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Tuition discounts can bring the cost of college within reach


Monday, May 13, 2013

The price of tuition is often a major consideration for students and families involved in the college search process. For many students, financial aid such as scholarships and tuition discounting makes it possible for them to attend smaller, and typically more expensive, private colleges. Discounting tuition has been a common practice among colleges in this category to attract students, and according to a new study published by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), tuition discounts reached unprecedented levels last year.

The trends, highlighted by the study and reported in Inside Higher Ed, may be advantageous to students preparing for college. As competition for talented students increases, so too might the discounts offered by small colleges. According to the NACUBO report, tuition discounting reached an all-time high during the 2011-2012 academic year, at an average of 45 percent.

The practice of heavily discounting tuition to attract and retain students and ensure steady enrollment rates could make colleges that would be otherwise out of reach more financially viable options for students and their families.

During the college search, students should evaluate the cost implications of their choices carefully. Although tuition discounting can make certain schools more accessible, these offers may not be guaranteed for all four years which could result in the student having to assume more student loan debt or even transferring to another school.

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