Good Morning Customers—College Is Now Half Off!

Add the Richmond, Indiana Quaker giant, Earlham College, to the list of endangered liberal arts species. You’ll find it right before Evergreen State College.

Paragraph to ponder:

“Nationally, the average tuition discount rate for first-time, full-time students climbed to an estimated 49.9 percent in 2017-18, according to a report by the National Association of College and University Business Officers. As a result, even as colleges have increased tuition, the net revenue per student has declined.”

If you’re shopping for a college, and they tell you tuition/room and board is $50,000/year, please understand that’s only the STICKER PRICE.

Only suckers pay sticker price.

If you’re an average negotiator, say half as good as St. Don, you should pay $25,000 out-of-pocket.

We should stop saying college tuition is going up and instead say where colleges are starting their negotiations with families is going up. Where will this ever increasing discount rate arms race end? Earlham and Evergreen are just a few of the growing number of canaries in the cave.

College Tuition Inflation

“Dear Parents” started the letter that arrived today from Eighteen’s college president. “To assist you in your planning, I am writing to provide you with information about fees for the coming year.”

Thanks.

A few short paragraphs in the prez pats himself on the back. “The comprehensive fee increase for the coming year (3.97%) is the second-lowest in a decade.” That makes me feel a lot better, except inflation, in 2010 in the U.S., was 2.3%. Why not just write, “We’ve hosed families worse than this in eight of the previous ten years.”

“In the months ahead,” he added, “we will continue to explore routes to reduce operational expenses while preserving the academic excellence for which Exorbitantly Priced College is justly known.” A promising sentence that deserves another like this, “I will write again during the summer to update you on the outcome of those discussions and exactly how we are going to reduce operational expenses while preserving academic excellence.”

Continue to explore. Classic higher ed speak.

One wonders, when it comes to comprehensive fees at private liberal arts colleges, is there a tipping point?