Admissions Essays
Blog  |  About Us  |  Help Center  |  
Admission Essay & Personal Statement Development Services
Admissions Essays Blog
Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Is College Getting Cheaper
Let me start off with a disclaimer. I'm not an economist. I also can't possibly tackle this question in less than 300 words. But I will open a discussion that raises some interesting issues.

The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO, and probably an organization you'll never think about again), recently released a report stating, in essence, that universities are doling out more financial aid today than ever before. They refer to it as an increase in "tuition discount rate".

The reason why? College is getting more expensive, and students are getting priced out of it. If universities want to make any money from tuition, they have to find a way to make it accessible.

A recent NPR article attempts to dissect the new trend, likening discounted private colleges to "cheap sushi". From a marketing perspective, no one likes the idea of getting something cheap. What they do like, is not having to pay full price for it. There is a difference, and colleges know it, which is why they characterize grants and scholarships as "merit-based stipends" and talk in terms of "need-blind admissions".

The problem is that there are still many students who will be scared away by sticker price. They may be the ones who are most likely to benefit from the discount. For most applicants, it's impossible to tell just how much college is going to cost until every last financial aid and scholarship form has been signed and submitted. Without a guaranteed price tag, it may be mostly middle and upper class students applying to the $40,000 a year colleges. That is true even if those same students ultimately qualify for a 40% discount. Low-income students may simply miss out by figuring they can't even play the game.

The lack of transparency is unfortunate. But this study and other analyses like it are a reminder not to take private, non-profit colleges off your list based on price alone.


posted by at

Previous Posts
Admission Essay  |  Personal Statement  |  Letter of Recommendation  |  Scholarship Essay
© Admissions Essays, Inc. 2013. All Rights Reserved. Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Site Map