Tuition Discount Rates at Private Colleges and Universities Hit All-Time Highs


Average private college and university tuition discount rates continue to climb—but a new analysis from the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) shows correlation between the longstanding financial aid strategy and admissions selectivity.

In the 2021 NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study, 359 private, nonprofit colleges and universities reported an estimated 54.5 percent average institutional tuition discount rate for first-time, full-time, first-year students in 2020-21 and 49 percent for all undergraduates—both record highs. By providing grants, fellowships, and scholarships, these institutions forgo about half the revenue they otherwise would collect if they charged all students the tuition and fee sticker price.