La Trobe caps fees for Aspire students

La Trobe University has become the first in Australia to cap fees for a group of 2015 undergraduate students.

Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said the University would offer some students a 'fee cap guarantee' if they studied as part of the University's new undergraduate early-entry Aspire program.

The University today offered about 1000 students the fee cap guarantee under the Aspire program – four months earlier than when offers are normally made and even before their exams had begun.

Professor Dewar said while the Federal Government's fee de-regulation policy changes were currently being debated in Federal Parliament and the final shape of the package was yet to be determined, media reports had speculated some university fees could go up by as much as 60 per cent.

'We are guaranteeing this group of incoming Aspire undergraduate students for 2015 a fee cap of ten percent above the regulated fee in that year and for the normal full time duration of their degree,' Professor Dewar said.

'La Trobe is already a great place to get a quality education that provides reals skills, new opportunities and great experiences.

'In the midst of an uncertain environment for students, La Trobe University is giving fee certainty to this group of undergraduate students. It is yet another reason for these students to study at La Trobe.'

He said the new early-enrolment Aspire program recognised students with a proven commitment to involvement in their local community. 

He said the University was still working through the complexities of the proposed policy changes and was yet to make any decision on other 2015 course prices, but he had decided to apply the fee cap on the Aspire  program as it provided an attractive student offer that aligned with the University's key values of excellence and making a difference.

'We want to encourage students who share our commitment to making a difference to come and study at La Trobe,' he said.

'We have a long proud history of excellence and community contribution. Now we are recognising and attracting students who share those same attributes and values, and sending them a very clear message that we want them to study at La Trobe. We are also considering similar offers to other student groups.'

Examples of community contribution include volunteering with the local Country Fire Authority or State Emergency Service. Students applied for Aspire study in July this year and, if they met criteria, received an offer today.  Successful students also get access to the La Trobe University library network, coaching from a student mentor during and in the lead up to final exams and invitations to special university events. 

Image: Aspire 2015 student Cameron Rodrigues meets Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Jane Long.

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