lindsay Baldridge, a current student in KCUMB’s College of Biosciences and entering the University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine this fall, the announcement of tuition reduction was both surprising and welcome.

“This is really great. The cost of medical education and graduate education is so high and I think KCUMB is probably one of the only medical schools to decrease it,” Baldridge said. “At a time like this, decreased tuition is really fantastic. I think it’s going to definitely help reduce student debt. One percent is a lot.”

At the same time University officials announced the tuition decrease, they also informed the students of a dramatic shift in the delivery of curriculum from paper to digital. It begins immediately by providing each of KCUMB’s approximately 1,100 students, in both the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the College of Biosciences, with an iPad or iPad mini.

According to Dr. Hahn, KCUMB is one of the few medical schools nationwide to directly provide the latest iPad tablets to all of the university’s students.

“We recognize that, in order for our students to be successful now and in the future, additional academic resources are critical, especially in regard to technology,” Dr. Hahn said. “Moving to a tablet-based curriculum will both increase sustainability efforts, as well as give our students and faculty a technological edge.”

Meghan Skotnicki, a first-year osteopathic medical student, recognizes that KCUMB’s decision to provide technological tools in its efforts to shift to a tablet-based curriculum at the same time it reduces tuition is extraordinary.

“I know that across the nation it’s not really common to hear of a tuition reduction,” Skotnicki said. “Most universities are likely to send emails to say that tuition is increasing, so it’s a nice thing to hear. Along with the changes that are happening with technology, most of us expected maybe an increase in tuition.”

About KCUMB Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences is a fully accredited, private university, with a College of Biosciences and a College of Osteopathic Medicine. Founded in 1916, its College of Osteopathic Medicine is the oldest medical school in Kansas City, Mo., and the largest in the state.

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