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Private Institutions Attempt to Attract Students

Today, private higher education institutions are offering financial aid at an all-time high but they are not attracting enough enrollments.

A rapid increase in college sticker prices have caused enrollment numbers to shrink for many institutions. In an attempt to entice more students to enroll, private colleges discounted their tuition prices last year by an average of 40-45 percent, according to a report by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).

“Institutions are responding to students who won’t enroll unless they have some kind of incentive,” Natalie Pullaro Davis, Research and Policy Analysis at NACUBO, told Time Online.

However, according to the report, the discounting method is failing for these institutions. Of the 383 private colleges surveyed, approximately half of them reported a decline in their enrollment even after offering more financial aid. Of the colleges that were able to increase their enrollments, the motivation came mainly from more financial aid handouts.

According to the report, almost 50 percent of the colleges’ chief business officers said that the loss of enrollments was a result of price sensitivity.

Over all, a decline in undergraduate enrollments was shared by 45 percent of the surveyed institutions while only 12 percent of the Master’s and Doctoral-level institutions saw declines in student enrollments.