Converse College announced on Tuesday that it would become the latest college to slash its tuition, in this case by 43 percent. The college, located in Spartanburg, S.C., will charge $16,500 in tuition next year, down from $29,124. Room and board will cost $9,500. The drop in tuition will apply to all full-time undergraduates.
Even with tuition discounts, “not one student will pay a penny more next year compared to this year,” said Elizabeth A. Fleming, Converse’s president. Room and board costs will be the same for many students, but some will pay about $380 more because of increases in food costs and other accommodations.
While the tuition-cutting tactic has been employed at other colleges—including Ashland University, Concordia University St. Paul, Sewanee: the University of the South, and Seton Hall University—in some cases to raise their enrollment, Ms. Fleming insisted that that has not been the rationale at Converse.
The college has had record-breaking enrollments over the past three years, and this year’s incoming class will be 30 percent larger than last year’s. Even if the tuition reset doesn’t attract any more students next year, the college will be fine financially, she said.
“We are only able to do this because of growing enrollments over the past three years,” she said. “We are doing this from a position of strength.”