Friday, March 18, 2011

Sewanee Decreases Tuition

The University of the South - Sewanee

Did anyone hear the story on “All Things Considered” Thursday about The University of the South – Sewanee – and its radical move to actually lower its tuition next year by 10 percent?

I call this radical because, as we all know, college tuition increases on a regular basis. In fact, the statistic used in the story is that college tuition has grown at twice the rate of inflation. And while Hubby and I have 529 savings plans for our kids, when I begin thinking of what college will cost in the next 10 to 15 years, it makes my head spin. I have to quickly think of something else to avoid having a panic attack.

I thought it was a great move on Sewanee’s part. One of the most prestigious schools in the South, if not the country, Sewanee saw the need to make the school more affordable and accessible. Over the last few years, the school has been losing students to the University of Georgia, a public university with a much lower price tag, yet still a good institution from which to earn your degree. Perhaps more prestige is associated with Sewanee, but if you can get a great education without being nearly as overwhelmed with high fees and student loans  especially in this day and age which would you choose?

What are your thoughts on the cost of a college education? Do you think other schools will follow Sewanee’s lead? Or are we going to see tuition increase over time until it’s out of reach for many and only available to the privileged few?

To read Sewanee's statement on the price decrease, visit their website.
Image from npr.org

9 comments:

Main Line Sportsman said...

One of my daughters is a Senior and has been accepted to several schools with 45K + price tags...I nearly have a stroke each time I look at the tuition info in the acceptance packets. Plus, my other daughter is going to be a Junior and my Son a freshman...so I am doomed to slaving to pay tuition for the next decade...do I think tuition will be decreased on a widespread basis....doubtful...

Sundresses and Smiles said...

I think this is a move in the right direction! Sewanee is setting a great example, especially considering the current political chatter about improving our educational system. I myself was drawn to many private schools (Vanderbilt, Duke, and Furman to name a few), but when it came down to it, UVA was equally as well known for academics and cost a fraction of the price.

About Last Weekend said...

Yes I really think my kids will have to go to College back in New Zealand. And even more stressfull here - so hard for them to get into colleges that were just mediocre some years ago. When it comes down to it I just want them to have as good a time there as I did (well maybe not quite as good...)

GP said...

Never heard of this school, but I'm sure it is as good as any other one. College fees in the USA -- called tuition -- have increased predictably by 7%/year (thereby doubling the cost of tuition every 7 years). Today, a mediocre institution of private organization runs about $50,000/year. So, if you've a child in the 2nd grade, you can figure that it will cost $200k/year or more when they reach college. Perhaps other institutions will follow Sewanee. But, then again, I suspect Sewanee did this as a publicity stunt and has costs hidden elsewhere and will soon return to pursue profits.

Town and Country Mom said...

Interesting and hopeful. I've always sort of lumped University of the South, Furman, Rhodes, and William and Mary together in my mind, although I think W&M is public. Anyhow, speaking as a mom who has a freshman in college and two more hot on his heels, I would welcome this trend. It does seem that today states are offering many more scholarships to academically successful students than were around 20 years ago. Also, some Ivy League schools offer full tuition to students who are accepted and whose household income is less than a set amount (100k in 2009). Don't panic, JMW, somehow it all works out!

Haven and Home said...

I think that is great, well done Sewanee!

bevy said...

Yippee for Sewanee! I had many friends and family graduate from there - and my uncle is on the Board of Trustees. As they say up on the mountain: "Yea, Sewanee's Right!"

Aspiring Kennedy said...

that's amazing. what a refreshing story to hear. thanks for sharing!

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

The sad truth seems to be that the more EXTERNAL college loans and grant that are available, the higher the price. Tuition fee-increases correlate directly with increases in external funding. Well-meaning government agencies tried to make access to college more available, and the colleges responded by raising the price. The exact phenomenon occurred with the housing bubble... availability of funding drove the average cost of houses through the roof, and eventually into the gutter. There was a small car-bubble, and soon there will be a tuition-bubble that will burst. University of the South is doing it's part to prevent that. Apparently, someone in the administration is listening to someone in the economics department.