Inside Sources: SUU offering a $9,000 bachelor’s degree

May 4, 2021, 5:11 PM
Southern Utah University announced last week that three finalists have emerged for the position of University President. File photo: Stace Hall, KSL TV

SALT LAKE CITY — The cheapest four-year college degree in the state could soon come from SUU. 

The average college debt among US student loan borrowers is $32,731 for a total of $1.52 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. This is an increase of approximately 20% from 2015-2016. education more affordable and accessible. In order to make college more affordable and accessible, Southern Utah University adopted a new approach to earning a bachelor’s degree.

Can’t beat the price for a bachelor’s degree

SUU President Scott Wyatt joined Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson to talk about the school’s $9,000 bachelor degree. The price would potentially make it the least expensive bachelor’s degree of any public institution of higher learning in the nation, not just Utah.

For comparison, attending Harvard costs $49,653 in tuition fees for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Wyatt said for some students, attending classes at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. works just fine. But others possess neither the time nor the money to enjoy the full college experience.

“So, what we’ve tried to do is pick all the different audiences who have a need of opening the golden doors that higher education can provide. This is a Bachelor of General Studies: $75 a credit, 120 credits, $9,000 total cost,” Wyatt said.

Attended college — but no degree earned

“You’ve got about 40 million Americans who’ve gone to college and never finished their degree,” he said. “They’re out because life got busy or because of financial challenges or whatever it might be, they’re waiting tables in Kanab, they’re working in a job, not able to advance in Salt Lake, they’re unemployed, living in Tooele or wherever it might be. And they can’t come to our campuses and they can’t afford the cost.”

Wyatt said the $9,000 bachelor’s degree at SUU is for online studies only.

“It’s a very narrow and directed degree, not the degree for everyone. We reduce the services. So, this is only online students [who] won’t be coming on campus and getting these broad range of services and activities,” he said.

This is a good option for you if . . .

Wyatt said the online bachelor’s degree is good for people who have a job but need the bachelor’s to advance. It’s also good for job seekers whose employers don’t care about the field of study, just that the job applicant had the discipline to finish the bachelor’s degree and a broad understanding of the degree. 

“It’s also a good degree for somebody who would like to go into various graduate programs, like Master of Public Administration,” he said.

Wyatt said the $9,000 bachelor’s degree is just the beginning for opening doors for more students attending SUU.

“What about all the people that have less privileges, less opportunities, less resources, less time, less whatever it might be,” Wyatt said. “We’re trying to answer those big questions. This isn’t the first and it’s not gonna be the last of this kind of innovation,”

IInside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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Inside Sources: SUU offering a $9,000 bachelor’s degree