Is College About To Get More Affordable?

For many families, their view of college has morphed over the years. College, it seems, is no longer simply very expensive, but often prohibitively so.

That may be changing.

Due to bleaker job prospects, fears tied up with the recession that started in 2008, and prices possibly reaching an inflection point, the spiraling cost of college may just be slowing down.

In fact, some colleges have even started lowering prices.

Today we take a look at this nascent trend – and what it might mean for you.

– Scott

Is College About To Get More Affordable?

For starters schools can’t keep raising prices well above the rate of inflation forever. At some point, the cost would shut out enough potential students that the ones left paying higher tuition wouldn’t make up for those who never enrolled.

With The Great Recession putting a scare into everyone, that time may be approaching.

Some colleges have reported dropping application rates. Still others are seeing some applicants opt out, and take jobs straight out of high school rather than take on debt.

So, is there an inflection point happening in college prices?

Let’s look at three things happening:

Colleges are freezing tuition.

At least 24 private colleges and universities officially froze tuition in 2012, as reported by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. Schools as diverse as the University of Arizona or the entire California school system are promising no tuition hikes. Some schools have promised the same for more than a single year – though long term commitments of this sort are still rare.

Colleges are guaranteeing level tuition.

This simply means that, whatever price you’re quoted upon acceptance, the school won’t raise costs over the next four years. Some schools have guaranteed grant money will remain level as well, while a few schools have taken the unique approach of guaranteeing graduation within four years – or additional years are free.

Some colleges are cutting the cost of tuition.

While still considered a drastic step, a growing number of schools are actually reducing tuition rates in an effort to increase admissions.

On the other hand, these approaches can affect the school’s net revenue – making it harder to afford the guaranteed perks of tenured professors, for example.

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Cutting tuition can cause families to wonder if the quality of education will fall as well. And reducing tuition can also affect the amount of money available for scholarships.

The way everything balances out is yet to be seen. Look for more on these trends in future College Made Simple posts.

To your college admissions success,

Scott Weingold

Co-Founder, College Planning Network LLC

Publisher, CollegeMadeSimple.com – The free educational resource of College Planning Network

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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by CollegeStats.org.  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News, TheStreet.com, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.