Cabrini College is a small, cozy Catholic school located in a posh, leafy suburb of Philadelphia. Beginning this fall, tuition and fees are a tidy $29,000 per year, down from over $33,000. Cabrini has pledged to keep the total cost of tuition and fees under $30,000 through May 2015.
The exact price point is the result of some savvy internet marketing strategy. As a result of the price reduction, more prospective students who use online college search engines will now see Cabrini.
“Students who might be the perfect fit for Cabrini, but who do not look at colleges above $30,000, may begin to consider Cabrini,” explained school president Marie Angelella George.
Also worth noting is the fact that current students aren’t getting socked with less merit-based aid.
“While other colleges have reduced tuition and fees recently, we believe that Cabrini College is the only institution to do so without reducing the dollar amount of scholarships for returning students,” said Dennis Kelly, vice president for enrollment management.
University of Charleston in West Virginia
The University of Charleston in West Virginia — not to be confused with the College of Charleston in South Carolina — is a small private school in the capital city of The Mountain State. This fall, entering students will owe $19,500 for tuition, which is a 22 percent discount off of last year’s sticker price. Tuition for returning students will be $25,500 with a guarantee of at least $6,000 in university aid.
“Our current students are ecstatic,” reported Jennie Ferretti, vice president for communications at the University of Charleston. “They and their families were very happy that we were making a move toward transparency in higher education pricing.”
According to officials at UC, a new policy of financial transparency is nearly as big a selling point as the cut itself. The gap between the advertised price and the actual tuition paid at private colleges has grown over the years, they say, as tuition has skyrocketed but family incomes have not. Shocking sticker prices have discouraged many middle income students from applying.
“Almost all private colleges raise tuition every year but also raise financial aid,” explained Ferretti. “We’re trying to get away from that and give students and families clear and consistent information.”