Colleges Offering Tuition Guarantees


      In attempts to attract prospective students, many colleges across the nation are promising incoming freshmen that their tuition rates will not rise during their four years in college, according to an article in The US News & World Report.

      All public universities in Illinois and several other public and private colleges throughout the nation are locking freshmen tuition rates. However, these schools are raising separate fees such as housing, meal plans and other various costs. Also, these colleges are increasing the tuition rates that each incoming freshmen class will pay, without changing the tuition for returning sophomores, juniors and seniors.

      Students and parents will save an estimated $5,000 by attending a four-year college that locks tuition, according to the article. Colleges are implementing these tuition guarantees because they are in strict competition with each other to boost enrollment. When colleges compete over students, costs tend to decrease.

      Students and parents still need to pay close attention to college tuition rates because most universities’ revenues are down due to the tough economy. Some colleges are luring freshmen in with tuition locks and guarantees; however these colleges are dramatically increasing the tuition rates for each incoming freshman class. Some of these tuition spikes are so significant that students and parents actually pay more for attending a certain college that boasts tuition guarantees.

      Students and parents need to closely analyze the tuition and other costs of attending college because financial administrators at colleges can skew the tuition and other costs. Universities will offer tuition guarantees and large amounts of financial aid to appear cost-effective. However, students can still overpay for college, compared to other schools.

      The US News & World Report stated that the public universities in Illinois are very affordable because they are not deceiving students with their tuition guarantees by overinflating tuition.

      Traditionally, these tuition guarantees only apply to four-year degrees. Students who attend college for five or more years will not have their tuition locked after their fourth year.