A Shell Game by Any Other Name: The Economics and Rationale behind Tuition Discounting

coverNew Report Challenges College Financial Aid Status Quo

The financial aid process at most private colleges has become a thinly disguised shell game in which the winners enjoy deep tuition discounts financed by the losers, according to a new white paper authored by Grove City College Assistant Provost P. Jesse Rine.

Dr. Rine’s white paper, “A Shell Game by Any Other Name: The Economics and Rationale behind Tuition Discounting,” provides an in-depth examination of private college finance and explains the mechanics of the high-price/high-aid model. Published by the jCENTER for Innovative Higher Education at the University of Minnesota, the white paper explains the practical benefits and unintended consequences of tuition discounting, then details an alternative approach to college finance based on the principles of fiscal responsibility, fair and transparent pricing, and student success.

Highlighting the significance of the report, Associate Professor and jCENTER Faculty Director David J. Weerts added, “By identifying the potential harms and hidden implications of tuition discounting, Dr. Rine has laid the groundwork for ongoing analysis and critique of this pervasive practice. In describing the mission-centered approach to tuition pricing and financial aid adopted at Grove City College, he has presented an alternative way forward, one that both affirms Grove City College’s institutional values and strengthens its brand position within the competitive higher education market.”


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