It’s not exactly a surprise if I tell you that the cost of living has gone up quite a bit in Middle Tennessee over the past couple of years. We all see it in our personal lives. And, every business - even a nonprofit one like NSS - is struggling to accommodate some of the drivers of higher costs. In particular, at NSS we’re struggling with increases in instructor compensation. Driven by the competitive market for software development and data analytics talent and the ability to access remote work across the country, salaries for technical professionals have accelerated beyond anything we’ve ever experienced here in Nashville. Also, with the highest rates of inflation in four decades, increases in housing costs in Nashville, the imminent annual increase in health insurance costs for our staff, etc, costs are up across the board.
Even with rising costs, we’ve been holding the line on tuition prices for the last year and a half. In fact, we have not increased tuition for three years, since before COVID. However, we’ve finally reached the limit of what we can sustain.
As a result, we are raising tuition prices for regular tuition by 5% for all but one of our bootcamp programs. Tuition will increase for the following programs: Web Developer Bootcamp (both full-time and part-time), Data Analytics Bootcamp (both full-time and part-time), and Data Science Bootcamp. The tuition increase is effective for all classes starting in February 2023 and later.
There will also be tuition price increases for professional development classes beginning in January 2023 - in the case of our UX & UI for Digital Product Design class it will increase by greater than 5% because of other additions we’ve made to the program starting in January.
There is NO tuition increase at this time for the recently launched Software Engineering with Java/AWS Specialization program. Also, tuition remains unchanged for all three Jumpstart programs and for the Statistics for Data Science program.
For the bootcamps with price increases there are no increases in deposits. That's particularly important for students who receive our Opportunity Tuition where we're continuing to focus on keeping the cost of entry into programs as low as we can manage. The tuition price increase will be added to the deferred tuition balance and therefore will not impact Opportunity Tuition students until after they go to work using the skills learned at NSS.
The new tuition amounts, including the breakdown of payment plans, deposit amounts, Opportunity Tuition, etc. is detailed on the program pages for each program beginning in February 2023 or later. I want to emphasize that we are taking this step very reluctantly. Given the inflationary environment, we are happy that we’ve been able to restrict the tuition price increase to 5%, which is quite a bit less than the compound effect of the cost drivers we’ve seen. It's disappointing that we are forced to take this step but we have not, and will not, relax our commitment to offering access to tech careers to motivated adults irrespective of their financial circumstances. We will continue to strive to minimize tuition price increases and to increase the variety and amounts of scholarships and other forms of tuition offsets and deferrals for our students.