William Jessup University recently announced it will decrease tuition by 2.5 percent for full-time undergraduate students for the 2009-2010 academic year and will expand scholarship programs for low-income students. The drop in tuition is believed to be the first in the university’s 70-year history. The university is the Greater Sacramento region’s only private four-year, residential university. The 2.5 percent tuition cut will save full-time students $500 for the entire year. The decision to cut tuition is designed to assist those impacted by a difficult economy and runs counter to a national trend of rising higher education tuition costs. “This is the right time to cut the cost of higher education,” said University President Bryce Jessup. “Our students and their families will face enough economic challenges in the year ahead. We want to do all we can to allow students to pursue their educations to prepare themselves for their futures.” In conjunction with the drop in tuition fees, the university is also establishing new scholarship programs aimed at helping low-income students and partnering with community groups. “With these new scholarship programs, we are working to reach out to members of our community who may not have the resources to attain higher education,” said Joe Womack, vice president for advancement for William Jessup University. In the current academic year, the university awarded more than $2.2 million in institutional financial aid. About 95 percent of William Jessup’s students enrolled in the traditional undergraduate program received some form of aid during the 2008-2009 academic year. Tuition for 2009-2010 will be $19,980, $500 less than the $20,480 tuition charged for 2008-2009, when the tuition was 10 percent below the national average for four-year private institutions. WJU offers various scholarship opportunities that often make the cost comparable to what students would pay for tuition, room and board at a University of California campus like UC Davis. While many universities are freezing or cutting enrollment, WJU is preparing to serve more students. The university is currently working on a $25 million expansion for student housing, athletic, dining, music and banquet facilities. William Jessup invites prospective students to spend the day on campus Thursday, Feb. 12 for Spring Preview Day. The event gives students and parents the opportunity to attend classes and interact with faculty, students and other parents in a small, intimate setting.