In an era when college costs seem to be spiraling endlessly upwards, a small group of liberal arts colleges have radically slashed costs. The New York Times reported (“Getting Out Of The Discount Game, Small Colleges Lower The Price, ” by Tamar Lewin 12/25/13) that Converse College, Spartanburg, SC recently announced a 43% reduction in tuition— lowering the price tag by $16,500. While no one expects this be become a trend among the most highly competitive US liberal arts colleges, those in a less competitive bracket, which have been heavily discounting for years, may find this to be a useful strategy. By lowering the sticker price, Converse and colleges like it hope to appeal to students who might have been deterred by the higher price tag, and maintain competition with cheaper public options. These are difficult times for all but the nation’s most competitive liberal arts colleges.
Nationally, tuitions were reduced by a whopping 45% with 87% of freshman receiving some form of aid, up from 80% in 2002..