Bridgewater College in Virginia and Wartburg College in Iowa have recently announced significant reductions in tuition prices, cutting by 62 percent and 48 percent, respectively, starting next fall.
However, most students won’t experience a substantial change in their actual bills, as many were already receiving generous scholarships and financial aid packages.
Tuition resets like these, while seen by some as pricing gimmicks, have become more common in recent years, especially since the pandemic, and they aim to address increasing public skepticism about the value of higher education.
Variable relationship between tuition resets and enrollment
Despite this trend, the connection between tuition resets and increased enrollment remains variable.
The perception that a high price equates to high value in education has shifted, with economic factors now playing a more significant role in students’ college decisions.
While resetting tuition prices can help lower sticker shock for students, it may limit institutions’ ability to reallocate tuition dollars across students to maximize equity goals.