Differential charge

Differential Charge for Engineering, Nursing and Business & Economics Students

The University of Delaware, as part of its commitment to provide a high-quality education and attract the best students and faculty, is implementing a differential charge beginning with the 2018-19 academic year in three areas—the College of Engineering, the Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics and the School of Nursing. This new financial structure will more closely align the student charges with the higher cost of delivery for these programs while supporting UD’s continued strategic growth, academic excellence and affordability.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Why is UD assessing a differential charge?

A: The differential charge will more closely align the student rate with the higher cost of delivery for certain programs while supporting UD’s continued strategic growth, academic excellence and affordability. In this way, the University can remain competitive with its peer institutions, continuing to provide students with the very best academic experience, tools and life preparation possible. The funds generated from the differential charge will be used to increase financial aid, hire new faculty, broaden course access, expand specialized career services and continue providing the transformational learning environments needed to keep pace with advancing technologies.

Many higher education institutions have already implemented similar charges. In fact, 60 percent of public research universities today assess tuition based on students’ year of study, major or both, according to research by Gregory C. Wolniak, director of the Center for Research on Higher Education Outcomes at New York University.

Revenues from these charges will stay entirely within the respective college or program.

Q: Which students will be impacted?

A: Beginning with the 2018-19 academic year, students in the Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics, the College of Engineering and the School of Nursing will have a differential charge added to their bill each semester.

Q:  Why are only the Lerner College, College of Engineering and the School of Nursing affected by this change?

A: While all colleges and University programs remain competitive at UD, these three highly ranked areas have been assessed for specific criteria to warrant greater necessary funding and investment to sustain and build competitive advantage for graduates in these industries. Such criteria include high cost of instruction, high demand by students, high national standing, high placement rate and salary upon graduation, and finally, high economic impact on the state and beyond.

Q: What is the amount of the differential charge?

A: To enable students impacted by the differential to plan in advance, the total charges will be phased in incrementally. For the 2018-19 academic year, the differential charge will be $500 per semester for full-time students registered for 12 or more credits. For part-time students, the charge will be $250/semester. The table below provides the planned maximum differential charge by semester for the next three academic years. However, to assist in funding this new charge, students enrolled at UD as of the spring 2018 semester will receive a credit until it is fully phased in (spring 2021). Current full-time students will receive a credit of $250 per semester, while current part-time students will receive a credit of $125/semester during this time period.

Projected Differential Phased Increases
Fall ’18/Spring ’19* Fall ’19/Spring ’20* Fall ’20/Spring ’21*
Nursing $500/Semester $1,000/Year $750/Semester $1,500/Year $750/Semester $1,500/Year
Lerner College of Business & Economics $500/Semester $1,000/Year $750/Semester $1,500/Year $1,000/Semester $2,000/Year
College of Engineering $500/Semester $1,000/Year $1,250/Semester $2,500/Year $2,000/Semester $4,000/Year

* For current UD students, those enrolled as of spring, 2018, a credit will apply. See above.

Q: Will any additional financial aid or funding be available to cover the cost of the differential charge?

A: Yes. Support will be provided in the following forms:

  • We guarantee no net increase for all students with the greatest financial need, our Pell-eligible students, as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This includes covering this charge under the Commitment to Delawareans financial aid model.
  • All students attending UD on full scholarships (Unidel Eugene du Pont Memorial Distinguished Scholars, Veterans Benefits or Athletics) will receive funding to offset these costs.

Q: What will my total cost of attendance be?

A: The University each year thoughtfully considers how to ensure outstanding academics at an affordable price. In fact, UD has kept tuition increases below the rate for public universities nationwide and has been ranked a “best value” by publications like Money, Forbes and Kiplinger’s.  Annually the Board of Trustees considers the cost of tuition, fees and room and board, and the rates are approved and published in June or July. Annual changes in the tuition, fees, and room and board will be in addition to the projected increases in the differential charge, as the differential supports the distinctive offerings provided by the College of Engineering, Lerner College, and the School of Nursing.

Q: Does this differential charge apply to both in-state and out-of-state students?

A: Yes. Students are charged the same differential charge regardless of whether they are Delaware residents or non-residents. As with any other program, however, financial aid support will be made available as applicable.

Q: Will there be a differential charge for Winter Session and Summer Session?

A: No. The differential charge will be billed for the regular fall and spring semesters only.

Q: Will the tuition benefits/funding, such as tuition remission and tuition exchange, cover the differential charge?     

A: Students who are eligible for tuition exchange will be responsible for the differential charge as these funding sources only cover tuition. University employees who are eligible for tuition remission or fee waiver will not be responsible for the differential charge.

Q: Who can I contact if I have further questions?

A:  The best way to contact us with questions is by emailing the dean’s offices for each college as follows.

College of Engineering: Email engr-contacts@udel.edu

Lerner College of Business and Economics: Email lerner@udel.edu

College of Health Sciences/School of Nursing: Email CHS-info@udel.edu

For additional information on differential charge billing, please visit the Student Financial Services website. This UDaily story has additional information on the University’s plan to advance student success.