Bill Berg

Planning & Borrowing for College - Monday Musings
When it comes to paying for college, we know that American families vary widely in their planning. Sallie Mae’s 2014 report, How America Pays For College, provides some interesting insights. The report is based on a survey Ipsos conducted for Sallie Mae of 1600 undergraduates and their parents in April 2014. The study found that 38% of families reported that they had a plan to pay for their student’s entire college education before the student enrolled. Responses differed significantly, though, by family income. The percentage of families reporting they had a plan decreased from the previous year for all but high-income families. In related research, RuffaloCODY repeated its Perceptions of Financial Aid survey of college-bound seniors and…Read more

Time To Put the Pedal To the Metal on Yield Activities - Monday Musings
March 1st is a week away. Most admissions offices are still processing applications and sending notices to newly admitted students. But they also know it’s time to put the pedal to the metal on yield activities if they haven’t already started. What makes yield activities especially urgent this year is the fact that so many schools are reporting increases in applications. WICHE projects an increase in public high school graduates of less than 1% from 2014 to 2015. So, unless there’s a substantial increase in the college-going rate, yields can be expected to drop for next fall. So, what does your yield plan look like? Here are a few suggestions, if you’re not already doing them: Yield events On-campus Accepted Student Days – Make…Read more

Defining the Tuition Discount Rate - Monday Musings
Here at S&K, when asked by clients how we calculate the tuition discount rate, we have for many years said we view the NACUBO calculation – defined as institutional grant dollars as a share of gross tuition and fee revenue – as the industry standard (see, for example, publications on the NACUBO website here and here.) However, a client recently pointed out an exception noted at the bottom of a NACUBO report published in 2012, saying “[Total grant aid] does not include grant dollars that cover room and board or books.” (See the last paragraph of Study Essentials at the end of this report.) NACUBO has said they make this exception to allow them to maintain comparable discount rates among different types of institutions. Unfortunately,…Read more