The richest liberal arts university in the country, Williams College, has slashed tuition by 15% "in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances and of this academic year and the uncertainty we face in the year ahead," according to Bloomberg.
Williams, which has a $2.9 billion endowment (as of June, 2019) will also be canceling sports competitions and travel for the season according to a Monday statement.
For the 2020-2021 academic year, Tuition, room and board will set back rich parents and lending institutions $63,200. Of note, four years at the university will set one back more than the average mortgage balance carried by millennials.
"This reduction recognizes the fact that the pandemic and associated challenges are requiring us to cancel winter study as well as fall athletics competition and many student activities, among other opportunities that we usually encourage families to expect as part of their student’s education," said school President Maud Mandel.
Schools across the U.S. are coping with uncertainty for the year that begins in August or September as it’s largely unclear whether in-person courses will be offered given the rise in Covid-19 cases. Students at dozens of schools have already balked at the full price for last semester’s tuition with months of online classes, suing for billions of dollars in refunds. -Bloomberg
"In higher education, we’re trained to believe that expensive is good," says Seton Hall University associate professor Robert Kelchen. "Now, in this economic crisis, families are more price-sensitive than they have been."
Other colleges have made similar moves - including Davidson College in North Carolina, which announced in April that families would be allowed to postpone payments until August of 2021, and the College of William & Mary, which announced last month that incoming in-state undergraduates would no longer be subject to a tuition increase.