Nov 13, 2009

Will "Full Pay" Students Have an Advantage This Year?

Gathered at the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) conference in rainy Charlotte, North Carolina, over 1100 experts in higher ed examined the impact of budget cuts on educational programs, staff, and management. The news isn’t particularly good as colleges, universities, and independent schools face long-term reductions in operating budgets and are being forced to take undesirable belt-tightening measures to keep up with steady reductions in income.

A panel specifically addressing college admission practices in a declining economy produced particularly gloomy news for families unable to cover full tuition costs for their college-bound children. Speaking for the group, including representatives from Davidson College, UNC—Charlotte, and Vanderbilt University, Mary Karen Vellines, VP for Enrollment for the College of Wooster, predicted

  • Schools will be under considerably more pressure to accept full pay students
  • Admissions offices will rely more heavily on easily controlled Early Decision admits to fill classes
  • Students will submit more Early Action applications to cover bases and get an earlier handle on financial aid options
  • State institutions will experience an even greater increase in applications
  • US colleges and universities will see greater competition from schools in the UK, Canada, and Australia where dollars go further
  • Merit scholarship wars will escalate as colleges attempt to leverage more income through minor scholarship investments
  • There will be fewer options for full need international students while full pay international students will have greater opportunities
  • Financial aid appeals will continue to rise throughout the application cycle
  • Incoming classes will be less diverse as minorities typically make up a smaller percent of full pay students

While increased opportunities for merit aid could be interpreted as a single bright light in a sea of bad news, no one on the panel disagreed with Dean Vellines’s pessimistic assessment, “Enrollment is king, and the full pay student who is weaker academically is going to have an advantage this year.”

1 comment:

  1. I am a Jr. High School student who has faced difficult challenges thru my schooling. I've struggled with learning challenges. My transcript is slowly improving as a Jr. Currently I have a 2.8 gpa, with hopes of keeping a 3.0 by the end of the year. My PSAT's are not great on the math side either. I do go to a great College Prep High School who is helping me along the way. My grandparents have left me over a $1,000,000 for my college education and expenses. I'm worried the colleges I want to go to won't give me a chance!! I'm very lucky to have my college finances covered, but I'm afraid no one will want me? Your article has given me hope.