More colleges cut tuition rates as classes move online

Robert Massa, vice president emeritus of enrollment at Dickinson College, said the universities offering tuition discounts roughly fall into two categories. There are the well-endowed, selective ones, such as Princeton, Williams, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins, many of which have coalesced around 10 percent as a discount. Those colleges can afford to discount easily, unlike their peers that are somewhat selective, but not as well-endowed. And then there are non-selective institutions in a lower market position, which need to cut tuition to stay competitive and attract students…

Carol Stack, a principal at higher education consultancy EAB, said another tactic colleges should consider is a “COVID grant,” a line item, fixed price discount for every student tied to the pandemic.

“It very clearly says to students and to families, ‘this reduction in price is tied to the pandemic and tied to what we’re unable to do because of that,'” she said. “It’s really easy with a grant to be nimble and make alterations into the future. But once you’ve actually reduced your tuition it can be hard to have the conversation to increase that back up to the prior level.”