In order to recruit high-performing students, it is becoming more common for private colleges to match the tuition rates at public schools.
There is increasing competition among colleges to recruit high-performing students. In an attempt to remain competitive, many private universities are offering to match the tuition rates students would pay at a public college, The Wall Street Journal reported.
For example, Oglethorpe University in Atlanta will match the tuition rates for all flagship universities for students who meet certain academic requirements. And Robert Morris University near Pittsburgh announced it will match the tuition price of the local public colleges for all Pennsylvania residents. It will even add a $3,000 scholarship.
But it’s not just private colleges that are offering to match tuition rates. Public colleges in Michigan, South Dakota, and Nebraska will charge out-of-state students in-state tuition prices. This is a hefty discount as out-of-state tuition rates are up to three times higher than in-state tuition, The Wall Street Journal reported.
There are a number of reasons colleges are using price matching as a recruitment tactic. Some schools are located in areas with a relatively small number of high school graduates so they need a way to attract out-of-state residents. Other schools, like Oglethorpe University, are trying to boost their academic profile.
Lawrence Schall, president of Oglethorpe, told The Wall Street Journal the college is trying to recruit more high-achieving students. Though the college enrolls roughly 25 percent of the students it admits, only 10 to 15 percent of those students are considered high achievers.
Oglethorpe, which usually charges $39,830 in tuition fees every year, is also trying to boost its enrollment overall. Most of its students come from Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee where in-state tuition at a flagship university is much lower.
It’s common for most consumers to try to negotiate on price when they are buying a home or a new vehicle. But many students don’t realize that they can negotiate on the price of college. College enrollment rates fell by 1.3 percent between 2015 and 2016 so colleges are competing to find new students every year, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
The best place for most students to start is to know what they can afford to pay every year. This includes things like tuition, housing, cost of living expenses, and textbooks. Students should keep this number in mind as they begin sending applications to various colleges.
And students should fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if they qualify for any financial aid or scholarships. This can help cut down on the overall tuition costs as well.
Students and their parents can compare the offers they receive from various colleges and see how they match up. Then they can contact the school’s financial aid office to schedule a one-on-one meeting.
When meeting with a representative from the school, it’s helpful to point out any academic achievements, athletic endeavors, or other unique benefits the student can bring to the school. And always mention any competing offers from other schools.