Press Release: One Year Later, Small College’s Big Tuition Cut Pays Off
After Slashing Tuition by 43 Percent, Rosemont College Applications Soar 64 Percent, Entering Class Grows by One Third
College Pleased by Success in Reaching ‘Squeezed’ Middle-Income Families and Demystifying Tuition for Them
Philadelphia, PA — When Rosemont College—a small, private liberal arts college in suburban Philadelphia—announced a dramatic 43 percent tuition reduction last year, it hoped to attract the attention of middle-income families who were overlooking a private school they considered too pricey.
A year later, the college’s decision appears to have paid off.
Applications to Rosemont this year soared by 64 percent—with more than a 60 percent increase in entering students from households with incomes between $75,000 and $125,000. The college enrolled 229 students this year, up from 175 last year.
“We achieved what we set out to do: We successfully got on the radar screen of middle-income families, for whom the published tuition price is the most confusing and who are the most squeezed by the current tuition model,” said Dr. Sharon Hirsh, president of Rosemont College.
In addition to its goal of especially reaching middle-income families who previously thought they could not afford Rosemont, the college was very clear about another motivation for its tuition reset—to restore clarity and simplicity to a tuition pricing model Dr. Hirsh termed “broken.”
“College tuition has become an artificial sticker price that most students do not end up paying,” she said. “Instead, colleges discount the price through a package of grants and scholarships, which are nothing more than discounts off of the sticker price.
“We moved from a high-price, high-discount model to a low-price, low-discount model. We not only got on families’ radar screens, but we also impressed them with our forthright, clear approach to pricing.”
Rosemont’s initiative, Our Tuition Promise, reduced tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year from $32,620 to $18,500 and room and board from $13,400 to $11,500.
Financial aid and merit scholarships are still offered to Rosemont students. But they are based on a new, “true” tuition price of $18,500 rather than $32,620.
The tuition reset proved beneficial to current and new students alike. According to a September 2017 survey sent to families of first-year and transfer students at Rosemont, the four most influential factors in the students’ decisions to attend Rosemont were academic quality, the expertise of faculty, the availability of student financial aid, and the lowered tuition price.
“We are exceptionally pleased with the level of success we have seen with this initiative so far,” said Maria Feeley, chair of Rosemont’s Board of Trustees. “We have attracted a large number of students who may have initially ruled out Rosemont due to the price tag alone, but have since realized they can afford a Rosemont education.”
Tuition for the 2018-2019 school year will remain $18,500. Room and board will see a slight increase to accommodate the larger population of students.
The fall 2017 semester is represented by 143 schools, with students coming from 21 states, as well as five countries.
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About Rosemont College
Rosemont College is a private, coeducational Catholic institution founded in 1921 by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. Rosemont offers a comprehensive education through small group and experiential learning experiences while providing campus-wide academic, spiritual, and professional support. We respect and embrace diversity and individuality and promote students’ lifelong success. For more information, visit www.rosemont.edu.