The Great College Fire Sale

Now here’s something you haven’t heard reported in the news media this year:

Many colleges and universities are slashing prices even further than they have in the past.

Private schools, in particular, are worried that kids are crossing expensive schools off their lists because of the recession and the stock market implosion. Most parents assume that private schools are in even less of a position to help families this year because their own endowments have been hit.

But guess what folks — the conventional wisdom is wrong. Most high school seniors haven’t received their financial aid/merit aid offers yet, but the higher ed enrollment managers that I’ve talked to say they are seeing some fantastic offers.

Private tuition discounts of 30%, 40% and 50% aren’t all going to the academic stars. Even some marginal applicants who normally would receive thread-bare offers are getting nice packages.

Some flagships universities are also participating in this fire sale, but they typically aren’t publicizing it.  I know of a girl from Cambridge, MA, who wanted to get out of New England and applied to the University of Texas. The Massachusetts girl was shocked when UT offered her in-state tuition.

Meanwhile, the second- and third-tier public universities are fighting for out-of-state students. These schools are willing to offer great packages to wonderful kids beyond their border. You can get these deals even if your state does not possess a reciprocal agreement with the public school that interests you. Look in my blog archive for more on state reciprocal agreements.

The Ivies, by they way, aren’t reverting to this fire sale. They will maintain the same financial aid policies because their star power brings in plenty of kids. But keep in mind that these schools only represent .2% of all college freshmen.

Learn much more about cutting the cost of college by reading The College Solution.

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