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Friday, October 22, 2021

UC Davis Graduate School of Management to offer new tuition plan

The interest-free deferred tuition pilot program will start in January 2022

The UC Davis Graduate School of Management is set to adopt an interest-free deferred tuition pilot program that will be available for eligible online Masters of Business Administration (MBA) students admitted into the January and April 2022 cohorts. 

This initiative was created to reduce financial barriers and decrease student debt, according to Stephanie Young-Birkle, the chief of staff of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

“We wanted to align student outcomes with their investments in the MBA, and the cost of higher education continues to rise,” Young-Birkle said. “We were looking for innovative ways to provide more students, who otherwise might not get an MBA because they couldn’t afford it, to have access to that education.”

The program allows admitted students to defer tuition payments for the second half of the credits required to complete the degree. Up to $52,740 can be repaid with 0% interest. 

Once the student leaves or graduates from the program, the repayment is calculated based on 10% of their income. However, payments stop with no extra cost when a student’s gross monthly income is below $3,334. 

Offering this financial support, according to Young-Birkle, is important because it encourages students to continue their education for a brighter and more successful future in the field.

“A lot of people pursue an MBA because they’re looking to advance in their careers or they’re looking to shift industries or be an entrepreneur,” Young-Birkle said. “Once they graduate and have their MBA, they should expect to see increased earnings. They might not have the money when they’re in the program, but we hope that our graduates are well prepared and when they go out into the marketplace again, that they’ll have more earning potential. The concept is ‘buy now, pay later.’”

UC Davis is leading the way for interest-free tuition programs and is among the first to have this option open to students.

“It’s one more way to say that UC Davis is innovative in how we do things because there is quite a bit of work that has to be done by the campus to make these kinds of things happen,” said H. Rao Unnava, the dean of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. “Unless you have a whole lot of partners who are willing to do all the work necessary to make it happen, this kind of innovation doesn’t happen, so UC Davis is great that way. They are making these kinds of moves in the marketplace that is very competitive.”

Students enrolling in the Graduate School of Management can look forward to this new way to pursue higher education and get to be one of the first in the country to participate in the program.

“We are really, really happy to be able to do something like this for our potential MBA students,” Unnava said. “This is a turning point because our guess is that most education in the future will be financed this way.” 

Written by: Christine Lee — campus@theaggie.org

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