Getting real about tuition
A college education is one of the most important investments you can make in yourself—for economic success and a fuller life.
“When students think about Bridgewater, we want them to think about the connections to great mentors, inspiring classmates and life-changing experiences we offer – not a price tag that makes us seem out of reach.”
– President David Bushman
We believe our students deserve a realistic, up-front cost – not complicated pricing.
100% of first-year, full-time students receive financial assistance
We owe it to our students and their families to be transparent about the cost of higher education.
Most private colleges use a high tuition/high discount model in their pricing, setting a high “sticker price” and then offering discounts through scholarships. And most of these “scholarships” don’t represent real dollars helping to fund the cost of education—they’re just “coupons.” It’s an unnecessarily complicated pricing model that makes it difficult for students and families to determine the actual cost of a college education. Or even worse, scares them off entirely because a college education seems out of reach.
Now’s the time to join us on a path to a bright future.
From new programs like an esports team and the Screamin’ Eagles Marching Band to new degree programs in engineering and financial planning, BC continues to evolve as the world around us does. And with numerous recent campus enhancements—from the Forrer Learning Commons to the Rebecca Quad gathering space and the current renovation of Bowman Hall—you’ll learn and live in a place that will grow along with you, meeting your needs along the way.
“The knowledge I gained from doing individual research will help me in future semesters, but the biggest benefit will be in future job opportunities where you need to actively solve and outline dynamic problems,” says Cameron, who plans to pursue a career in electrical engineering. “I see electronics as the nervous system of our civilization.”
Cameron, who will be part of Bridgewater’s first cohort of engineering majors, partnered with Assistant Professor of Engineering Dr. Derli Amaral this summer on a research project focused on creating a self-stabilizing supernumerary leg that can attach at the hip to help someone who has trouble walking.
At Bridgewater, you can get a private college experience at a public college price.
And it’s the smaller, more-connected environment at BC that will lead to your greatest successes. Here, you’ll bond with faculty, coaches and mentors in a way that’s hard to come by at larger public colleges. Because of these connections, you’re more than a number and will get the attention and opportunities that prepare you for life after college—whether that’s a career or entry into graduate school.
The tightknit community and decorated track & field team solidified Adalia’s decision to continue her track career at Bridgewater College. The two-time indoor 60-meter national champion and eight-time All-American credits her coaches, especially Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Denver Davis, for being excellent mentors.
Her favorite part about track is that it’s a team sport, and support from both coaches and teammates helps the sprints standout continue to reach her goals and set new records.
“The culture that Coach Davis has built and the values instilled in the program have not only impacted me as an athlete but as a young adult.”
Our close-knit community creates great opportunities for students.
And those experiences mean even more possibilities after graduation. Work closely with a faculty member on cutting-edge research projects—even in your first year. Get a grant to stay on campus and conduct summer research in areas ranging from political science to biochemistry. Experience a whole new world by studying abroad for a semester or taking advantage of a faculty-led May Term travel course—think studying marine ecology in Belize or honing your travel-writing skills in Scotland.
AVERAGE ANNUAL SUMMER RESEARCH FUNDING
of Students Complete a Hands-on Learning Experience
“I was able to do graduate-level research as an undergraduate, and that independence in a lab setting helped me immensely in my Ph.D. program. My goal has been to work with formulating vaccines for diseases that primarily affect lower-income countries, and I’m excited to be working in this field.”
Muhammad, a first-generation college student, discovered his passion for medical research after a Flory Honors research project with Professor of Biology Dr. Stephen Baron. As a Ph.D. student studying infectious diseases and microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh, he was part of a team that developed multiple COVID-19 vaccine candidates and novel vaccine delivery platforms. Today, he works in vaccine development as Associate Director of Research and Development for GAPHAS Pharmaceutical.
You’ll start prepping for life after BC as soon as you step on campus.
Take advantage of workshops on resumes, job interviews and networking, or intern at places like Merck Pharmaceuticals and Brown Edwards. These opportunities—coupled with the lasting connections you’ll make at BC—lead to real results. Recent graduates have gone on to med school, law school and graduate programs at Princeton, Duke, Harvard and more. They’re employed at places like the U.S. Department of Health, SAP Software Solutions and Capital One.
A 2009 graduate of Bridgewater College with a double major in athletic training and biology, Micaela is now a board-certified general surgeon and fellowship-trained breast oncologist for the Care New England Health System, as well as an assistant professor and clinician educator at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
In 2022, she was named to a list of “40 Under 40 Outstanding Women Surgeons” by the Association of Women Surgeons. Micaela says, “Bridgewater College gave me all the tools I needed to succeed in medical school, surgical residency, fellowship and beyond!”
Frequently Asked Questions
We’re changing our published undergraduate tuition price for new and returning students from $40,300 to $15,000. The new tuition price will go into effect fall 2024.
We understand that many students and families consider the published tuition price when making their college decisions. And a majority of students and families won’t even look at a private college if it appears too expensive. We owe it to prospective students and families to be honest and transparent about the real cost, not create barriers through complicated pricing strategies.
Our aim is to make a Bridgewater College education accessible to as many individuals as possible. By introducing this new tuition model, we are creating opportunities for more students to experience the real value of a Bridgewater education — the connections to incredible mentors, inspiring classmates and life-changing experiences that prepare them for a career — that is waiting for them here.
Nearly all private colleges adopt a high price/high discount strategy—setting a high “sticker price” and then offering large discounts through scholarships, most of which don’t represent real dollars helping to fund the value of education—which creates confusion about the true cost of education.
We owe it to our prospective students and their families to be transparent about the cost of higher education. At Bridgewater, we want to align our published tuition price with the actual cost of providing a high-quality education, so that more students can benefit from what we offer.
No. Rest assured, returning students will not be negatively impacted. Unless your academic progress or family’s financial circumstances change, your net tuition price—what you’ve actually been paying—will remain the same, with typical annual tuition and residential fee increases. Your financial aid package will be aligned with the lower tuition and will clearly show where your scholarships are coming from.
A student’s total cost is set individually and depends on a number of factors, including their academic profile, family income, family assets and their competition in a number of scholarship programs. On Aug. 21, all students (except for those who plan to graduate in May 2024) received a letter outlining how these changes will impact Bridgewater students. In early June 2024, after residential choices have been made, all returning students will receive a more complete award letter with fall 2024 tuition and fees, subtracting aid from all sources, resulting in their expected payment for the 2024-25 academic year. Bridgewater students or families who have specific questions about what this change will mean for them should contact the Office of Financial Aid at (540) 828-5377 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our commitment to transparency extends to your financial aid. Your scholarship packages will be adjusted in line with the new tuition, and you will receive your fall 2024 financial aid package in early June 2024. We will clearly indicate the sources of your scholarships so you can see the full picture of your financial support.
No. Eligibility for federal Pell Grants will continue to be based on a family’s income and assets, as reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (currently $5,000) is awarded to all Virginia residents enrolled full-time at a Virginia private college. Federal student loans are available to all students who file the FAFSA.
No. There’s no need to worry. Students who hold work study, campus employment or fellowships will be able to work as usual.
Not in your first semester. The new tuition will not go into effect until fall 2024.
No, the new published tuition rate applies to undergraduate students. Information on graduate student tuition and fees is available here.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, we are here to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Office of Financial Aid at 540-828-5377 or email us at email@example.com. We are committed to supporting you throughout your educational journey at Bridgewater College.
Have a question?
We’re here to answer your questions about tuition transparency at Bridgewater College. If you still have questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.