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March 26, 2024 42 mins

With tuition costs soaring, how can students make informed decisions about their education? In this episode, Mark Salisbury discusses the lack of price transparency in college tuition and the impact it has on students and families. He shares insights into the pricing strategies of colleges and universities, the distribution of sticker prices, and the misconceptions surrounding the value of brand name colleges. Mark also highlights the importance of understanding the cost of attendance and the ancillary costs associated with college education. He introduces TuitionFit.org, a platform that provides transparency in college pricing and helps students make informed decisions about their education.

 

Key points discussed:

- Colleges and universities often lack price transparency, making it difficult for students and families to know the actual cost of attendance.

- The sticker price of college is often not what students actually pay, as colleges offer discounts and financial aid packages.

- The perception that brand name colleges offer a better education is not always supported by data, and students can receive a quality education at various price points.

- The cost of attendance includes not only tuition and fees but also indirect costs such as textbooks, room and board, and other expenses.

- Tuitionfit.org is a platform that allows students to share their financial aid award letters anonymously, providing transparency in college pricing and helping students make informed decisions.

 

Timestamps:

- 00:00 Introduction to College Tuition and Price Transparency

- 03:21 The Absence of Price Transparency in College Pricing

- 08:02 The Challenges of Building TuitionFit

- 10:25 The Impact of Information Asymmetry in College Pricing

- 13:19 The Myth of Sticker Price and Prestigious Institutions

- 21:24 Insights on College Pricing and Perception

- 25:19 The Ancillary Costs of College Attendance

- 28:41 The Need for Transparency and Education Reform

- 36:49 The Shift in College Decision-Making and TuitionFit.org

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