The Institute of World Politics truly is a unique institution within academia, and this is no accident. All aspects of the school are designed to provide students with the best possible education in preparation for a career in public service. These aspects include small class sizes, a scholar-practitioner faculty, relevant coursework, and importantly, the most competitive tuition rates in Washington D.C.
Students at IWP enjoy a tuition rate of $1,100 per credit hour, which translates to $97 per classroom hour. This rate is more favorable than those from competing schools in National Security, International Relations, and Strategic Intelligence Studies, which range from $167 per hour of instruction at Johns Hopkins SAIS, to $164 at George Washington University, to $154 at the Fletcher School, to $140 at Georgetown University, to $127 at American University.*
IWP is pleased to announce that we will once again charge a rate of $1,100 per credit hour for the 2015-2016 school year, our fifth year doing so.
The reason why IWP is able to provide such a competitive rate is because we focus our organization in a unique manner. We have cultivated a healthy relationship between what it costs to educate a student and the price the student pays. There are some crippling trends at work within the market of higher education. By avoiding these trends, IWP has remained efficient in order to provide the student with a superior educational product at a lower cost.
The Davis Educational Foundation has stated that higher educational institutions are engaged in an “amenities war.” When prospective students shop for a school to attend, many of them are drawn to the experience and not just the education itself. The administrations of various schools have noticed this and have adjusted their spending accordingly. Rather than utilize a financial surplus to reduce the cost of tuition, those funds are invested into superfluous facilities within the school. This strategy makes for a strong first impression upon a visiting prospective student and provides a luxurious experience for current students, but it compromises the quality of education they are ultimately receiving. The university’s sales increase, the academic rigor decreases, and the graduates are left to shoulder crushing debt.
The Institute of World Politics has made every effort to avoid this trend and has found success. The academic integrity of our classes remains while unnecessary expenses have been eliminated.
As schools grow, some of them experience what is known as “mission drift.” This is when courses and majors that are not fundamentally tied to the original purpose of the school are added. These new programs attract new students, but they also have some major drawbacks. As the focus shifts from one discipline to many, the scrutiny required to maintain a rigorous program and cost-effective curriculum is difficult to produce. Even though enrollment rates increase with the new disciplines, the funds needed to cobble together these new adventures are drawn from the students en masse. Quality of education is traded for quantity.
The Institute of World Politics has remained steadfast in our commitment to our mission statement. In doing so, we have ensured that the classes and educational programs found here are of the highest quality and the most focused in the Washington D.C. area.
Academia is currently experiencing a third unfavorable phenomenon — adjunct professors are paid very little. While this may seem like an efficient way to cut expenditures, in truth, the practice is counterproductive. More than half of the professors in the United States are currently working in adjunct positions. Those schools that fail to commit competitive funding to their adjunct faculty are not providing enough incentive for adjunct faculty to commit the time and energy needed to make a course truly engaging and informative, while also mentoring students.
Indeed, part of a commitment to quality education must involve securing excellent professors. At the Institute, this means attracting scholar-practitioners — many of whom work a day job in national security or international affairs — as adjunct faculty members. To make it worth their while, IWP offers its adjunct professors some of the most favorable pay available to ensure that its adjunct faculty is the most competitive in the field.
*Approximate rates based on 2014-15 tuition rates.