Even Before Free Tuition, WNY Private Colleges Struggle to Fill Seats

"Overall enrollment at area colleges and universities remained flat in 2017, with half of four-year institutions showing small gains in the size of their student populations and the other half reporting declines. But the number of students enrolled at four-year colleges and universities in Western New York went down by more than 3,000 people from five years ago, a Buffalo News analysis has found," according to The Buffalo News. 

"Just four of the 16 institutions experienced growth between fall of 2013 and fall of 2017. And three institutions – Canisius College, SUNY Buffalo State and Houghton College – now have the fewest students on their campuses in more than 30 years.

New York State's new free tuition program – implemented this past May, after most students had decided on a school – did not appear to steer many students away from private institutions and into public ones this fall. But private colleges are bracing for that possibility in 2018, when the application process for the next round of free tuition Excelsior Scholarships coincides with admissions and financial aid cycles.

More than 22,000 students received some level of the state's new Excelsior Scholarship, with a fifth of those students attending State University of New York schools in Western New York.

Some private colleges are taking or considering dramatic steps to better compete with the powerful allure of free tuition."

NASFAA's "Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.



Publication Date: 11/16/2017

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