The Relationship of Institutional Tuition Discounts with Enrollment at Private, Not-for-Profit Institutions

    Vol. 40, No. 3, 2010 p. 26 

    By Nathan E. Lassila

    Empirical studies exploring the impact of student aid on postsecondary enrollment often stop short of the specific examination of institutional tuition discounting. This research uses separate empirical ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models to examine three questions using public choice theory, positing that enrollment decisions may be affected by many variables but will be driven primarily by discounted cost. These questions are: Does a relationship exist between institutional tuition discount and enrollment? Does institutional tuition discount have a measurably different effect on enrollment of different racial or ethnic groups? What is the relationship between institutional tuition discount and enrollment over time? Results provide evidence of a positive relationship between increasing institutional tuition discount and enrollment, and suggest tuition discounting may be effective specifically in increasing minority enrollment.