The dirty little secrets of Universities

If you’ve ever gone to buy a car or a house you never paid the sticker price, right? If you did, perhaps you should subscribe to my feed and learn more about personal finances, please. When you make big purchases you usually negotiate the price lower than what the sticker price is. This goes for things such as buying a car, buying a house, that big screen tv or those new cell phones. So today when I was attending a meeting at work about 529 plans and education planning, an interesting tidbit of knowledge was brought up – colleges can and do negotiate tuition.

This revelation was provided by my boss who happens to be on the board of trustees of a local university. She details how her college will in fact give you a tuition discount because you’re male. Her reason behind this was because the college is 60% female, 40% male – therefore they want to balance their demographics. This is not a grant, scholarship or some other gift – rather, the actual price of tuition is decreased.

My other boss (it’s starting to sound like Office Space here) gave an anecdote about my alma matter – Ohio State. The story could be the same for any major university. Big public schools like OSU will end up paying you to go to school there. He detailed how students who’ve been accepted to Harvard or Yale or any other well known institutions will be given major discounts and even, as is the case with some OSU students, stipends to attend their school. Regardless if your parents are billionaires and could afford it, they want you and the prestige you bring along with you.

So the moral of this post is, why pay sticker price on tuition? If you have or someone you know has the grades and is going to attend college soon, let them know to ask about tuition discounts. Here’s how you do it – go to the admissions office (get an appointment with someone first), present yourself and say, “now, about this tuition, what can you do on it?” If you’re someone the school wants, they will work with you. Of course this isn’t widely advertised as is evident of a lack of google search results on the subject but it is out there and you can get it.