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BC Cuts Tuition for inSPIRE Program

More benefits and less cost with all majors now online in transformed degree completion program.

Chris Shoemaker

September 9, 2011

inSPIRE Tuition

All four majors in BC's inSPIRE degree completion program are now available completely online and at a reduced price.


inSPIRE Student

At a time when colleges are increasing tuition, Bluefield College reduced its tuition and fees for adult degree completion students.


At a time when most folks are paying more for less, Bluefield College is asking less for more when it comes to its inSPIRE degree completion program.


In a move described as "revolutionary" and "courageous," Bluefield College reduced its annual tuition and fees for degree completion students by 25 percent.


"Most colleges, private and public, are increasing tuition," said Dr. Larry Sinsabaugh, associate vice president for BC's inSPIRE program, "but Bluefield College is taking a courageous step in an act of faith to appeal to the cost conscious learners by reducing tuition."


In today's declining economic environment where competition for jobs is stiffer than ever, a college education makes candidates much more marketable to employers. But, gaining access to that higher education is becoming much more difficult in light of the rising cost of living and families' falling disposable income.


"We want to ease the economic burden of adults who are trying to go back to college to complete their bachelor's degree," said Dr. Robert Shippey, vice president for academic affairs. "This reduction in tuition puts us in a position to be a better value for students and helps them get that quality higher education they so deeply desire."


Tuition for inSPIRE degree completion students at Bluefield College will now run $325 per credit hour, compared to $385 per credit hour this past spring. That's a 16 percent reduction, but there's more. In addition to paying less tuition, BC inSPIRE students will receive a free netbook computer and complimentary e-textbooks as part of the tuition package. Cutting those costs, tuition, and other typical fees means BC degree completion students will now pay 25 percent less for their bachelor's degree.


"We didn't just cut cost," said Dr. Dale Henry, whom the college just hired as dean of online programs to transfer all the inSPIRE majors from the classroom to the online environment. "We improved value. Our degree completion programs are now more affordable and have better quality and service that will ensure our students have an excellent experience at Bluefield College."


Students enrolled in BC's 36 hour core curriculum before the tuition adjustment paid roughly $15,360 in annual tuition and fees, including books, said Dr. Henry. Now, he added, they'll pay just $11,600 annually, which includes the netbook computer and e-books.


"Reports show the norm has been to raise tuition over the last two years between five and nine percent," said Dr. Sinsabaugh, "but Bluefield College clearly stands out in front of the competition by reducing its tuition."


Ranked among the Top 50 Baccalaureate Colleges in the South in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges," Bluefield College launched its degree completion program on its campus in southwest Virginia in 1990. Designed to offer the working adult a convenient, flexible, accelerated, non-traditional way to finish their bachelor's degree, the program included one degree offering at that time in management.


Today, the program, now called inSPIRE, is statewide with added regional hubs in Roanoke, Richmond, and Fredericksburg (Northern), Virginia. Nearly 4,000 students have graduated from inSPIRE, which is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the program now features a complete online format for its four baccalaureate degree offerings in management and leadership, public safety, human services, and nursing.


"Bluefield College's vision is to be a nationally recognized Christ-centered liberal arts college, preparing innovative learners and transformational leaders to impact the world," said Dr. Shippey. "Innovation and entrepreneurial vision are the beacons that will guide this college onward toward excellence and relevance in the 21st Century."


In addition to being available online for added convenience, BC's four inSPIRE majors feature continuous scheduling every two months, six times a year. Classes include guided reading assignments, video lectures, interaction with faculty and fellow students, research, reflective engagement, and systematic review.


"The college is providing an ever-present learning environment through asynchronous online learning," added Dr. Shippey. "Students can learn at their own pace in a place and at a time that is best for them. It's all about convenience and quality. This is not a diploma mill, but rather the opportunity for a first-rate online education taught by Christ-centered faculty at a very affordable price."


The first of the reduced rate classes will begin October 24. For more information, visit the Bluefield College web site at or call or e-mail 800-872-0176 or (in southwest Virginia), 800-817-3554 or (in Greater Roanoke), 866-870-0293 or (in Greater Richmond), or 540-384-0637 or (in Fredericksburg or Northern Virginia).


Jada Ibekwe

In today’s world of less for more and outsourcing I am proud of Bluefield’s decision to reduce its cost. It gives back not only to its students but our economy and county as a whole. That is the type of action and leadership we need to see across our country. Organizations, companies, institution doing what is best for the people, the county, and economy, if we change our focus then maybe God can and will step in to impact the bottom-line. We have become so focused on the bottom-line we have lost sight of what is truly important and as a result of that our county is deteriorating. Thank you the reduction in cost promotes the restoration of our economy; I hope that this innovative approach will catch on.

I pray that the faith on Bluefield’s end to not follow the trend and raise rates be a blessing to the institution one that you all would not have room to receive. I can honestly say that I have gotten a quality education from Bluefield. Bluefield may not be the cheapest online college available today, however, the quality of education is exceptional. To lower the price is truly a blessing to you, the students and our economy. While I won’t benefits much from the reduction per I will be done in December 2011, I rejoice with those that will.

Jada Ibekwe

Robert Shippey

Jada, thanks for saying thanks. We are here for you, so I appreciate so much you taking time to encourage us to keep serving our students. Best, Dr. Shippey

Leanne Hyler

As a prospective student, I am excited to hear (read) what Bluefield College has done for it's students, community, and country.

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