Locked-In Tuition Is a Win for Families but a Tough Sell for Colleges

Many four year colleges are hard-pressed in these economic times to find ways to increase their revenues amidst state budget cuts and dwindling enrollments from students who are choosing more economically priced community colleges. In the article below, many colleges are trying to “close” students and parents ahead of time through advanced payment plans. This may pay the college less over the long haul, but it ensures student attendance and commits students to that school for the course of their degree programs unless something goes really wrong.

In addition to the so-called “tuition plans,” colleges should also look at the ways in which they track and measure the success of first year students. Many colleges have a 40% drop-out rate among incoming freshmen. This is an extremely high cost to universities, one that could be prevented and shored up by basic measuring and planning structures such as pre and post assessments taken on each student the beginning of the semester, the end of the semester and the end of the year. In addition, colleges can survey students regularly on how they are meeting their needs and what they still need to do to create the services and environments where students can flourish, graduating after four years with a strong degree that will garner gainful employment.

Chronicles of Higher Education
by Beckie Supiano

Tuition just about always moves in the same direction: up. So wouldn’t it be great if students could lock in tuition at their college and know they will pay the same amount for four years?

It seems like a no-brainer, especially now. But some colleges have tried the strategy only to find it hard to convince families that it’s a good idea.

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