“In recent years, tuition has significantly increased at public universities, driven by state budget cuts and prompting student protests around the country,” reports Huffington Post: “ Yet almost the opposite has happened at private colleges.”
Private college tuition grew at its lowest rate in decades this year and at a slower pace than public university tuition.“Tony Pals, director of communications at the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, said he can’t remember another time in which so many private schools have held down tuition as he’s seen in the past two years. By the association’s count, 41 private colleges have cut or frozen tuition, 12 have implemented guarantees that their undergrads will graduate in four years or that their tuition will never go up, and another 16 have instituted tuition increases at or below inflation levels.
“Pals predicted the number of private colleges taking similar action on tuition will continue to grow. “Consumers are increasingly price-sensitive,” he said, and there’s concern that “prospective students may be ruling out applying to a private college simply because of sticker price.”
“That concern is valid, according to a recent poll from the College Board and Art & Science Group: More than half of college-bound high school seniors rule out institutions based solely on the sticker price. The percentages were even higher for low- and middle-income students, though they stand to gain the most from financial aid packages.”