Thursday, December 26, 2013

private colleges rethink pricing

As you probably learned in Econ, pricing doesn't just mean how much something is listed for sale-- it also means how prices are advertised or presented to buyers.  For example, you may have heard of a hotel's "rack rate" (i.e., the full retail cost of renting a room)-- but it's doubtful anyone you know actually pays that rate when they can easily obtain discounts through websites, travel agents, or even AAA.  The rack rate is there for suckers, and to make the rest of us feel good about getting a reduced-rate "deal."

College pricing works the same way more often than you might think.  Who actually pays full retail for private college tuition when they can easily obtain financial aid or discounts?  Even though college is an accomplishment and a rite of passage in this culture, many factors (like economic conditions that negate the "tuition investment --> salary payoff" promise, even for law schools) have caused private colleges to rethink their pricing strategies

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