For the first time in years, the rise in tuition at many colleges is expected to be below the rate of inflation.
Today’s college students are more aware and informed about rising costs and financial aid, and more sensitive to price. That’s going to put ongoing pressure on the whole higher education industry’s finances, according to a Moody’s report (paywall) which gave a gloomy outlook for the whole sector.
A severe version of this is putting major pressure on US law schools, which are actively competing on tuition (paywall) for students, slashing faculty, or closing altogether. Since the 1970s, US tuition costs for undergraduate and graduate degrees have climbed to historic highs. But tuition hikes have slowed substantially as the number of schools have grown, spurring more competition.
This year, a far greater number of the graduate and undergraduate schools Moody’s surveyed projected under 2% tuition growth, a fraction of what we’ve seen for years, and below the cost of inflation: