The University of the South is cutting tuition and fees for 2011-12 by 10 percent. Can they set a trend of scaled back college costs?
The school, known as Sewanee, after the Tennessee city it calls home, will cost about $4,600 less than it did in 2010-11. The university's president, John M. McCardell Jr., says the school made the decision after acknowledging what students trying to come up with the cash for tuition bills already know: "Higher education is on the verge of pricing itself beyond the reach of more and more families."
But will the move start a cost-cutting race among private schools? Tony Pals, the director of communications for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities told the Wall Street Journal that it's possible. "It's a bold move that will have the potential to put competitive pressure on Sewanee's peer institutions," he said.
Making college more affordable can go a long way toward helping the nation achieve President Obama's goal of having the highest percentage of graduates in the world by 2020—and not having a crushing amount of student loan debt after graduation would be nice. Fingers crossed that scaling back tuition and fees becomes a trend.