Colleges giving record discounts on tuition
In fact, at some colleges, these tuition “discounts” have been so large that colleges are struggling financially, Jon Marcus reported in a recent Hechinger Report article.
College costs are up, but so is financial aid
According to a report from the National Association of College and University Business Officers, the average college “discount rate,” the amount of financial aid, grants and other price reductions colleges awarded to students, was projected to have grown to more than 46% at colleges and universities this past academic year.
This is the highest rate ever, up from 45% the year before.
Colleges’ revenue down as enrollment declines
It may seem hard to believe with college costs as high as they are, but average revenue from tuition between 2012 and 2013 actually fell by one-half of 1%, according to the report.
It’s no wonder colleges were handing out the discounts–nearly half of all universities and colleges suffered declines in total undergraduate enrollment.
And even the ultra-competitive Ivies saw declines in overall applications. Dartmouth, for example, saw applications decline by a whopping 14% for the Class of 2018.
In contrast to 6 or 7 years ago, when college applications were at all-time highs and admissions rates were at record lows at many colleges, things are looking up for prospective college students.
Students should look for college tuition deals
It’s definitely become a student’s market, but experts predict the trend won’t last. According to the report, nearly a third of colleges won’t be increasing discounts next year.
Students and families should be sure to take advantage of the declining enrollment and application trend. They should apply to several colleges, compare offers, and try to negotiate the best financial aid package possible.