Applicants increasingly identify cost as a primary concern when selecting undergraduate institutions. This report examines strategic financial aid practices to support enrollment goals and highlights overall tuition discount rates at small, private universities.
Key observations from our research:
1. Undergraduate tuition discount rates range from 44 percent to 62 percent at four profiled institutions.
2. Merit and need-based award distribution practices adjusted for institutional tuition revenue, student diversity, or academic prestige goals.
3. Grant awards directed to admitted applicants with family incomes between $30,001 and $110,000 to balance diversity and tuition revenue goals.
4. Align tuition discount rates with competitor institutions’ to improve conversion rates.
5. No profiled institution guarantees to meet a certain percentage of student need through grant awards.
6. Availability of institutional resources limits grant program generosity and total awards.
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