AU, Southern Union partner to aid in tuition affordability

AU, Southern Union team up to tackle tuition affordability

AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - Auburn University is partnering with Southern Union State Community College for Path to the Plains, a program intended to make the transition from a two-year college to a four-year university easier for students.

“What the students will do is they will take courses at both Southern Union and Auburn at the same time. We hope that this will allow the students to be acclimated to both a four-year environment and a two-year environment all at the same time," said Dean of Academics at Southern Union State Community College Linda North. "One of the things I want to do is increase the retention of the students in the success of the students.”

“That creates an accessible and affordable academic opportunity for students in three of our designated majors,” said Auburn University Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communications Julie Huff.

The three pilot programs for Path to the Plains are biosystems engineering, geospacial and environmental informatics and public relations.

“It also creates an opportunity for them to already have a direct pathway to their major. They’ll already be admitted as long as they’re successful in our program,” said North.

Path to the Plains is also intended to help affordability. Students participating in the program will pay Southern Union tuition rates for classes taken at Auburn University. Officials say that's about $6,000 in savings.

“That is $6,000 towards their graduate degree. That’s $6,000 towards their housing, so it provides accessibility and affordability,” said North.

“Strong students who are looking to get a four-year degree but probably have some financial barriers, so it’s one way that we can create an academic opportunity for those students,” said Huff.

Officials say they’re accepting 10 students for this pilot program, and it’s going to begin this fall.

A memorandum of understanding is slated to be signed next month by the heads of both schools. Applications for the program will start being accepted shortly after.

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