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Leading Colleges Seen to Tailor Tuition to Student Financial Needs

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Colleges deemed highly selective tailor their tuition and other prices to students’ financial means, enabling low- and moderate-income students to pay far below “sticker prices,” a study has found.

The study—conducted by the Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education, at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.—appears in the Fall issue of the Journal of Human Resources . Researchers analyzed family income, financial-aid grants, and other data from the records of 41,401 full-time undergraduate students at 28 of 31 highly selective private colleges and universities. All those students had received some level of financial aid.

While the average sticker price for the 2001-02 academic year was $33,831, students who had received some level of financial aid paid an average of $16,058, less than half that amount.

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