… and depressing.
The colleges’ average grant to each freshman covered 53 percent of tuition and fees in 2011-12, up from about 52 percent the year before.
Even with increased aid, more than half of the colleges surveyed said that their freshman enrollment was declining, and the trend was especially pronounced at baccalaureate institutions with enrollments of less than 4,000. More than 83 percent of those colleges saw a decline in both freshman and overall enrollment, according to the survey.
Nearly half of the chief business officers at colleges that lost enrollment said the cause was price sensitivity: Students are increasingly choosing lower-cost colleges.
For many of the colleges that gained enrollment, one key was to dole out more financial aid, the report says.
But that step—raising the institution’s discount rate still more—meant that the higher enrollment provided little or no overall growth in revenue.