A Tuition Gamble That Is Paying Off

"St. John’s College leaders took a counterintuitive but calculated risk three years ago when they decided to slash the cost of tuition and turn to donors to help replace the lost revenue. Some observers considered the move reckless; others dismissed it as a public relations stunt. But today, St. John’s is one step closer to meeting the $300 million fundraising goal it set in 2018," Inside Higher Ed reports.

..."Though St. John’s leaders consider the tuition reset a success, experts doubt that many other private institutions will follow suit right away. The pandemic left many colleges with depressed enrollments and uncertain finances. Quite a few institutions are waiting for more proof that a tuition reset actually works, said Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

'I had a lot of conversations with colleges about it over the last several years, but very few have jumped in with both feet and actually pulled the trigger,' he said."

..."One reason college leaders often hesitate to reset tuition is fear that the public could interpret the reset to mean that the education is less valuable, Draeger said.

'As warped as I find it, there is a reputational risk that a school runs if they lower their tuition too much, because in the minds of the students and families that attend there -- they are wanting to attend a high-priced, selective institution that then gives them a lot of scholarships,' he said."

NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 6/24/2021

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