Frequently Asked Questions

The Cincinnati Tuition Guarantee sets a consistent or frozen rate for the base tuition fee and for numerous other fees, including room and board, for the duration of an undergraduate student’s four- or five-year degree program depending on the required length of a student’s academic program.  

The Tuition Guarantee helps students and their families to:

  • Better predict degree costs and plan their budgets
  • Stay on track for timely graduation by providing a financial incentive
  • Reduce potential student loan debt

New first-year or transfer degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolling in any of the University of Cincinnati’s campuses or through Cincinnati Online in Summer Semester 2019 or Fall Semester 2019 qualify for the Tuition Guarantee.

Incoming first-year students pursuing associate degrees are covered by the Tuition Guarantee for four years upon beginning studies at the university.

The Tuition Guarantee Program will also apply to incoming, undergraduate classes (first-year and transfers) entering in future years at a tuition rate that may be slightly higher based on the average consumer price index.

The Tuition Guarantee Program does not apply to:

  • Current undergraduate students who began their studies before Summer 2019
  • Graduate students
  • Students pursuing professional degrees in the College of Law, College of Medicine or College of Pharmacy
  • Non-degree seeking students
  • College Credit Plus or Advance High Schoolers (students taking college-credit courses while still enrolled in high school)
  • Exchange students
  • Students seeking readmission who originally enrolled prior to Fall 2019

Tuition and room and board fees are included in the program:

  • Tuition is comprised of multiple fees that are reflected on a student’s bill: Instructional, General, Campus Life/Distance Learning, and Information Technology and Instructional Equipmen (ITIE) fees.
  • Room and board rates vary depending on the specific housing option and meal plan selected by a student. If a student changes his or her residential option or meal plan selection after enrolling, the cost will be adjusted based on the rates in place at the time of initial enrollment.

The following fees are not included in the Tuition Guarantee:

  • Non-resident surcharge (a fee for out-of-state students)
  • International student fees (for special assistance with visas, legal issues and other offerings to international students)
  • Charges and fines incurred by students such as late fees
  • New student fees (covers costs for orientation and other services)
  • Program fees (educational costs vary depending on major)
  • Special course fees and eBooks (e.g., travel courses and UC-provided electronic textbooks)
  • Student Health Insurance/Bloodborne Pathogen Insurance
  • University Health Service charges
  • Study Abroad Fees
  • Administrative office service fees (e.g., transcript fees and graduation application fees)

The guarantee lasts for four academic years (12 consecutive semesters) for those in four-year programs and for five academic years (15 consecutive semesters) for those in five-year programs. Five year programs include cooperative education (co-op) where students pursue professional work experience directly related and integrated into their majors.  

Mandatory co-op programs:

  • College of Engineering and Applied Science
  • College of Design Architecture, Art and planning (DAAP)
  • Information Technology majors in the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services

Optional co-op programs:

  • Lindner College of Business
  • Communication majors in the College of Arts & Sciences
  • Medical Laboratory Science majors in the College of Allied Health Science. 

Out-of-state and international students have the same base rate of tuition as in-state students. The base tuition is Instructional, General, Campus Life/Distance Learning, and Information Technology and Instructional Equipment (ITIE) fees. What is different is that out-of-state and international students are subject to some additional fees (e.g. non-resident surcharge and international student fee) and the Tuition Guarantee does not apply to these additional fees.

Transfer students who enroll at the University of Cincinnati for the first time in an undergraduate degree-seeking program will be given the guaranteed tuition rate that aligns with their year of entry at the University of Cincinnati for four or five consecutive years depending on the required length of a student’s academic program. 

Students who begin their studies at a regional campus are UC students and therefore are provided the same tuition guarantee for the duration of their four- or five-year degree program. When a student transitions from a regional campus to the Uptown campus, the length of the guarantee does not change but the tuition (and room and board rates) will increase to the Uptown campus rate of the year the student entered UC.  

For example, a student who starts at UC Blue Ash in Fall 2019 is billed the UC Blue Ash tuition guarantee rate. If the student transitions to Uptown campus in Fall 2021, they will be billed the Uptown campus tuition guarantee rate that aligns with Uptown campus rate of Fall 2019. Enrolled in a four-year degree program, this student’s guarantee will last two more years until 2023.

Students who are enrolled in an associate degree program will be given the guaranteed tuition rate that aligns with their year of entry at the University of Cincinnati for four consecutive years.

Exceptions to the program’s time limits may be made due to military service requirements, medical emergencies or family emergencies. A review/waiver process will be implemented for such cases.

Academic Credits and Time Periods

For new undergraduate students entering in Summer 2019, their rates for that summer term will match existing 2018-19 tuition and fee rates. However, if these new, incoming students also enroll for Fall 2019, they will be grouped with those new, incoming undergraduate students covered by the Tuition Guarantee program entering in Fall 2019.

New undergraduate students entering degree-seeking programs in Spring 2020 will be covered by the Tuition Guarantee Program and will pay the guaranteed rates put into place for that academic year and for the subsequent four years or five years (depending on the required length of their program of study).

Each college class is made up of a certain number of “credit hours.” There is no limit to the total number of credit hours in which a student can enroll during their four or five years within the Tuition Guarantee. The guarantee program is driven by time lapsed (academic years/semesters) not credit hours.

However, note the amount a student is billed for credit hours can vary. If a student takes 18 credit hours or less in a semester, they will be billed the tuition rate of the guarantee program. Enrolling in more than 18 credit hours would result in being billed additional fees above and beyond the tuition guarantee rate. You can read more about this policy on the Bursar’s website.

If you change majors as an undergraduate, you maintain your status in the Tuition Guarantee program based on your year of initial entry as a new incoming undergraduate student or transfer into the university. The length of the Tuition Guarantee does not change.

One exception to this is if you change into a degree program that is designed to complete at a different time frame. For example, a student originally admitted to a four-year degree program who changes majors into a program requiring five years to complete will have the length of their Tuition Guarantee extended by one year. In contrast, a student who starts in a five-year degree program and changes to a four-year program, the length of the guarantee will be decreased by one year to equate to four years.

The four- or five-year tuition guarantee (depending on the requirements of your program of study) still applies. 

Students who take more than four years (or five years for those enrolled in five-year programs) to complete their undergraduate degrees will then be grouped – for the next year of study – at the tuition and fee-level of the class entering the year after them. (That tuition and fee level for the subsequent entering class may or may not be the same as the student’s original year of entry. It might be slightly higher based on an average of the consumer price index.)

For example, a student who enrolled in a four-year degree program for the first time at the University of Cincinnati in the Fall 2019 semester will be given a Tuition Guarantee expiration date of Fall 2023. If they request an extension but it is not granted, that student will begin the Fall 2023 semester at the Tuition Guarantee rate that corresponds with the Fall 2020 entry term.

While a student completes coursework for the undergraduate degree, they will be included in the Tuition Guarantee. The guarantee is not applicable when the coursework is at the graduate level; students will be billed the prevailing graduate course tuition rates. The university has a policy for students who are dual enrolled in both levels of coursework and more information can be found on the Bursar’s website. 

Enrollment Status

Students are permitted to enroll in courses on both UC’s Uptown and regional campuses during the same academic semester.

Full-time students taking classes at a campus where costs are higher will be subject to a “differential fee.” The amount of the fee is the difference between the lower flat instructional fee and the higher campus instructional fee. This fee will be assessed only when enrollment in the higher campus exceeds 6 credit hours (7+ credit hours). You can read more about the differential fee on the Bursar’s website.

New students who enroll as part-time, degree-seeking undergraduates will pay the guaranteed per-credit hour rate of the offering campus as determined by their assigned offering campus as determined by their term of entry. Students receive 12 consecutive semesters of their tuition guarantee whether they are enrolled part-time or full-time.

Please note, undergraduate students enrolled in less than 12 credit hours are classified as part-time. Part-time students are charged on a per credit-hour basis determined by the “offering college” (the academic college that offers that particular course) of each enrolled class section. For instance, if a student is enrolled in 6 credit hours (3 at Uptown campus and 3 at a regional campus) they would be classified as a part-time student. They would be assessed the Uptown campus guaranteed per-credit hour rate of their assigned Cohort for 3 credit hours plus the regional campus guaranteed per-credit hour rate of their assigned Cohort for 3 credit hours.

When a student re-enrolls in the University of Cincinnati, they will retain their original guaranteed tuition rate based on their original term of entry if this rate has not expired (if it has been less than four or five years depending on the required length of their program of study). Once their original guaranteed tuition rate expires the student will then be grouped – for the next year of study – at the tuition and fee-level of the class entering the year after them. (That tuition and fee level for the subsequent entering class may or may not be the same as the student’s original year of entry. It might be slightly higher based on an average of the consumer price index.)

If four or more academic years have passed since a student left the university, the re-enrolling student is assigned a new guaranteed tuition rate based on the year in which the student has re-enrolled as a degree-seeking student. For example, if a student’s original guaranteed tuition rate expired Summer Semester 2023 and the student re-enrolled as a degree-seeking student in Fall Semester 2023, the student would be assigned to the guaranteed tuition rate for the 2023-2024 academic year. This rate would continue for the next four or five years depending on the required length of their program of study.

Additional Information

Federal and state education policies consider students “new first-year students” when they first enroll in a college or university after receiving a high school diploma. Therefore, you are not a transfer student regardless of the amount of college credit earned in high school unless you have graduated from high school and enrolled in another college or university. 

Because the Cincinnati Tuition Guarantee does not apply to dual enrollment (CCP – College Credit Plus) students, you would be assigned a guaranteed tuition rate based on year of entry in an undergraduate degree-seeking program at UC after earning your high school diploma.