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Cutting Tuition Sticker Shock

The Admissions building at Lesley University. (Daderot/Wikimedia Commons)

The Admissions building at Lesley University. (Daderot/Wikimedia Commons)

The sticker price of a college education is coming down for many students. Several colleges and universities across the country are experimenting with a new tuition model that more accurately reflects the actual cost of a college education.

Among them is Lesley University in Cambridge. Next fall, the school will reduce its undergraduate tuition by 25 percent, from $32,000 a year to $24,000. To make that possible, Lesley will also reduce the financial aid it offers by the same percentage. University leaders hope the move will reduce the “sticker shock” that discourages more and more middle and low-income families from applying to many schools in the first place.

The move does not necessarily make a Lesley education more affordable, but it is provoking a new conversation about what college actually costs, why prices continue to rise, and what colleges and universities can and should do about it.

Guest

Joseph Moore, President of Lesley University.

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Lesley University “By doing this, we will significantly reduce the gap between our advertised tuition price and the actual cost that most of our students pay.”

Student Poll “More than half of students and families are ruling out schools on the basis of the sticker price instead of net cost, failing to take into account what they would likely receive in financial aid.”


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