You are here


Mount Holyoke College (Mass.) announced that it will not raise tuition or room and board for the 2012-2013 academic year, holding prices at the 2011-2012 rate—and making next year the first since 1968 that Mount Holyoke has not experienced an increase in the cost of attendance.


When President Obama called for more college graduates during his 2009 State of the Union Address, higher education leaders embraced the challenge. His 2012 speech challenging colleges and universities to control tuition—and adding there would be dire funding consequences if they didn’t—was not as well received.

Six months into the net price calculator (NPC) requirement, the experiences of many colleges and universities can be best described as “a mixed bag.” Questions or concerns that numerous schools expressed as they put together their plans for the NPC launch have not necessarily been answered: Will the phones start ringing off the hook? How accurate will comparisons be? What is the best location on our website: Should we highlight the NPC or bury it in a hard-to-find spot?

Obama at the State of the Union, 2012

President Obama put the rising cost of a college degree in the national spotlight during his State of the Union address January 24. Colleges and universities can take up the president’s challenge to keep tuition costs down by investing in programs, teaching methodologies, services, and support that are proven through a rigorous controlled study to have a positive impact on student outcomes.

Very few colleges and universities have actually cut their tuition, according to a National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities survey of members released in June. Other measures have been taken, though. Some institutions have frozen or allowed buying of four years, including Catawba University (N.C.) and the Sage Colleges (N.Y.). Others have committed to lower tuition increases than in the past. For example, 2011-2012 tuition rates at these colleges have gone up modestly:

Students at Columbia College Chicago and elsewhere who choose academic programs

Here’s the harsh reality: The number of students who have debt has increased, and the amount of money that they have borrowed has gone up. These borrowers then graduate into a world with weak employment prospects. It’s a bad situation leading to higher loan default rates.

When it comes to collecting tuition, it usually doesn't pay to have your university's payment solution on autopilot.

There are many software tools available for scheduling and processing tuition payments. But what happens if a student adds a class unexpectedly, or is assessed additional or unexpected fees? Many software solutions can't adjust on the fly and school officials are the ones who end up spending extra time untangling the mess.


The call for increased transparency in the college pricing and financial aid arenas is coming from many directions and is ringing louder and more clearly than ever. Institutional customers, students and families who have for some time been expecting more information, now want it more quickly and in terms they can understand easily and compare consistently across institutions.

Not so long ago, Kutztown University found itself struggling to work out flexible tuition payment arrangements for strapped parents.

"It became so cumbersome that it was taking a staff member and a half just to monitor payment plans here," said Wendy Pursell, bursar of the Kutztown, Pa., school.