For Some Private Colleges, ‘Tuition Reset’ Seen As Necessity

Career College Central summary:

  • Some small private colleges are slashing their tuition by thousands of dollars due to worries that sticker shock is scaring cost-conscious students away from their campuses.
  • Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C., is the latest to do so, announcing this month that it will cut tuition next fall 43 percent, to $16,500 from $29,124. Ashland University in Ohio made a similar announcement last month. They join Belmont Abby College in North Carolina, Concordia University in St. Paul, and Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage, where tuition bills dropped by about a third compared with last year. At least six other colleges made significant tuition cuts last year.
  • The trend, called a “tuition reset,” reflects a growing emphasis on affordability in higher education. The lower sticker price does not necessarily mean all students are paying less because most schools had been offsetting the sticker prices with generous amounts of financial aid.
  • Recent data suggest that strategy no longer works for all colleges. In a joint study last year by the nonprofit College Board and the Baltimore-based Arts & Science Group, slightly more than half of 1,461 college-bound high school seniors said they judged colleges on the basis of sticker price.

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