I have been waiting for and expecting news headlines just like this one: Seton Hall will lower tuition rate by $21K to match Rutgers for some incoming freshmen
Expect Plans to SpreadGetting good grades and high SAT scores could save some Seton Hall University freshmen more than $21,000 a year in tuition costs under an unusual new program that could pit the Catholic school against Rutgers University for some of the state’s top students.
Starting next fall, Seton Hall will match Rutgers’ tuition — which is currently $10,104 a year for most in-state undergraduates — if freshmen score at least 1,200 on the combined reading and math sections of their SAT tests and graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class.
Other students on the South Orange campus will continue to pay Seton Hall’s regular annual tuition rate, which is currently $31,440 before room, board and other fees are added.
Failure of SubsidiesSeton Hall University will radically restructure its tuition for next year, slashing costs by more than 60% for all incoming students who have achieved a set of academic standards in high school, officials announced on Wednesday.
Some national education experts expressed concerns that the plan could accelerate a national trend: a shift in the focus of financial aid toward merit-based scholarships rather than awards based on need.
"There's only so much money, and at the end of the day every college needs to make decisions about who they'll subsidize," said Patrick Callan, the president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.
The proposal raised concerns among some education experts, who said that schools are moving further away from the original intent behind subsidizing higher education: to help people attend college who couldn't afford it otherwise.
"When you just flat out across the board knock the price down for high-achieving students, you're going to be subsidizing a lot of students who don't really need the money," said Mr. Callan.
This form of subsidization "tends to help the institution attract the freshman class that it wants to raise the academic profile, raise the U.S. News rating," he said. "It doesn't have much to do with providing opportunity to people who wouldn't have it."
"It becomes, from a budget point of view, a race to the bottom," said Jerome Sullivan, the executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. "Someone else will do the same thing only they'll do it $50 better. And then someone else will do it $100 better."
The ultimate result, he said, is that "the budget gets ravished because revenue begins to disappear and in the end it's low-income families as well as the institution that lose out."
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