Financial Changes Discussed for the Study Abroad Program

Director of International Programs Alberto del Río Malo considering new “home-school tuition model”

A few weeks ago, during Senate Public on October 7, Student Senator Miles Sanford proposed a new “home-school tuition model” for study abroad at Reed. This new model would make the cost of study abroad the same as a normal semester at Reed, including financial aid. The model has been proposed in an effort to raise participation in study abroad, as, according to Director of International Programs Alberto del Río Malo, only about 20% of students currently participate in the program. 

The “home-school tuition model,” which is commonly used by other private colleges, “encourages students to choose programs based on their academic needs rather than their financial needs” as Alberto explains in an email interview with the Quest. This would be done by “balancing the variability of higher and lower priced programs and allowing students to decide what international program is best (independent of the cost) for their personal and academic interests.”

Before, students would pay for the specific program they applied for and, possibly, go through the financial aid process of that program. In this sense, the “home-school tuition model” would create a more streamlined process in paying for college throughout all four years. 

The tuition fee could also go to paying for scholarships, visas, international travel insurance, etc. As noted above, some programs cost more or less than others, and the Reed tuition might exceed the cost of a specific program. To this, Alberto explains that “as Reed would not ask its students to choose majors based on cost, it would extend the same philosophy to the choice of studying abroad.” Essentially removing the decision of cost from a student’s decision to study abroad — at least in the decision between different programs. Of course, there may be other additional financial costs that a student is considering when studying abroad.

This new finance model for study abroad is still under discussion at the college. Other topics for discussion include the addition of new destinations like Cameroon, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Senegal and “more study abroad opportunities beyond the traditional term/year programs,” explains Alberto.

Another question to be potentially considered, beside cost, of study abroad is a student’s schedule. How easy is it to fit courses abroad into a major? How are Junior Quals considered? Do Reedies just prefer to stay at Reed? 

There is a “historically low percentage of Reed students studying abroad,” writes Alberto. The effort to incentivize an international education will require careful planning and consideration.

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