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College Affordability & Cost

Columbia College Offers Discounted Tuition to Uber Drivers

St. Louis Business Journal
December 21, 2016

Columbia College, a private college with its main campus in Columbia, Missouri, is partnering with Uber to offer discounted tuition to students who drive for the ride-hailing company.  Students who drive at least one trip a month for Uber can get a 15 percent discount on tuition for all undergraduate or graduate courses, according to the school's website.

Marian University Lowers Tuition Costs for Next Year

WLUK-TV FOX 11 (Green Bay, WI)
December 21, 2016

It's not something you expect on a college campus.Marian University in Fond du Lac says it has lowered tuition for next year. The college board of trustees approved a reduction of $910 in the annual tuition rate for full-time undergraduate students for the 2017-18 academic year.

To Save Themselves, Small Colleges Offer Lifeline to Their Hometowns

Wall Street Journal
December 21, 2016

Phillip and Stephanie Mastin have lived all of their 40-plus years in this small manufacturing town set amid farmers’ fields. Neither, though, had ever attended a lecture or a basketball game at the private college near their home. But last spring, the couple sat inside one of Albion College’s red brick buildings as their 18-year-old son collected a $45,000-a-year scholarship from the school. The free ride, one of 13 given to local students in the past two years, is part of a change playing out at small, liberal arts colleges in beaten-down towns across the country. As they struggle with falling enrollments and difficult finances, they are realizing how their own futures are intertwined with the broader community.

Would You Sell Your Prized Possessions to Pay for College?

December 19, 2016

Just how much would you give up for your children to go to their dream schools?  For Seattle's Al Sanders, the answer was his precious stash of 5,000 comics starring everyone from the Avengers to Iron Man to the Fantastic Four. He had been collecting them ever since the eighth grade.  It may not be someone's first choice to say goodbye to prized personal possessions, but sometimes it may be a parent's only choice.

Why a Novel Way to Pay for College Appeals to Conservatives

Chronicle of Higher Education
December 19, 2016

Income-share agreements, in which investors help finance students’ educations in return for a percentage of their earnings, have become a hot idea in some corners of higher education. Especially conservative ones.

Where Even Experts Can’t Figure Out Tuition Costs

Chronicle of Higher Education
December 16, 2016

Families’ efforts to calculate the cost of an undergraduate education can be complicated by colleges’ adoption of differential-tuition policies, which set tuition rates based on academic major or year of progress toward a degree.  Such policies have become increasingly common, especially at public four-year colleges in the Great Lakes and Plains regions, as higher-education institutions seek to take in more revenue or offer students financial incentives to train for high-demand occupations. At some institutions, undergraduates’ tuition bills can vary by 40 percent or more based on their choice of academic program. 

Under Scrutiny: What's Next for the Focus on University Endowments?
December 16, 2016

President-elect Trump has proposed an education reformation agenda that puts the onus of student debt on university administrators. While the federal government must loosen costly regulations on higher education, colleges also have a responsibility to reduce tuition costs by tapping into their endowments and controlling spending, says Trump. Stakeholders in the education industry are concerned that drastic tuition discounting could present a financial burden to universities. But, the failure to apply university endowment funds towards financial aid for lower income students has come under scrutiny.

Some Small Colleges Are Finding Clever Ways to Stay Open

The Economist
December 16, 2016

VISITORS stand out at Marlboro College’s bucolic campus in the woods of Vermont, but not because they are special or even unexpected. With 190 matriculated students and just a few dozen faculty and staff, everyone knows everyone. The student-faculty ratio is five to one, about the lowest in the country. The college administration has worked hard to stay small: the student population has rarely topped 350. But in the years since its founding after the second world war, Marlboro has often skirted financial ruin. In 1993 it had only a few payrolls left in the bank. It was rescued by a foundation. Today it is looking for ways to save itself and already seeing some success.

Does Financial Aid Really Drive Up Tuition?
December 15, 2016

In 1987, William Bennett wrote a piece in the New York Times with the headline “Our Greedy Colleges.” Bennett was the U.S. Secretary of Education at the time, and he argued that increases in federal financial aid had allowed colleges “blithely to raise their tuitions, confident that Federal loan subsidies would help cushion the increase.”  But what became known as the “Bennett Hypothesis” has been hard to prove.

How Sheila Bair Hopes to Keep Kids in College — And Costs in Check

December 12, 2016

Washington College plans to fix the price of a student’s college education for all four years, the school announced Monday. Starting next fall, tuition will go up by 2% to $43,707, but freshmen who graduate in four years will be guaranteed to pay that price every year they’re in school. That price will also be fixed for students already enrolled at the college.