A survey of college admissions directors by Inside Higher Ed found that only 34% of colleges met new student enrollments by May 1 when schools like to have their incoming class set. And that is down from 37% in 2016 and 42% in 2017.
For most schools, tuition is their primary source of revenue. This means that students applying to all but the most elite schools are going to have room to negotiate tuition discounts, if they fit the ideal profile for that college.
That makes it all the more important to apply to schools that are a right fit for your student. You want your student to be in the upper quartile (based on SAT/ACT scores and GPA) of students applying to the school.
In chapter 9 of Never Pay Retail for College, we talk about choosing “right fit” colleges. Choosing schools where our student will apply has the single biggest impact on the overall cost of college for our son or daughter.
Applying to “stretch schools” like most college counselors recommend is a recipe for ensuring you are offered less than your family can “afford” according to the federal government. Colleges want you to pay as close to retail as possible, but that is not a smart financial decision for most families. If we take the time and do the work to find right fit schools, we can spend less money and provide an education that better serves our child.
We owe it to our children and to ourselves to get the best overall value for their education… not sink into overwhelming debt. So, take advantage of the fact that most schools have a great need for students and are willing to offer packages that make college more affordable.
If you would like some help planning for, choosing and negotiating with colleges, you can schedule a free consultation.