Do Tuition Resets Work? An Analysis of 12 Years of Data

As tuition and net prices paid by students continue to diverge, many institutions are considering "tuition resets" to more closely match the sticker price that prospective students see vs what they would actually pay. When executed correctly, a lower sticker price is meant to enhance the top-of-the-funnel by increasing the number of applicants and providing greater opportunities to grow or shape enrollments. However, many institutions often go into this process blind, without a clear understanding of the best practices to enact a tuition reset. If not successfully managed, the strategy can result in less net revenue per student, lower yield rates, and a perception of lower quality.
Between 2012 - 2019, 72 four-year institutions engaged in a "sticker price" tuition reduction of 10%+ from the previous year for resident and non-resident students. Kennedy & Company has conducted a rigorous statistical analysis on the effects for each these institutions to isolate and understand the actual effect of the tuition reset strategy. This research paper will you institution answer important questions such as:
  • What types of institutions find the most success with tuition resets?
  • Do larger resets / discounts on sticker price lead to greater increases in applications?
  • How can senior leaders ensure that they maintain or increase net tuition revenue per student?
  • What are the factors you should consider before enacting a tuition reset?

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