Expensive schools appeal to masses

By Staff Writer
February 1, 2007

Meghan Hurley

The price of a higher education is rising more and more every year. While some complain about rising costs, in fact, most parents and students have the attitude, “the more expensive, the better.”

When looking at the price of schools, parents and future college freshmen are not looking so much at the curriculum and the quality of the classes, they are looking at the price and they often assume that the school has a high quality because of a high price.

The average tuition at private and nonprofit four-year-colleges has risen 81 percent between 1993 and 2004 according to The New York Times.

“I think you can get a good education anywhere you go – no matter the price,” Marissa Dragani, a freshman undeclared major, said.

The average cost of tuition, fees, room and board at private colleges is now $30,367 according to The New York Times.

Private colleges and university’s tuition can span from $30,000 up to $49,000, which is the price of George Washington University in Washington D.C. Along with this high full price come many scholarships and “red tag sales.” Some students only have to pay a fraction of the full price.

Colleges want their enrollment to increase and the way to attract prospective students is often with a higher price.

To soften the blow for the wallets, colleges are offering more financial aid and discounts for incoming students. For most colleges and universities, financial aid, in the form of scholarships, is given to students a college wants to attract. These students get a “sale price.” Other students pay the full list price.

According to The New York Times, student prefer to go to a $30,000 school with a $10,000 scholarship rather than a $20,000 school with no financial aid. Even though the tuition would equal exactly the same, student prefer the school with a higher tuition because to most, it is a deal. And prospective students feel that the pricier school must be better.

“I would go to the one that offers the money. That way it looks like you accomplished something,” Dragani said.

“If it came down to choosing a school, money would probably be the last thing [I would look at,]” Denise Bonet, a freshman psychology major, said.

She added that she thought that the credibility of the school was more important than the price.

Though some may think that raising tuition is the answer to enrollment, other colleges go the opposite route.

Some schools choose to cut their tuition drastically. This can make a school’s enrollment rise or can act like a bug repellent. By lowering the tuition, many lower-middle class students can enroll, which could possibly keep away upper-middle class or upper class students from enrolling.

Comparatively, Harvard University, an Ivy League school, costs the same amount as some private schools comeing in at $33,709, according to The New Your Times. Cabrini College’s tuition costs $25,950. Megan McCormick, a freshman business administration major, said, “Sometimes you just pay for the name [of the school.]”

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