Last month, President Destler presented his decisions on cost containment recommendations during his open administration forum. The context of these cost containment discussions is the increasingly apparent realization that the ability of parents and students to pay increases in the “net price” of a college education is lessening. (Net price refers to the publicized tuition rate less the average discount amount that a university offers.) This is evidenced by the fact that more and more institutions are having to put increasing amounts of revenue back into financial aid to make the net price affordable to the students they want to attract.
There are many articles that discuss this realization and I thought the campus community might be interested in a few of them. One example, the January article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Declines in Tuition Revenue Leave Many Colleges Financially Squeezed” speaks to how the net price revenue at colleges is projected to decline outright or increase at a slower rate. Another recent article from Inside Higher Ed, “Higher Ed Downgrades Vastly Exceeded Upgrades in 2012” describes how Moody's Investor Services downgraded far more institutions than it upgraded and one of the reasons is that these institutions are having problems raising net price revenue.
Finally, if you heard or read about President Obama's State of the Union address this past week, you will be familiar with his emphasis on higher education affordability. Please see the Chronicle article “Obama Puts Federal Weight Behind Calls for College Affordability” for a good overview of his speech.
RIT continues to be in a very strong position and has received high accolades (and the highest credit rating) from Moody's. Our career-oriented educational mission, our competitive publicized tuition rate, and our graduates’ placement rates continue to be strong indicators that what RIT offers is very much aligned with what parents and students want.
Here's my February update; I hope you enjoy the new format.
Jeremy Haefner, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs