As colleges across the United States struggle to compete for students, schools are doing what they can to attract high-school graduates. Private non-profit colleges are offering students an average tuition discount of 45 percent.
Stemming from a weak economy recovery, these price reductions reached an all-time high in 2012, according to a study of 383 private-nonprofit four year schools carried out by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).
“The expectation that a private institution can maintain or grow enrollment and increase net revenue simply by offering large tuition discounts is no longer valid,” Walda said in a statement. “Price sensitivity, changing student demographics, and a dynamic, competitive landscape all point to the need for increased attention to a strong brand, good marketing, diverse revenue streams, and cost containment.”
But despite these price reductions, enrollment continues to decline at many colleges. More than half the schools responding to the NACUBO study said they either experienced a decline or maintained freshman enrollment between the fall of 2011 and the following year.
Indeed, the number of high school graduates is expected to decline through the rest of the decade - according to a recent study by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education - putting a further strain on private colleges' revenue streams.