Coronavirus Impact on College Financial Aid: Will Universities Offer Discounts?
COVID-19 has impacted all facets of life, and college financial aid is no different. One specific area of college financial aid impacted has been the Federal Direct student loans, which we looked at last week.
This week, we’ll turn our attention to the cost of college.
A question that we receive a lot is related to the opportunities for college discounts as a result of the pandemic. Will colleges cut their costs as they are forced to limit some of the on-campus experiences they typically offer?
At first, the answer to this appeared to be no. But, since it became evident that COVID-19 would have a far-reaching impact on the college experience, more and more schools began to offer discounts to try to encourage applications and enrollment.
The discounts have been coming across the board, both with upper-level private schools as well as state schools.
Initially, some schools announced they would freeze their cost of tuition for incoming students for future years. Each year, school costs increase, on average, by 3%, so this was seen as a significant move by schools that were attempting to attract applicants.
Since then, other schools have taken even more drastic measures. Some have gone beyond simply freezing future tuition increases to actually slashing their current costs. One school, Southern New Hampshire University, even put together a full-tuition scholarship system for campus-based learners.
So what does this mean? For current seniors in high school and juniors looking ahead to next year, it’s important to know that you are in a buyer’s market for college. While it’s true that your on-campus experience may look very different than you expected, there are opportunities to capitalize on these unique times by cashing in on college discounts.