Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tuition Up, Popularity Up

The Idea: increase tuition, bring in more and better applicants to apply to Middlebury.

Does this make sense? The New York Times began a series of articles today examining private college educaiton. The article today: In Twist on Tuition Game, Popularity Rises with Price.

Many of Middlebury's peer institutions are mentioned in the article. And really, its all about peer institutions. Colleges aren't getting any benefit from pricing low (in theory, the lower the price, the more applicants that can afford it) because protential applicants mentally group schools together and assume that all in the group have a certain tuition, applying to all of them. So, schools are beginning to push prices up to match similar schools. Financial aid adds further complexity because most tuition is discounted heavily, even more so when tuition rises. Clearly, Americans like the idea of getting higher education "on sale."

Our comprehensive fee: $44,330. Should it go up?

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