To avoid enrollment shortfalls heading into the summer, some tuition-dependent private colleges are changing how they package financial aid for students.
Some colleges are offering more aid upfront to try to avoid shortfalls altogether. Others adjusted swaths of aid packages as it became clear they were unlikely to enroll as many students as they had planned by May 1, the traditional but decreasingly relevant decision day for students going to selective colleges.
Even colleges that have successfully met their enrollment goals are worried about poaching by others still looking to meet their goals, and are beginning to offer more tuition discounts to lure students.
All are signs of the continued challenges faced especially by tuition-dependent and smaller private colleges, some of which remain under the weather for a variety of reasons, including the rebound of public university budget and the wariness of some students to graduate with liberal arts degrees that don’t seem to offer a clear career path.