Published by The Pew Charitable Trusts
Tuition prices listed on college websites have long been divorced from what students actually pay. The students strolling through campus pay very different amounts depending on their financial aid awards.
But recently, many colleges have added a new complication: Sixty percent of public research universities now assess tuition based on students’ year of study, major, or both, according to an upcoming study led by Gregory Wolniak, a research director at New York University.
Students and families are often willing to pay more for a program with a good reputation. That gives universities leeway to raise tuition. “There’s no doubt that institutions are trying to charge what the market will allow them to charge,” said David Strauss, principal at the Art & Science Group LLC, a higher education consulting firm.